Matt Canada Fired: Can Replacement Fix Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers Offense?

The Pittsburgh Steelers made a rare in-season coaching change Tuesday, firing offensive coordinator Matt Canada.

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin finally made the popular decision Tuesday, firing embattled offensive coordinator Matt Canada.

But the popular decision isn’t necessarily the right one. Tomlin rarely makes such in-season moves, so it speaks to how bad things have gone in the Three Rivers.

Will the personnel change on Tomlin’s staff bring about a change in second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett? Or is this just rearranging the chairs on the Titanic?

Pittsburgh Steelers Fire OC Matt Canada

Tomlin announced Canada’s termination early Tuesday via the following news release:

“Matt Canada has been relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator. I appreciate Matt’s hard work and dedication, and I wish him the best moving forward in his career.”

With those 29 words, Tomlin electrified a fan base that has been screaming — literally, at games — for a change at OC.

Canada had been with the Steelers organization since 2020, including the last three as Pittsburgh’s play-caller. During those three years, the Steelers have ranked 21st, 26th, and 28th in points (20.2, 18.1, and 16.6, respectively).

Through 11 weeks of the 2023 NFL season, the Steelers are 28th in yards per play (4.7), 27th in yards per pass (5.4), 25th in third-down efficiency (34.6%), and 25th in red-zone efficiency (47.4%).

MORE: Dan Orlovsky Has Harsh Criticism for Pittsburgh Steelers

Pickett, the team’s first-round draft pick in 2022, has not developed under Canada’s tutelage. His completion percentage (61.9%), success rate (38.7%), and QBR (35.7) are all lower in Year 2 than they were in Year 1.

Granted, there’s a chicken-or-egg dynamic at play here. Is Pickett struggling because Canada was a bad OC? Or did Canada get fired because Pickett isn’t skilled enough to execute his assignment?

Let’s see how the final seven weeks of the season go. Pickett isn’t exactly getting a fresh start with this move. His quarterbacks coach, Mike Sullivan, is not just keeping his job but getting a promotion.

Per NFL Media, Sullivan and running backs coach Eddie Faulkner will call plays collaboratively. Sullivan was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offensive coordinator for two years before getting fired after producing the third-fewest points in football in 2013.

Faulkner, meanwhile, has never called plays in the NFL, and his only OC experience is at Ball State from 2009-2010.

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