A lot of fans were shocked that the Pittsburgh Steelers decided to stick with Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada in 2023. Canada has been the target of fans’ frustrations since he assumed the position two seasons ago. But if he actually is the weak link that’s keeping the Steelers from returning to glory, he’s handing the pressure well. Maybe it’s time to take a moment to actually give him some props.
On Friday, Canada was caught signing a toilet seat in Latrobe, creating the first viral moment of the 2023 season. Thousands of fans think he’s Steelers enemy #1, and Canada is in on the joke. Even if that fan was getting everyone to sign the seat, the irony can’t be lost on Matt. The fact that he’s never really gotten defensive or taken offense to all the criticism actually makes me like him more. The seat-signing picture puts him over-the-top for me. I’m ready for a contract extension.
Some of the Steelers themselves have started joking about the amount of criticism Canada receives from the fans. Cam’s and Kenny’s sarcasm on “Not Just Football” earlier this month shows that the players aren’t buying into the narratives we’re seeing on social media and hearing on sports radio. Remember last season when some thought Chris Boswell was calling Canada out after the win against the Bucs? Or what about last week, when some thought DJ was shading Canada in a tweet. It’s time to put those lines of thinking to bed. The players are behind him.
There are actually some reasons to feel optimistic about Canada coming into the 2023 season. As “Late-Round Fantasy Football’s” JJ Zachariason pointed out earlier this month, the Steelers ranked 7th in scoring rate per drive after Week 9. Even more impressive, they were 3rd in the league in yards per drive in that same period. The offensive was finally starting to connect after nearly a season and a half of chaos.
In 2021, the priority was keeping Ben upright, with an offensive line that could’ve very well gotten him destroyed. And they still made the playoffs. In 2022, the entire game plan was revised when a rookie took control at QB, and they still came darn close to the post-season. Instead of criticizing the offensive as “Saturdayish,” I’m going to praise Canada for overcoming challenges as a young coordinator that would have been tough for anyone to deal with.
That’s right: the Matt Canada bandwagon is now open, and I’m in the
driver's toilet seat.
Kyle Chrise is the host of the podcast “What Yinz Talkin’ Bout”