OC Matt Canada has been under fire for the Steelers’ putrid offense thus far in 2022. The unit is among the worst in football, ranking near the bottom in nearly every statical category, including slash plays. When asked about the lack of splash plays on offense in the team’s loss this last week in Miami, Canada was very blunt about the current state of his offense.
“Just this week?” Canada said to the media Thursday on video from Chris Adamski’s Twitter page. “We’ve been talking about it every week. Obviously, we’ve got to make ’em when we get the chance to make ’em. And I appreciate the question and the point and all the things that are said about it, but if you look at that game, the third play of the game, we had an opportunity for one, they pressed us right. Had a match up we wanted, didn’t connect. Had one on the fifth play of the game with Chase [Claypool], had him pressed up but didn’t get it.”
Canada seems to be getting as tired as the rest of Steelers fans are when talking about the lack of explosive plays on offense so far this season. We have gotten on Canada’s case for saying ‘we got to be better and make more plays’ every week during his press conference sessions, beating a dead horse to say regarding the evident lack of big plays by the Steelers on offense. Still, Canada does have a point when referencing the potential big plays Pittsburgh left on the field on Sunday night Pickett failing to connect with Diontae Johnson up the left sideline then throwing the interception two plays later on a pass intended for Chase Claypool who got tripped up by Justin Bethel.
Canada understands that he is sitting on the hot seat not only regarding his prospects of returning to Pittsburgh next season on a new contract, but also regarding the fact that Pittsburgh may have seen enough from his stagnant offense and decide to part ways with him after the game this weekend against the Philadelphia Eagles during the team’s bye week. Still, while Canada recognizes that the production by Pittsburgh’s historically bad offense hasn’t been good enough, he thinks that there is still hope if Pittsburgh connects on more of their opportunities down the field.
“I could go back through every game with you and say, ‘this play and this play’ and that’s 100 yards in ten more points and it’s a different feeling,” Canada stated on video from Jeff Hathhorn’s Twitter page. “I think we’re really, really close. I think you can look at last week and see, like I said, the third play of the game. We got Diontae matched up on the guy we wanted to. It’s press coverage. We had a communication issue. You can’t have those at that time.”
You can see where Canada is trying to defend himself by going back to the missed attempts to Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool at the beginning of the game as a means to say that the offense is calling plays that could lead to some splash in the passing. Still, the NFL is a results-driven business. Trying is one thing. Succeeding is another. For an offense that ranks 31st in total points scored, 30th in total yards, and 26th in the league in adjusted net yards per passing attempt according to Pro Football Reference, trying isn’t amounting to jack squat.
In order to get unique results, you need to be implementing unique measures to get the results you desire. The Pittsburgh Steelers desperately needs to get more splash plays for an offense that even HC mike Tomlin has said cannot move the ball consistently down the field to score. However, they are relying on Canada who’s offensive scheme has been picked apart by many, including our own Alex Kozora for being boring and simple to get those unique results.
All the blame shouldn’t fall on Matt Canada’s shoulders as Kenny Pickett was at fault several times last week in Miami, along with receivers like Claypool and Johnson for not executing. However, a couple of deep shots a game with everything else centered within five yards of the LOS isn’t going to get the job done. Here’s hoping that Pickett and Steelers’ passing game can connect on a couple more deep balls this week against the Eagles. Still, I would hold my horses from expecting Canada to dial up more splash in the offense anytime soon.