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Steelers Analysis

The Biggest Change the Steelers Offense Can Make This Week



Steelers OC Eddie Faulkner
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Eddie Faulkner at practice on Nov. 22, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers offense is searching for positive change. Without Matt Canada, they hope they can find some of that in their offense, which has enough talent to raise the bar from where they are right now. But even they must acknowledge there is only so much they can do, especially in a week.

“You can’t have wholesale changes at this point,” quarterback Kenny Pickett said. “We’re going to run the system that we’ve been using. Coach Sully and Coach Faulk, they’re going to put their wrinkle on what they want to run and when they want to run it.”

Steelers Kenny Pickett

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett sits next to quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan during a game against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 19, 2023. — Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

However, some things can improve, and there are three tweaks that I want to see made to this team’s offense under Faulkner and Sullivan. Will they move mountains? No, but the run game was not sparked by rolling mountains, either. So, three things that can instantly improve? Here they are.

But there might be a change they can make, and it’s not a schematic change. It’s a common-sense change. Pittsburgh’s offensive struggles have come up not just because the team has fallen flat on the schematic side of things—still, the execution of fine details, including essential communication, a massive issue. The Browns are an excellent defense, but how many times was the depth of a route off, Pickett not on the same page as a receiver, or something small? Well, the answer is, throughout the entire game, those plagued Pittsburgh. Faulkner did note he was going to make the offense more detailed and would focus on communication.

“Just me in general, I’m a detailed guy,” Faulkner said. “That’s how I operate. That’s how I operated the running back room, so that’s how I’m operating anything that has to do with the offense or staff. To make sure we’re squeezing down, tightening up, closing all the space so when we go into a game the guys can execute and play fast. That’s the focus, and I feel like I can bring somebody to the table in that regard.”

Those details need to be sharp. The communication between everyone must be sharp. If those baseline things can at least improve, Pittsburgh’s offense, which is one of the worst units in football, can improve to one that has an average all-around showing week in and week out. The good for the Steelers is that you can improve these things in a week, and certainly, the communication can be cleaned up.

Pittsburgh already cleaned up details in the run game earlier this season. A sudden surge in detail-oriented football will not make the group have an elite passing game, but it could raise it to be passable, which is all they need with the run game humming along like it is now.

FULL COVERAGE of the Steelers Firing of Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada

🏈 Eddie Faulkner and Mike Sullivan, the two internal candidates to replace Matt Canada, are currently the betting favorites. That makes sense, because five of the last six Steelers offensive coordinator hires have come from within the organization.

🏈 The Steelers will not be making “wholesale changes” to their offense, so what reasons are there for optimism that the unit will perform better after the firing of Matt Canada?

🏈 Pittsburgh players were surprised by the firing of Matt Canada, but hopeful that it can bring about big changes in the outcomes for the offense.

🏈 Sights & Sounds: First look at new offensive coordinator Eddie Faulkner running practice on Wednesday.

🏈 News & Links: National reaction to the firing of Matt Canada. Is the pressure on Kenny Pickett now?

🏈 Mike Tomlin said the decision to fire offensive coordinator Matt Canada was “mine and mine alone.”

🏈 Steelers Afternoon Drive: The Steelers fired Matt Canada. Now what?

🏈 The change at offensive coordinator might not tell us much that we already don’t know about quarterback Kenny Pickett. That is, unless it works, and his play improves this season.

🏈 Why did things go wrong between the Steelers and offensive coordinator, and what mistakes made along the way could have been avoided?

 🏈 Mike Tomlin explained why now was the time to fire Matt Canada: “This is a result-oriented business. And to be short, the improvements were not rapid enough or consistent enough for us to proceed.”

 🏈 Mike Tomlin said the Steelers did not consider bringing in someone from outside the organization to replace Matt Canada as offensive coordinator.

 🏈 Running backs coach Eddie Faulkner will be the offensive coordinator and Mike Sullivan will call plays after the Steelers’ firing of offensiver coordinator Matt Canada.

 🏈 After two and a half seasons, no 400-yard games, and no growth from Kenny Pickett, the Pittsburgh Steelers have finally fired offensive coordiantor Matt Canada.