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Steelers coach Mike Tomlin not ready to make determination on OC Matt Canada

Mike Tomlin said Monday he is not yet ready to make a final determination on his offensive coordinator.

When the Steelers head coach was asked about the status of offensive coordinator Matt Canada following the completion of Pittsburgh's 2022 season, Tomlin said he is "just not there" yet in his final evaluation of Canada's performance.

"I thought he got better, just like our team got better," Tomlin said. "I am not gonna speculate on him -- or anyone -- as we sit here today."

Canada became a popular target for Steelers fans who watched the offense struggle, especially early in the 2022 season. Pittsburgh careened into their bye week at 2-6, failing to exceed 20 points in seven of those eight games and averaging nearly two turnovers per contest.

Canada was hired prior to the 2021 season, replacing Randy Fichtner, whose contract was not renewed after the 2020 season. The Steelers' offense largely struggled that season, too, which was Ben Roethlisberger's final year in the NFL.

But as Tomlin noted, the Steelers improved as this season wore on. Rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett was thrust into the starting lineup in Week 5, but the real improvement happened from Week 10 on. In the first half of the season, they averaged 15 points per game. In the second half, that number rose to 23.5 points per game, and the Steelers committed only five turnovers in their final eight games as they finished with a 9-8 record and were only eliminated from the playoffs late in Week 18.

Tomlin called that progress "encouraging" but stopped short of saying Canada, or any other assistant coach, was safe. He said the evaluation process is just beginning, concurrent with player exit meetings Monday afternoon.

As for Pickett, Tomlin would not bite on whether the quarterback would have any say as to whether Canada returns or not. Pickett made his debut in the Week 4 loss to the Jets, throwing three picks in relief. He would go on to start 12 of the next 13 games, missing the Week 15 game against Carolina.

Pickett was part of that improvement offensively as the season wore on, taking fewer sacks and turning the ball over only once in his final eight games. He finished the season completing 63.0% of his passes for 2,404 yards, with seven TDs and nine INTs.

The Steelers will pick 17th overall in the 2023 NFL Draft.

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