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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Wilton Jackson

Steelers President Explains Decision to Keep OC Matt Canada

Steelers president Art Rooney II made it clear that offensive coordinator Matt Canada would remain in Pittsburgh for the 2023 season, despite the team’s offensive woes this season.

Rooney said the decision to retain Canada stems from his impact in the growth of rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett.

“They [Pickett and Canada] seemed to work well together,” Rooney said, per Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “With a new offensive coordinator, you’d start all over again. We felt there was enough there to build on.”

Pickett completed 63% of his passes in 13 games as a rookie, throwing for 2,404 yards with seven touchdown passes and nine interceptions. He also rushed for 237 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Pickett’s improvement was noticeable over the course of the season, as he threw just one interception in his last eight games.

Still, some fans wanted a change at the helm of the Steelers offense after the team ranked 26th in points and 23rd in yards gained among the NFL’s 32 teams in 2022. Canada guided an offensive unit that scored only 29 touchdowns in 17 games, tied for the second-worst mark in the NFL with the Jets, Broncos and Texans. Only Indianapolis scored fewer touchdowns (28) than the Steelers this season. 

Canada came to Pittsburgh as the quarterbacks coach in ’20 before he was promoted to offensive coordinator in ’21. The Steelers finished the season 9–8 and narrowly missed the playoffs. 

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