There is no sugar coating just how bad the Pittsburgh Steelers offense has been throughout the team’s first three games of the season. In the high-scoring era of football we all are currently in, the Steelers are averaging just 16.7 points per game. This would rank them 28th in the NFL.
The scoring isn’t the only issue facing Matt Canada’s offense. The quarterback seems to be in a constant state of flux, the running game is non-existent and the passing game is erratic at best.
So, what is the magic elixir to get the Steelers’ offense back on track? After all, there is a tremendous amount of talent on the offensive side of the football. According to offensive coordinator Matt Canada, a return to fundamental football could be what the offense needs,
“I think we’re gonna stick with what we’re doing, and obviously that’s not the sexy answer, but we believe we’re on the right track.” Canada told the media. “We’ve got to get some cohesion up front. We’re working to get that. It’s not an excuse. We’ve got to produce right now. We’re not running away from it or hiding from it, but we have to continue to do what we’re doing. We’ve got to continue to put our guys in position to make plays, which, until we win, we’re not doing well enough. So that falls on me, but we’re not gonna try to reinvent the wheel. It’s fundamental football. Everybody’s doing the same stuff. It’s fundamental football. We have to be better and I’ve got to be better.”
Throughout the team’s struggles, many are wondering what the offense can do to help spark some production. What changes could be made to help facilitate this production? Canada was asked about this, and he doesn’t believe there needs to be any change made.
“We just believe we’ve got the players to do it. If we go out and execute our plan and everybody does everything they’re supposed to do—starting with me because I take all the blame for us not doing well; we’re never gonna blame any player—but once we do that and we see that executed, I suppose at that point, if none of it worked, then we might have something to talk about.” Canada said. “But right now, we don’t feel like we’ve put our best foot forward. We know we haven’t. This isn’t where we want to be. You don’t want to lose a game, you don’t want to not execute, you don’t want to not score, all those things that I respect everyone having an opinion about. But we’ve got to put our best foot forward, we have to execute, we’ve got to get cohesion, we’ve got to play as a unit, we have to not have the penalties and those mistakes. When we see all that happen, we firmly believe we’ll be doing what we want to do.”
Of course, the fact the Steelers offense has been historically bad at starting games, Canada tried his best to explain the team’s slow starts to games.
“I think it’s all of us. Every week we try to put together a plan of openers, which I’m sure has always been done. You work very hard to make those be what he likes, what we all like, what we think is going to work. We just have to execute better, and to your point, we’ve got to do a better job—I’ve got to do a better job with those plays so they work.”
Will a return to the fundamentals be just what the doctor ordered for the ailing Steelers’ offense? To expect a night and day difference based on focusing on fundamentals might be a bit whimsical, but if it helps the team moving in the right direction, it shouldn’t be ignored.
Anyone who has coached any team sport at a level of High School or above knows there are times when you have to put the exotic plays/plans aside and return to the basics. After all, you need a foundation to build your house upon. Whether this works depends on the team/players, and it will be interesting to see if it pays dividends for the Steelers as they prepare for the Green Bay Packers this Sunday in Week 4.