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The Steelers defense is ranked 30th in the NFL

The Steelers’ defense is ranked 30th in the NFL through the first four weeks of the 2023 regular season.

Yes, I know, Matt Canada sucks.

The Steelers defense is ranked 26th against the pass.

Do I think the Steelers will cut Canada loose at the bye? They should, but probably not.

Anyway, Pittsburgh may actually have the worst secondary in the NFL at this point. Levi Wallace, the man so many told me was an upgrade over Joe Haden when the team signed him as a free agent in the 2022 offseason, is horrible. He isn’t even an upgrade over Artie Burns.

Yep, that call on fourth and one was just stupid. What was Canada thinking?

Where was I? Oh, right, the secondary. Patrick Peterson, Mr. Nice Guy, sucks. Not only does he say things on that podcast of his–the one that he co-hosts with Bryant McFadden–that are a little too newsworthy in a Ben Roethlisberger kind of way, but he appears to have nothing left when he takes his headset off and puts on his cleats every Sunday. You know those pictures we like to share of legendary Steelers who played out their careers in different uniforms? Cardinals fans might one day be doing that by posting pictures of the time Patrick Peterson briefly donned the black and gold.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, Mike Tomlin should have fired Canada after last season.

Correct, but I also think the Steelers should have paid Cam Sutton his money.

Canada’s offense is just so predictable.

No doubt about it, but how much do you miss Terrell Edmunds, the Matt Canada of safeties, now that he’s gone? Is Damontae Kazee, Mr. Upgrade, even on the team this year? And for someone who supposedly doesn’t know much about football, why did I know that Keanu Neal was your basic back when the Steelers signed him this past offseason? A two-headed monster at strong safety? More like, Pittsburgh should have signed Edmunds to a two-year contract extension.

Look, I realize that firing Canada mid-season won’t really change much, but I’d like to see them do it, anyway.

Right, but where has Minkah Fitzpatrick been? Yes, I know he’s shown up for the occasional controversial tackle and DPI, but where was the man I thought would steal some of T.J. Watt’s votes for Defensive Player of the Year? Fitzpatrick has been forced to play more in the box and less as an elite free safety through four games, which brings me back to everything I just said about the secondary.

Canada’s offense is just so basic.

True, but did you also know that Pittsburgh’s defense is ranked 29th against the run? Yikes.

Of course, Cameron Heyward being out indefinitely after suffering a major groin injury in Week 1 hasn’t helped, but DeMarvin Leal and Keeanu Benton are stud draft picks. And what about those nose tackles that are either on the roster or the practice squad depending on the day of the week? They can’t help plug these holes? I thought some of them were traditional and stuff.

My dog–if I owned one–could call better plays than Canada.

Absolutely, but Kendrick Green just handed Cole Holcomb’s butt to him during a play in the game against the Texans on Sunday. If that doesn’t epitomize the ineptness the Steelers brass has displayed when it comes to addressing the inside linebacker spot in recent years, I don’t know what does. Has an offensive-minded coach tried to exploit Holcomb, along with Elandon Roberts and Kwon Alexander, the way Kyle Shanahan did when the 49ers were in town for a Week-1 beatdown on September 10? If not, someone needs to get on that.

Will run-oriented coaches continue to exploit Alex Highsmith’s and Watt’s vulnerability when setting the edge on running plays? I’m not saying this is a weakness for those two, but it sure looked like it was on Sunday in Houston.

The Steelers need to bring in an offensive guru to be the OC next year. No more playing around. No more being cheap, Art II!

Hey, at least the Steelers weren’t cheap when they paid Watt all that guaranteed money, right? No, I’m not being flippant. Yes, I think he’s worth it. I mean, he has six sacks, baby! Sadly, the rest of the defense has a combined seven sacks. Highsmith, who just signed his own lucrative contract extension this past offseason, has one. Yes, I realize Highsmith single-handedly won the game vs. Cleveland in Week 2. Where would the Steelers be without Watt and Highsmith? I don’t know, maybe 1-3 instead of 2-2?

It’s worth it! Those two have to make up for Canada. These outside linebackers are the best duo in the league. You watch, Watt is going to win Defensive Player of the Year again, buddy! He’s worth every penny of the $80 million the Steelers guaranteed him just prior to the 2021 regular season.

I don’t know about EVERY penny. After all, the Steelers’ defense finished 24th in 2021, the same year that Watt recorded 22.5 sacks and was named Defensive Player of the Year. Watt is on pace for 25.5 sacks in 2023, an achievement that would likely earn him his second DPOY award in three seasons. But, again, the Steelers defense is currently ranked 30th, so how much of an impact is Watt really having in the grand scheme of things? It’s like what the Pirates once told legendary slugger, Ralph Kiner, who was looking for a raise after leading the National League in home runs for seven-straight seasons, “We finished in last place with you. We can finish in last place without you.”

Again, the Steelers are cheap when it comes to assistant coaches!

They’re not so cheap when it comes to paying actual defensive players…for what it’s worth.

Look, it’s Canada’s fault. The defense is on the field too much!

We finally agree on something. This Steelers defense, one that is currently ranked 30th in the NFL, has been on the field way too much in 2023.

 

 

 

 

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