Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin finally cut the chord on Matt Canada this week. A dreadful offensive display against the Cleveland Browns was enough for Tomlin, as the Steelers have been out-gained in every game so far this season.
Canada's offense has been dreadful since he was hired in 2021, with some brief glimmers of hope late in the 2022 campaign and this preseason. Still, Kenny Pickett hasn't made the necessary strides under Canada, and no matter whose fault that is, it reflects poorly on the offensive coordinator.
"You hate to see it. You don't want to see one of your coaches lose their job. We all got to be better," Pickett said. "Called coach, wished him well. We had a great conversation, but you got to bounce back quick and get ready to go."
Pickett said the offense wouldn't change much, which means it likely won't improve much. Until the Steelers out a new system in place, they'll be running through sludge. For now, Mike Sullivan will call the plays. while Eddie Faulkner is the new OC.
Who should be the Steelers long-term replacement for Matt Canada?
I don't have an easy answer here. Whoever the Steelers choose to replace Canada will be taking over a project and a half. Frankly, it's not an attractive job, despite the young skill position talent. Unless the Steelers opt to replace Pickett through the draft or free agency (and the new OC has some input/connection to that player), why would anyone want to work with a third-year QB on his way out the door?
Steelers fans have, of course, floated Ben Roethlisberger as a potential OC. The current retired Pittsburgh athlete and 'Footbahlin' podcast co-host is living his best life as an angry Yinzer, watching the Steelers every week and yelling at the television like the rest of us.
Roethlisberger does have a football mind perhaps made for coaching, but his first opportunity shouldn't come at a high-level position like offensive coordinator. Big Ben was also vocal, and unafraid to take shots at his own teammates. That's not going to translate well into coaching, especially not with a young offense and quarterback.
Big Ben may choose to coach someday, but for now he seems quite happy far away from the game he played for nearly two decades.