Updated: Jan 28, 2022
(Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)
Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday during his season-ending press conference that he's "optimistic" about Matt Canada leading the offense, along with saying that Canada "brings attractive things to the table."
Tomlin also said, "When you've got red paint, you paint the barn red" when asked if Canada had to hold back some of the offense as the season went on because of personnel.
While he didn't say it, I'd assume Tomlin meant Ben Roethlisberger not being mobile at all, and the offensive line being less than stellar affected the offense from succeeding.
With Tomlin's remarks, all signs point to Canada coming back in 2022. However, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk said on 93.7 The Fan on Friday that Art Rooney II could get involved and tell Tomlin to fire Canada. Florio referenced the Bruce Arians "retirement" from after the 2011 season when Rooney fired Arians, despite Tomlin wanting to retain him as the offensive coordinator. Gerry Dulac mentioned the same scenario in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Friday.
The Steelers offense regressed this season, as they averaged just 20.2 points per game in 2021, which ranked 21st in the league. The offense under Randy Fichtner in 2020, averaged 26.6 per game, which ranked 12th.
The Steelers also struggled mightily in the beginning of games, as they failed to score a first-half touchdown in six of their last seven games of the season, including the 42-21 loss to the Chiefs in the wild-card round game.
Former Steeles quarterback Charlie Batch doesn't see things drastically improving under Canada, and isn't happy about the possible return of Canada.
“This is just kind of where I’m at, I don’t like this offense, I don’t like cutting half of the field off, but hey this is what is it and we’ve seen exactly what this offense is capable of doing,” Batch said on 93.7 The Fan on Friday. "I just don’t see us not advancing and now saying miraculously this offense is going to go from the bottom of the league to the top of the league, I just don’t see it happening.”
Batch also noted that Rooney doesn’t typically fire coaches with time remaining on their contract.
“He’s not going to pay him to sit at home, so if he has years on it, Matt’s going to be back,” Batch said.