Usually, football fans will blow comments made by players, coaches, and executives out of proportion. It’s part of what we do. Perhaps it’s a way of projecting our own frustration regarding our favorite teams.
“See, what this player said is exactly the point I was trying to make before I threw the remote at the TV! The franchise is in shambles!”
You know, that kind of stuff. Most times, players aren’t really trying to send a message and are rather just discussing their take on the football game.
But I’ve got to tell you, that’s not the feeling you get from the Pittsburgh Steelers right now. This time, it feels like we should take their comments seriously. For the second consecutive week, players are sounding off on the coaching staff. Specifically, offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
Earlier in the season, Steelers players publicly threw shade at Matt Canada and didn’t even seem to be interested in hiding it.
“We have to call the right plays to get down the field in the right ways,” Chase Claypool said via The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly. Diontae Johnson also chimed in:
“We can only do what they tell us to do and execute it.”
If you were wondering whether that would change or not deeper into the season – be it because of offensive performance or some in-house conversation – rest assured it hasn’t. If anything, it’s picking up.
Claypool’s latest comment might even be perceived as one against the entire staff. Pittsburgh’s wide receiver claimed the team is lacking an identity even though there’s talent on the roster.
While Claypool’s tone isn’t necessarily new, it was a surprise that Steelers’ center Mason Cole took a sly jab at Canada himself by saying that the team didn’t use tempo in the second half “for whatever reason.”
All of this comes a game after Mitch Trubisky replied “call concepts to get there” when questioned on the Steelers’ lack of throws to the middle of the field. And that’s the thing. Those throws didn’t come last Thursday Night even though both Canada and Trubisky seemed to agree the offense needed it.
If these comments against the staff continue to take place without any sort of change to the actual offense, the Pittsburgh Steelers won’t get better anytime soon. Veteran or rookie at quarterback.
The New York Jets are next for the Steelers, a team they’ve dominated in the past. Can Matt Canada and his offense show some sort of identity? Can they be more aggressive? We’ll find out.
Judging by the players’ comments, the team needs it badly for the roster to buy into what the coaches are selling.
Featured image via Jeff Lange / USA TODAY NETWORK