Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers won their first game of the season at home Monday night against the Cleveland Browns.
It was their defense that did the tough work, scoring two touchdowns in a 26-22 win. Led by embattled coordinator Matt Canada, the offense still struggled to do anything of substance with a total of nine first downs. In fact, Pittsburgh had negative-seven yards in the fourth quarter alone.
As this was transpiring inside Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, fans were heard chanting “fire Canada” in reference to the Steelers’ play-caller, not the country up north. It could be heard from throughout the stadium.
One day after the game, Tomlin had a rather interesting take on the chants. He did not call out Steelers fans. Rather, the Super Bowl-winning head coach opted to throw his support in their direction for the passion they showed.
“I appreciate their passion. I share their passion. We all do. Man, we love our fans, man. They inspire us. They challenge us. It’s an awesome relationship. Man, 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. And so we don’t begrudge them for that. We want them to be fat and sassy and spoiled. It is our job.”Mike Tomlin to reporters on the fire Matt Canada chants
Outside of a 71-yard touchdown strike to George Pickens, sophomore quarterback Kenny Pickett threw for 151 yards on 29 attempts. Running back Najee Harris had just 43 yards on the ground. It was the continuation of struggles we’ve seen under Canada in Pittsburgh. And it seems that Tomlin is more than fine with the fans pointing it out.
Is Matt Canada on the hot seat with the Pittsburgh Steelers?
It’s a real question that must be asked. Prior to an ugly offensive showing against Cleveland, the Steelers put up seven points in a blowout home loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1. Pittsburgh’s offensive rankings under Canada are dismal through two weeks.
- Points per game: 16.5 (27th)
- Total yards: 247.0 (31st)
- Passing yards: 199.0 (18th)
- Rushing yards: 48.0 (31st)
It must be noted that a total of 14 of the Steelers’ 33 points through two games came from their defense. Outside of that, Pittsburgh’s offense is scoring a disastrous 9.5 points per outing. That’s not going to get it done.
For his part, Tomlin has in the past thrown his support behind Matt Canada. That did not change after Monday night’s performance on offense. It also came with a bit of a caveat.
“We’re all in this thing together, man,” Tomlin said. “We’re not assigning blame to anyone. Obviously, it starts with coaching; we’ve got to coach better. We’ve got to get these guys playing faster, and surer. We’ve got to start faster.”
Canada has headed the Steelers’ offense since back in 2021. It finished 21st in scoring in his first season before dropping to 26th in 2022. The team finished in the bottom 10 in total yards in both of his first two seasons, too.