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What’s the Hold Up? Steelers Still In Limbo with OC Matt Canada



Steelers OC Matt Canada

It has been nine days since the Pittsburgh Steelers ended their 2022 season and there has not been one word out of the South Side about the future of embattled offensive coordinator Matt Canada, one way or another.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin warned us that it could be this way during his end-of-season press conference last Monday, when he said that the Steelers would operate more slowly than most teams when it comes to making postseason evaluations.

“We’ll proceed methodically through this,” Tomlin said. “We’ll probably move a little slower than most of our peers, but we don’t worry about the Joneses. We’ve got a business model, one that we believe in, and we’ll be thorough in doing so and in assessing what transpired in an effort to tee up our next opportunity, and at the appropriate time we’ll start work in that area.”

He also said at that point that it was entirely premature to begin to judge the job done my Canada this season, his second as the Steelers’ offensive coordinator.

“I’m not going to speculate about him or anyone as I stand here today,” he said. “Just as I mentioned, we fight, and that fight has come to an end. I’m just beginning the process of transitioning in terms of wrapping a bow around it and looking and seeing what 2023 looks like. I’m just not there. We’ve got some work to do.”

Locked on Steelers: Will Matt Canada return in 2023?

The rest of the league has already sprung into action when it comes to replacing coaches, with the Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts interviewing head coaching candidates — including Steelers senior defensive assistant Brian Flores — and a half-dozen other teams looking for coordinators.

Like Tomlin said, the Steelers aren’t concerned about moving more slowly than their competitors. One of those reasons could be the unusual — for the Steelers anyway — timing of the end of their season.

Last season, defensive coordinator Keith Butler announced his retirement on Jan. 22, six days after the Steelers lost in the Wild Card round. The Steelers parted ways with Randy Fichtner on Jan. 15, 2021, 12 days after losing to the Cleveland Browns to end their 2020 season in the Wild Card round. In 2018, Todd Haley got his walking papers on Jan. 17, three days after the Steelers lost to the Jaguars in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

So compared to the current pushed-back NFL calendar, where the Wild Card round just ended last night, Jan. 17 doesn’t seem out of place for the Steelers usual coach-decision timeline.

There’s also the chance that Tomlin could be waiting to see who else becomes available. 

A new head coach in Houston may or may not keep offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, who interviewed for the job that Canada now holds two years ago. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are reportedly set to fire former Steelers quarterback Byron Leftwich as their offensive coordinator.

But waiting for someone else to make a move doesn’t track with Tomlin’s line above about not worrying about the Joneses. It’s more likely that the Steelers are just getting into their normal offseason calendar at the normal time, and there will be some news about Canada’s status this week.

RELATED: ‘We Believe in Matt Canada’: Najee Harris Gives Impassioned Defense of Steelers Offensive Coordinator

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