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Thread: Joe Starkey: Is Matt Canada coaching for his job Sunday? He should be

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    Joe Starkey: Is Matt Canada coaching for his job Sunday? He should be

    Joe Starkey: Is Matt Canada coaching for his job Sunday? He should be

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    OCT 26, 2022

    The implication seemed clear when ESPN’s Brooke Pryor asked Mike Tomlin at his Tuesday news conference if it’s time to make a change to his offense. It was phrased more like: Why wouldn’t it be time?

    Considering Tomlin has already switched quarterbacks, only one significant change remains plausible. Which is why you couldn't help but read the question as such: Why wouldn’t it be time to move on from coordinator Matt Canada?

    “Because I don’t feel like I’m there,” Tomlin said.

    Will he be there Monday, if the Steelers offense stinks again? I wonder. I tend to think Tomlin could get there in a hurry, depending on how ugly it looks against the unbeaten Philadelphia Eagles. And he should get there. The bye week awaits. This unit is on pace to be the lowest-scoring Steelers offense in more than 50 years. It would be the perfect time for Tomlin to move on from what appears to be his biggest mistake.

    Tomlin’s offense has become a league-wide joke. Merril Hoge, during a recent appearance on Ben Roethlisberger’s podcast, basically labeled Canada’s scheme amateurish.

    “Pitt’s offense (under former coordinator Mark Whipple) had more pro concepts,” Hoge said. “If you took away their gadgets and misdirection, half their offense is gone. Those are usually wrinkles. They’re not the foundation of an offense.”

    ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky earlier this week tweeted, “There’s no way you can convince me the Steelers run more than 10 plays a game.”

    Players have not been shy about taking veiled and not-so-veiled shots at the scheme. In fact, I cannot remember a coach being questioned to the extent Canada has — and if this is what players are saying publicly, imagine what they say privately. I’m not sure it’s a mutiny on the level of players against then-Steelers offensive coordinator Joe Walton late in the Chuck Noll tenure, but it doesn’t seem healthy.

    Chase Claypool was the latest, saying after Sunday’s loss in Miami, “We need more go balls. Like, damn, I haven’t had a go ball all year. George (Pickens) needs more. (Diontae Johnson) needs more. I’m not saying that’s on the play calling. I’m just saying we need to find a way to scheme it up.”

    It’s not on the play calling, but it needs to be schemed up? Gotcha.

    For goodness sake, even ex-NFL official Gene Steratore is ripping Canada. This was Steratore on the Steelers’ flagship station, talking about the illegal motion penalty that wiped out Kenny Pickett’s late quarterback sneak for a first down.

    “Look, we’re meat and potatoes people here, guys,” Steratore said. “I mean, this is the Pittsburgh Steelers, you know? Give me more beef. I don’t want any dessert. Why are we running motions and shifts? It’s a quarterback sneak. We got ’em on their heels. They’re tired. We have a chance to win. Blow ’em off the line of scrimmage.”

    Canada’s crew averages 15.3 points per game, a figure that would be a full point lower if not for Minkah Fitzpatrick’s defensive touchdown in Cincinnati, and a figure that would represent the Steelers’ lowest mark since 1970 if it held up the entire season.

    The Steelers have cracked the 30-point mark exactly once in Canada’s tenure, and that was only because Ben Roethlisberger scrapped the offense and winged his way to a 27-point fourth quarter in a loss to the Chargers. They have not scored more than 20 points in seven tries this season. They have exactly one first-quarter touchdown since Mason Rudolph connected with James Washington in the legendary tie with the Lions last season.

    Simply put, this offense is Tomlin’s greatest embarrassment. The most ridiculous case against firing Canada midseason, or maybe the reason people don’t think it will happen, is because “the Steelers just don’t do things like that.”

    Who cares what the Steelers do, or have traditionally done? They have three playoff wins in the past 11 years. To their credit, the Steelers don’t even care what the Steelers have traditionally done. They have changed course by trading a first-round pick, bingeing in free agency and including more guaranteed money in contracts. They can certainly fire an assistant coach at midseason.

    Bill Cowher essentially got rid of offensive coordinator Ray Sherman toward the end of the 1998 season by stripping him of play-calling duties in the season finale and calling plays himself against Jacksonville. Sherman was forced to resign after just one season.

    Quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan could easily step into the role for the rest of the season. He has called plays for the Buccaneers and Giants. His 2012 Bucs offense, with Josh Freeman at quarterback, looked like the Greatest Show on Turf compared to this outfit, averaging 24.3 points per game.

    Another example: Lions coach Dan Campbell took the play-calling duties from his coordinator in the Steelers game last season, and Detroit ran wild. The Baltimore Ravens fired their offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron, late in the 2012 season, elevated quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell to the position, and won the Super Bowl.

    The larger question here might be whether Tomlin, a defensive coach by trade, is to be trusted with hiring an adequate replacement after following up Randy Fichtner with Canada. If every team in the NFL suddenly needed an offensive coordinator, neither Canada nor Fichtner would get a single interview.

    Art Rooney II has already shown he does not fully trust Tomlin with offensive coordinators. Rooney made Tomlin fire Bruce Arians and, depending on whom you believe, at least strongly suggested Tomlin hire Todd Haley — the Steelers’ last good play caller.

    It’s still impossible to know what Tomlin saw in Canada, who had no NFL resume, save for a year as a quarterbacks coach for a quarterback (Roethlisberger) who didn’t want a coach.

    This is a disaster.

    https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/...s/202210260073

  2. #2
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    I only read the first half of the article.

    But it sounds like a fair characterization of Canada and his offense to me.

    I also read the last sentence, which also seems on the mark.

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    Steelers offense hasn't scored this few PPG since 1970. Something's got to change.

  4. #4
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    They won't fire Canada because:


    1. Rooney doesn't want to pay a guy that isn't working for him
    2. they have a rookie QB that is still learning the NFL ropes and a change now will just add to his struggles in learning a new offense (the counter argument I suppose is that KP is learning some bad stuff from Canada and it's best forgotten anyway)
    3. there's no qualified replacement candidate available (if you're thinking Sullivan forget it. His offenses were ranked as low as Canada's)


    They will just ride with Canada until season's end when hopefully they can do a proper search for a qualified NFL offensive coordinator. Not happy about it but the Steelers history says they honor contracts.

    EDIT: this part is a concern;
    "The larger question here might be whether Tomlin, a defensive coach by trade, is to be trusted with hiring an adequate replacement after following up Randy Fichtner with Canada."
    and makes me wonder if Tomlin should just recuse himself from the process and let Khan, Weidl do the search...??
    Last edited by NorthCoast; 10-27-2022 at 07:36 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthCoast View Post
    EDIT: this part is a concern; and makes me wonder if Tomlin should just recuse himself from the process and let Khan, Weidl do the search...??
    Of course he should, but he won't. Also why he won't fire MC and promote MS, because when the same O gets rolled out week after week even his sycophantic media will start to see the light that this is HIS offense.

    He's waiting for Kenny to develop into the kind of QB Ben was much of his career, one who can power through bad game plans and save his bacon in the 4th Q. If that doesn't happen, his coaching legacy will take a huge hit in the coming years.

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    That was quite the scathing article. Wow.

    Something has to give if the offense doesn't improve. For now, it can be "blamed" on a rookie QB. So, I think that gets Canada through this season. But Tomlin is going to be fielding these questions weekly. It's got to be weighing on him heavily.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel View Post
    If every team in the NFL suddenly needed an offensive coordinator, neither Canada nor Fichtner would get a single interview.
    That comment made me LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by crushedspirit View Post
    That comment made me LOL
    I don't know whether to laugh or cry about that comment.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eich View Post
    That was quite the scathing article. Wow.

    Something has to give if the offense doesn't improve. For now, it can be "blamed" on a rookie QB. So, I think that gets Canada through this season. But Tomlin is going to be fielding these questions weekly. It's got to be weighing on him heavily.
    Then maybe Tomlin should’ve given Kenny a more reps with the 1’s in camp if he knew Mitch was going to be on a short leash.

    What was the point of giving Mason all those reps and preseason snaps?
    Tomlin’s coming back so what can you do?


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    Quote Originally Posted by feltdizz View Post
    Then maybe Tomlin should’ve given Kenny a more reps with the 1’s in camp if he knew Mitch was going to be on a short leash.

    What was the point of giving Mason all those reps and preseason snaps?
    Tomlin kind've set himself up for failure IMO.

    He went out and got Mitch to be his veteran with mobility, essentially relegating Mason to be the backup. But then Kenny fell in their laps.

    Before even getting into camp, I think Tomlin convinced himself that he was going with the veteran. So, the focus was on getting Mitch ready.

    I'm not sure the point of getting Mason reps other than maybe to showcase him to other teams? Maybe we'll end up trading him?

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