Through two weeks of the 2023 season the Pittsburgh Steelers offense has been a mess.
That’s not all that surprising to many reading this, as it’s been a continuation of the entire Matt Canada tenure as the offensive coordinator for the Steelers.
Pittsburgh has scored 30-plus points just twice in the Canada tenure and does not have a 400-yard game in his 37 games as offensive coordinator. They are the only team in the league to not have a 400-yard game during that span.
The struggles continued Monday night as the Steelers generated just 255 yards of total offense and scored just one touchdown in a 26-22 win over the Cleveland Browns that was largely aided by the defense scoring two touchdowns.
Pittsburgh recorded seven plays that generated 202 yards of offense on the night, but another 43 that generated just 55 yards. Second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett struggled at times, too, putting together a second straight sloppy performance.
That has former NFL quarterback and ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky, who appeared on the Pat McAfee Show Tuesday afternoon, placing a lot of the blame on Canada.
“I don’t think that Matt Canada has done…the necessary job to be a really good coordinator in the NFL. So go back to last night. …I think number one, and I don’t know exactly what he’s getting taught, but Kenny Pickett is not looking at the picture pre-snap and going, ‘I really like this’ the way I would expect a quarterback to,” Orlovsky said on the Pat McAfee Show, according to video via McAfee’s Twitter page.
It’s no secret that Canada has not done a good enough job with the Steelers offense. That’s obvious. But the regression Pickett has shown in the first two weeks of the season is rather alarming.
Things were simplified and limited as a rookie for Pickett. Not much was needed pre-snap and things were designed to be quick and safe to eliminate mistakes and potential turnovers. He did well in that role last season. This year, more has been put on his plate. While it’s’ hard to truly know exactly what Canada is teaching Pickett, the fact of the matter is Pickett is not seeing the field well pre-snap and is not attacking advantageous matchups.
Prior to Orlovsky’s comments on the Pat McAfee Show Tuesday, former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III appeared on ESPN’s Get Up and stated that it looks as if the Steelers are asking Pickett to do half-field reads pre- and post-snap and in the Steelers’ scheme that’s not giving Pickett the answers to the defense.
That’s rather concerning and again falls back on Canada.
While Orlovsky is concerned that Pickett isn’t seeing the field clearly pre-snap and identifying the matchups he likes, the problem with the offense is more about Canada than anything else.
“I think that Matt Canada is probably more of the issue, yes, in the body of work. the broad scheme of things,” Orlovsky said.
It doesn’t feel like it’s going to get better anytime soon with the Steelers offense, even with head coach Mike Tomlin acknowledging Tuesday in his press conference that the offense has not been good enough and that the first two games are a pattern when it comes to the struggles.
Changes are unlikely to be coming anytime soon, so Canada needs to get better and make things simpler. Pickett needs to start taking the step forward that that many expected. Both better happen in a hurry, too.