The Pittsburgh Steelers fired offensive coordinator Matt Canada, the team announced Tuesday morning.
"Matt Canada has been relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator," head coach Mike Tomlin said in a statement. "I appreciate Matt's hard work and dedication, and I wish him the best moving forward in his career."
This is the first time the Steelers have made an in-season coaching change in over 80 years. According to ESPN's Paul Hembekides and Adam Schefter, the last time the Steelers fired a coach or coordinator in the middle of the season was 1941. Due to pressure from his co-owner Art Rooney, part owner and coach Bert Bell resigned (essentially firing himself) after losing the first two games of the season.
The Steelers are 6-4, which for many teams would be a reason to hold on to their offensive coordinator. But it may be the ugliest 6-4 record you'll ever see, and fans (and even players) zeroed in on Canada as the cause. Here's a fun fact from Schefter at the conclusion of Pittsburgh's eighth game of the season, a 20-16 win over the Tennessee Titans.
Steelers are the first team since 1933, when the NFL began tracking rushing and receiving statistics, to be outgained in each of their first eight games and still have a winning record.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 12, 2023
The same was true after their 23-19 win over the Green Bay Packers in Week 10.
Steelers were outgained for their ninth consecutive game, 399-324.
And yet, this team is 6-3.
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) November 12, 2023
Through 10 games, this Steelers team has been greater than the sum of its parts. Quarterback Kenny Pickett has not been good, and offensive weapons like George Pickens and Najee Harris both recently expressed frustration about their roles in Canada's schemes. Yet they have continued to pull out wins despite being consistently and historically outgained.
You can credit that to the Steelers' characteristic grit and determination, but at some point the good times will end. (The definition of "good times" here is pretty broad.) A team (or two, or five) will eventually make the Steelers pay dearly for their paltry offense. Tomlin and general manager Omar Khan want to have something better in place to stop that from happening, or to at least serve as a makeshift dam so it doesn't come crashing down on the Steelers all at once.
Tomlin did not announce who would be replacing Canada, either permanently or in the interim. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported that RB coach Eddie Faulkner will take over Canada's job as offensive coordinator, with QB coach Mike Sullivan handling play-calling duties