Mike Tomlin gives a weak explanation of why Matt Canada stuck around

Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin seems less than thrilled that Matt Canada is back.

Mike Tomlin probably wants a different offensive coordinator over Matt Canada, but he doesn’t own the Pittsburgh Steelers, so that’s just the way it is.

I’m not saying he has to smile his way through a hostage situation, but he couldn’t have been more blunt about this. It feels like a move forced on him by ownership, which is never good. The Rooney Family has been a pillar of the NFL for generations, but it has been over a decade since the Steelers won the AFC to get to the Super Bowl. At least they still have Kenny Pickett’s two gloves.

When asked by Chris Halicke of DK Pittsburgh Sports on why Canada stuck around as offensive coordinator, Tomlin skated around the topic by giving a simple five-word answer: “I have nothing to add.”

This is a critical year for Canada as the offensive coordinator, as Pickett must pop by Thanksgiving.

Pittsburgh Steelers HC Mike Tomlin not over the moon about OC Matt Canada

Look. I want to see Pickett succeed in Pittsburgh because he seems like a good guy and it would be a great story. However, it is strange to see the Steelers not all pulling in the same direction as a long-unified operation. They may have built a strong culture on how they handle adversity, but I think a lot of it has been self-inflicted over the years. It needs to stop. Other teams don’t do this.

The worst part in all this is the Steelers had many opportunities to upgrade over Canada this offseason and chose not to. Kellen Moore was briefly available. Todd Monken could have been had for the right price. Not saying starting from scratch would have been the best thing for Pickett’s development, but we no longer need to roll out the red carpet for the guy who once recruited him.

Overall, the Steelers play in arguably the toughest division in football. Cincinnati is here to stay with Joe Burrow. Baltimore is well-run, even if the Lamar Jackson shenanigans are getting old. And as for Cleveland, they will have had a full offseason with Deshaun Watson this time around, so the Browns should be markedly better. As for the Steelers, have they hit their ceiling in this life cycle?

Ultimately, this is probably the most important year for Steelers football since at least last season, and probably a good bit before that. Pickett needs to succeed. If he does, then maybe the Steelers can build a champion around him. If not, then Pittsburgh could have its first losing season of the Tomlin era. Wins will have to be earned, and not given, in possibly the toughest division in football.

For Tomlin to essentially say “no comment” at this stage of the offseason, that is not reassuring.

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