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‘We Don’t Begrudge Them For That:’ Mike Tomlin Appreciates Fans’ Passion In ‘Fire Canada’ Chant

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The Pittsburgh Steelers offense had another poor performance in their win on Monday Night Football over the Cleveland Browns, and it prompted the Acrisure Stadium crowd to start a loud “Fire Canada” chant directed at offensive coordinator Matt Canada.

While QB Kenny Pickett said he didn’t hear the chant and was focused on the game, offensive coordinator Mike Tomlin said he appreciated the passion of the fans when it came to calling out the team’s OC.

“I appreciate their passion. I share their passion, we all do. I love our fans, they inspire us, they challenge us, it’s an awesome relationship. We don’t run from challenges, we run to challenges. This is the sport entertainment business. It is our job to win and thus entertain them. So we don’t begrudge them for that. We want them to be fat and sassy and spoiled. It is our job,” Tomlin said via Steelers.com.

While Tomlin shares the same passion as the fans, he noted he doesn’t share the same concerns about Canada.

“I don’t share their concern because of my perspective. I’m a part of the process, when you’re apart of the process, it’s less troublesome to you.”

We’re on Year Three of Canada as this team’s offensive coordinator, and things have gotten worse before they’ve gotten better. The Steelers have as many defensive touchdowns as offensive touchdowns this season, and there have been some truly head-scratching play calls from Canada early in the season. From second-and-long runs, to a third-and-one read option with the game hanging in the balance with 3:01 left in the fourth quarter last night.

In Week One, Canada had a play call sending every receiver to a similar spot in the end zone on a fourth-and-four, and in general he’s just been bad with his play-calling. The fans are fed up with the lack of progress of the offense, and they should be. We saw what this offense could look like in the preseason, but so far almost none of that has translated to the regular season.

This is a do-or-die season for Canada, so if he doesn’t improve his play-calling and the offense doesn’t pick things up quickly, he won’t be in Pittsburgh next season. If it wasn’t for the way the Steelers do business, rarely firing coaches and instead choosing to let their contracts run out, Canada might have been gone before this season. But keeping that continuity with him and Pickett was obviously important, but Pickett’s regressed in his first two games this year.

There isn’t really a positive spin to put on the offense’s performance except that it’s hard to be much worse. Canada hasn’t been good, and the execution hasn’t been good, either. Fans are sick and tired of the offense holding the Steelers back, and they let their displeasure be known in a very loud way on Sunday night. At least Tomlin acknowledges that the offense hasn’t been up to snuff and gave credence to the fans for voicing that. This offense has to improve for the Steelers to get a chance, and hopefully, Canada can pull a rabbit out of his hat and help that happen.



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