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Steelers Players Blame Execution, Not Playcalling for Offensive Struggles



Steelers QB Kenny Pickett
Steelers QB Kenny Pickett runs out of the tunnel against the Browns, Sept. 19, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers offense is at a place right now where no one wants it to be. Blame is thrown around to multiple people, but most blame continues to fall at the feet of offensive coordinator Matt Canada. But players are not calling out coaching or Canada for any mishaps. It’s easy to say that’s what they would say, and I understand why, but I do think there is confidence in the players from Canada.

Right down to their quarterback, Kenny Pickett, the team has talked about execution and a lack of identity fueling the struggles. But to them, that’s not on coaching but on the players who have fallen short in both aspects of the offensive game plan. As such, the team needs to find a foothold to dig their heels into.

“We got to find it,” Pickett said. “Clearly, we don’t have one. We need to stay together like I keep saying. It’s a team game. It’s an ultimate team game. One guy does something wrong on one play as an offense, it usually doesn’t go your way. So, we got to stay together. Don’t let the popcorn effect happen where it’s one guy each play which it just comes with staying out and working.”

Center Mason Cole said the struggles even more directly rested upon the shoulders of the players. He thinks the players have failed at execution at most levels, but the offensive line shoulders plenty of the blame for most that has transpired throughout the year.

“We’re just not executing,” Cole said. “It’s not schematics, it’s not play calling none of that. Man, we’re not blocking guys, not making the throws, not making the reads… We’re not executing schematically in the right spots. We have a really good game plan, we’re calling the right plays, we’re just not executing and it’s killing our energy in the game. The execution is going to fuel emotion. When you’re not successful early, you seem to lose a little confidence.”

The offense has scored just 19 points in two games. In Week 2, 24 teams scored 20 points or more. Canada has yet to engineer a game where the Steelers’ offense has put up over 400 yards under his guidance. The stats show how poor the group’s performance has been since Canada took over as offensive coordinator.

It is hard to see where this team will go with Canada at the helm. With their young quarterback struggling on top of it, the Steelers’ offense remains in dire straits after a promising preseason. They have to find some rhythm that will allow Pickett to pop a bit more despite all the questions from Canada.