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The new ‘Most Hated Man in Pittsburgh’ is Matt Canada

Step aside Mason Rudolph, there is a new most hated man in Pittsburgh now...

Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Gone are the days where the negative focus on offense was Mason Rudolph playing ahead of Kenny Pickett. Now that the Mitch Trubisky experiment has come to a halt, and Pickett has produced twice as many interceptions and touchdowns, the blame and focus falls on one man. That man would be Pittsburgh Steelers Offensive Coordinator, Mathew Robert Canada.

Canada has taken the blame from fans, beat writers, content creators and mainstream media. In fact, it appears only Mike Tomlin and the Steelers staff remain confident in Canada as the Offensive Coordinator and play caller.

Is the blame directed in the correct direction?

Yes, points scored rank in the bottom of the league under Canada. And yes, concepts and routes seem to be repetitive and limited. But, without context as to why the offense is limited, one can speculate the Offensive Coordinator is at fault; however, once context is added it's hard to believe any coordinator would not struggle with the same growing pains.

Canada has had three starting quarterbacks run his offense while calling plays in the NFL, and all three, Ben Roethlisberger, Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett, were in their first year in the “Matt Canada Offense”, meaning they had to learn the offense so there is a learning curve. Even the most successful and experienced quarterback, Roethlisberger, was in his final year and had physical limitations which shrunk the offensive playbook.

Perhaps starting Mason Rudolph this year would have been the best option, given he is the most tenured quarterback in the Canada offense. When implementing a new offense, the basics must be mastered before moving on to more complex plays and concepts. Similar to learning math, you can't move onto multiplication before you know how to do addition. So, when you have two players moving in motion pre-snap, receivers running into each other down the field, your No. 1 receiver has the occasional drops in weighty downs, your 6’4” 235lbs receiver can't stay on his feet and your right tackle is constantly down the field on RPOs and screens, what is a coordinator to do?

I don't think adding more to the playbook or becoming more complex is the solution to an offense that is struggling to grasp the current playbook and struggles to stay disciplined. Proper steps must be taken, and the offense can't move on until they get the basics down.

This Steelers Offense is very young and inexperienced led by a rookie quarterback still trying to learn the offense. Patience is going to be key to the future success of the Steelers. What do you think will happen to Pickett’s development, if the Steelers disrupt his first year to add an intermediate Offensive Coordinator who may not be the coordinator come the start of the 2023 season?

If Mike Tomlin were to do something different and hire a coordinator from the outside, that would mean Kenny Pickett would have three different offensive coordinators in less than one calendar year. That is something the Cleveland Browns do, not the Pittsburgh Steelers. This is a young team that is growing together and as a spoiled fan base, we need to realize the Steelers are in a transition period. Fortunately, rebuilding in today's NFL isn't always a long process and with the season as long as it is, the AFC north not performing to its usual standard, the Steelers can still get it together and turn the season around.

Let me know in the comment section if there is a coordinator available out there that can turn the ship around without any growing pains. Or do you think the offense can become more efficient and really open up the Matt Canada playbook? Make sure to stay tuned to BTSC for your most up to date Steelers news and perspective from the shop that doesn't stop!