Just a few weeks after being moved from the booth to the sideline, Matt Canada has been moved completely out of the stadium.
At one level, it’s amazing to think that a 6-4 team would make a change like this two days before Thanksgiving. It’s working. They’re winning. They’re relevant. They’re competitive.
But the offense stinks. They’ve been outgained every week. For most of the year, they’ve had no identity. No rhythm. No flow. No broader strategy to rope-a-dope a defense into thinking one thing is coming before doing something unexpected.
On Sunday, it was basically the Jaylen Warren show.
It also was a shitshow, with 10 total points, receiver Diontae Johnson reportedly being carried away from a member of the coaching staff, head coach Mike Tomlin having to get involved in the kerfuffle, and running back Najee Harris making post-game comments making it clear that he was at the end of his rope.
So what’s next? We’re still pressing for more details as to how the offense will operate moving forward (we’re currently hearing things that conflict a little bit with published reports elsewhere). Someone else will be running the show (running backs coach Eddie Faulkner, apparently). Someone else will be calling the plays (quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan, reportedly). Someone else will have the mandate to change the tire on a moving car.
It’s not impossible. In December 2012, the 9-3 Ravens fired offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, elevated Jim Caldwell into the job, and won the Super Bowl.
That said, Caldwell was an established coach. Someone who had taken the Colts to the Super Bowl, just three years earlier.
Also, Kenny Pickett in his second season is not Joe Flacco in his prime.
Really, the heart of the problem could be that Pickett just isn’t it. He’s serviceable. He’s competent. But he does nothing that makes anyone say, “Wow.” No big throws into tight spots. Limited mobility.
It’s entirely possible that the Steelers got it wrong by making the Pitt product a first-round pick in 2022. And it will be interesting to see, in the short term, whether the new offensive brain trust becomes tempted to pivot to Mitch Trubisky (or whether they’d even be allowed to do it) and, in the long term, whether the Steelers will be in the market for, say, Justin Fields or Kyler Murray or Kirk Cousins or someone else for 2024.