The most concerning points of the Steelers offense under Matt Canada

The passing game plan for the Pittsburgh Steelers could be the worst in the league under Matt Canada. Here’s why it’s such a concern to enter week 4.

It’s always so easy to blame it on the offensive coordinator when things go wrong or a team doesn’t score enough points, but this time, I think Pittsburgh Steelers fans have a right to do so. I reluctantly watched each of the first three games multiple times and rated the film all 22. I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s some blame to be passed around, but Matt Canada certainly deserves it. ‘essential.

While Pittsburgh may have made progress on the field, Canada’s passing concepts are nothing short of abysmal. Here are the most concerning takeaways from the passing offense so far, based on my ratings from the first three games:

Early readings are designed to go to the limits

It’s no secret at this point. Anyone with access to all 22 movies can see that the first play is designed to pass away. Even fans watching from the broadcast view are aware of this. Going to the boundary not only severely limits other areas of the field being used, but it creates tight window throws with little upside.

Avoiding midfield is intentional

Along with that, the midfielder was used less than any NFL team in the first three weeks. When plays are scripted to go on the sidelines, the midfield is completely ignored. It is not a coincidence.

While Mitch Trubisky certainly had some missed opportunities when he could have hit wide-open receivers in the middle, it’s clear the game isn’t generally designed to go there. Matt Canada tries to protect his QB by limiting passes in traffic in the middle, but that handicaps this attack.

Steelers WRs have no room for yards after catch

I recently wrote an article explaining why this might be the NFL’s most concerning statistic this year. Due to the dismal passing game plan, a talented young group of Steelers wide receivers combined for just 25 total yards after the catch entering Week 4.

This is totally unacceptable, and their offense won’t improve until Canada is willing to send their receivers into space and allow them to work after the catch. Unfortunately, that’s very hard to do when most passes are intended to drive the receiver out of bounds after catching the ball – as we’ve seen too often earlier this year.

Steelers prefer to go deep on third down rather than middle

Matt Canada’s response in third and manageable is just as bad as the rest of his passing game plan. Instead of trying to move the string with a tilt or drag or find some sort of friction route to open the receivers, its response is to air the ball off the sideline on a “go” or “wheel” route . I don’t mind dialing something like that on second and runs, but YOLO balls on third down will never add any kind of consistency to this offense.

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