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Tony Dungy Reveals Real Reason Mike Tomlin Fired Matt Canada



Steelers HC Mike Tomlin

When Mike Tomlin fired Matt Canada, he said that the adjustments and improvements were simply not coming fast enough. Following his firing, the offense was up and down until Mason Rudolph came into the fold, and the team has now started to show a pulse on offense. But it was that lack of fluidity that Tomlin says was the simple reason to move on.

“We just have to have increased fluidity down in and down out, things happening on time. And that’s the best way to probably describe it,” Tomlin said. “The more fluidity in what you work with as a collective – and it should increase as the season goes on – it smooths out negativity, whether it’s penalties due to poor technique, or lack of awareness, or negative plays because of identification, and things of that nature, and it should increase the probability of explosion plays just simply because of cohesion and understanding and playing faster because of exposure.”

Steelers Pickett Tomlin Canada

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett, head coach Mike Tomlin and offensive coordinator Matt Canada at training camp on Aug. 1, 2023. – Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

But Tony Dungy, Tomlin’s mentor, said there was another reason. From around all ends, there were calls to fire Canada. The ‘fire Canada’ movement reached a fervor and it leaked not only into the locker room, but apparently Canada’s head. Dungy says that’s a big part of why Canada got fired.

“He said, ‘You know what, I needed to do it because everybody was feeling the crush of it, and Matt Canada couldn’t even be himself,” ‘Dungy said. “‘And so, for all of us, I had to make that move, and everybody responded.” ‘

The Steelers had little to come back with for answers to their problems. That is where Canada’s firing had to happen. Players were caught off guard by the defense’s game plan multiple times, and Canada never made the necessary adjustments to assuage those concerns. The team has not magically become an elite offense, but they do appear to be somewhat functional at this point, which is more than can be said before Canada’s firing/