‘You have to take it personal’

Kenny Pickett was simply as stunned as everybody else when he discovered that the Pittsburgh Steelers had fired offensive coordinator Matt Canada on Tuesday morning.

The teaching change, which got here after the Steelers’ 13-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns final week, was the primary in-season teaching change the group has made since 1941. Pickett mentioned Wednesday forward of their recreation this week towards the Cincinnati Bengals that he had no thought the change was coming.

“You hate to see it. You don’t need to see one among your coaches lose their job,” he mentioned, through ESPN’s Brooke Pryor. “All of us acquired to be higher. Referred to as coach [Canada], wished him properly. We had an important dialog, however you bought to bounce again fast and prepare to go.”

Whereas the Steelers are 6-4, their offense has been horrific to this point this season. They’ve been out-gained in all 10 of their video games this season — most just lately by 10 yards to the Browns on Sunday, which was a recreation they solely gained on a last-second subject aim — and by some means nonetheless have a profitable document. The Steelers are within the backside 5 within the league in complete yards per recreation (280.1) and factors per recreation (16.6), and so they’re second-worst in passing yards with 170 per recreation, which is best than solely the New York Giants. That crew is on its third-string rookie quarterback.

Pickett has been unhealthy, too. Headed into Sunday’s recreation towards the Bengals, Pickett has thrown for 1,722 yards with solely six touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He threw for 106 yards towards the Browns and averaged simply 3.8 yards per completion, a season-low. He holds a 35.7 QBR.

Consequently, followers zeroed in on Canada as the difficulty in Pittsburgh — which led to move coach Mike Tomlin firing him.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) throws through the second half of an NFL soccer recreation towards the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023, in Cleveland. (AP Photograph/Sue Ogrocki) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

“It is a problem to all people,” Pickett mentioned of Canada’s firing. “I really feel like you must take it private. It is a man you have labored with since I acquired drafted right here, you need to play nice, you do not need to see anybody get let go like that. So completely we’ve to reply the bell, discover out what we have to do to play higher after which simply go handle enterprise.”

Regardless of their points, the Steelers enter Sunday’s recreation having gained 4 of their final six video games. The Bengals are simply 5-5 after dropping their final two video games, and have misplaced quarterback Joe Burrow for the remainder of the 12 months.

Whereas Canada is now gone, nevertheless, don’t anticipate sweeping offensive modifications with quarterback coach Mike Sullivan and operating backs coach Eddie Faulkner sharing the reins.

“You’ll be able to’t have wholesale modifications at this level within the season,” Pickett mentioned. “We’ll run the system that we have been utilizing, and Coach Sully, Coach Faulk, they are going to put their wrinkle in on it, on what they need to run and after they need to run it.”

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