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Steelers Matt Canada Absolutely Destroyed For “Ill-Timed Plays” By Ben Roethlisberger On Episode 13 Of Weekly Podcast

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Steelers Matt Canada Absolutely Destroyed For “Ill-Timed Plays” By Ben Roethlisberger On Episode 13 Of Weekly Podcast

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ future Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger released Episode 13 of his Footbahlin with Ben Roethlisberger podcast on Monday night and shared his thoughts on the team’s Week 11 game. The Steelers fell to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday 37-30 at Acrisure Stadium under the gaze of the former Steelers quarterback’s family birthday celebration for their oldest son, Benjamin Roethlisberger. The black and gold played their best offensive half of the season and carried a 20-17 lead into the locker room at halftime after Matthew Wright nailed a field goal just before the half to put them ahead.

Steelers Kenny Pickett

Photo Credit: Abigail Dean / Pittsburgh Steelers

“I thought they started out really well. Kenny (Pickett) looked good, and Naj (ee Harris) ran hard,” Roethlisberger began. “The first half looked really, really good. You go in at halftime with a lead. We always talk about that double score, I know Charlie (Batch) talked about it. Even if it is three and three you’ll take those points. It’s almost free points. They come out in the second half, three and out.”

The NFL coin toss strategy has evolved over the last two decades. The 20th-century standard was to take the ball if you won the toss at the beginning of the game and anything different was an outlier usually related to wind conditions. Teams prefer to defer now so they can hopefully capitalize with a score before the half and immediately after to change the complexion of individual games. When it is done correctly it builds significant momentum.

“I thought the second half, the third down conversion rate went way down,” Roethlisberger continued. “Maybe it is defense figuring it out. T.J. Watt makes that play (interception) and then you don’t do anything with it. That is demoralizing for a defense.”

Steelers Kenny Pickett

Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham / Pittsburgh Steelers

Roethlisberger was blessed with some of the best Pittsburgh defenses since the original Steel Curtain from the 1970s. Unlike the second-year quarterback from the New York Jets, Roethlisberger was always quick to take the blame at post-game press conferences and apologize for losing games even when it was not necessarily his play that had lost the game. Kenny Pickett learned an important lesson yesterday about letting teammates down when you have first and ten on the opponent’s twenty-yard line and will learn from it.

“I thought Kenny played a good game, I really do,” Roethlisberger sighed. “He did some really good things, he did miss a guy up the seam for a touchdown, but that is going to happen. I feel like there were some maybe ill-timed plays. We got behind the sticks, whether it was execution or play calls, to not be in there, I hate to comment on something without knowing it. Some of the stuff was like (grunts), I don’t know it lacked something in the second half.”

Steelers Underperforming Second-Year Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada Hints That No QBs Can Audible In His Offense

Roethlisberger had a multitude of curious play calls to choose from, but the ill-timed flea flicker after the Steelers had picked up a first down inside the Bengals 40 trailing 27-23, was the straw that broke the Steelers’ back yesterday. It is worth wondering if that play was called with Roethlisberger on the field and if he called a timeout to get out of the play. After Matt Canada hinted last week that his quarterbacks have checks and not audibles, it would be interesting to see if the veteran savvy of a long-time starter would have recognized the flea flicker was a needless risk, because Mike Tomlin could not.

“The offense was on the sideline so much, they were losing their rhythm,” Roethlisberger said. “When you are going three and out, George Pickens has proven that he can make plays down the field. If you see him one on one or single high safety, let it go. Make it happen.”

Steelers George Pickens

Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham / Pittsburgh Steelers

Pickett took significantly more shots down the field in the first half against the Bengals and the Steelers’ offense moved like clockwork up and down the field. The Bengals often had Eli Apple lined up on George Pickens and you could see the quarterback chops on Roethlisberger watering at the idea of exploiting that matchup until they were forced to switch the coverage. He was not so subtly hinting that going away from Pickens in the third quarter was a mistake. Roethlisberger did not forget his favorite target in the last two seasons either.

“Maybe I’m biased but I think they need to get Diontae involved more,” Roethlisberger concluded. “He’s a special football player, he can make things happen you gotta get him involved. I’d like to get Pat (Freiermuth) more involved and Diontae more involved in the passing game. I don’t mean that in a jet sweep kind of way. I don’t like getting those guys involved in the jet sweep. Get the ball down the field.”

Steelers Diontae Johnson

Photo Credit: Abigail Dean / Pittsburgh Steelers

Diontae Johnson has been an enigma for the Steelers, they awarded him an extension before the season began. He dropped some key passes and started a locker room altercation with Mitch Trubisky that got the veteran signal-caller benched. Johnson has also ceded his position as the primary option for Pickett since he took the field. Pittsburgh has to find a way to get him the ball. Pickens is blossoming but Johnson is still the best playmaker on the team and handing him a ball on a jet sweep in the second quarter in short yardage is not clever play calling.

Steelers Steven Sims

Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham / Pittsburgh Steelers

The most significant change in the Steelers’ offense since Canada arrived was the jet sweep. It has been at best misleading about certain players’ abilities (Chase Claypool) and at worst, like it was on Sunday, an easy way for the Steelers offense to face second and long. The Steelers have run the jet sweep so often that teams expect the play, and it rarely works at this point. Roethlisberger is obviously not a fan of the play and may have checked into RPOs and quick passes to avoid it during his tenure with Canada.

Roethlisberger goes out of his way on his podcast with Spencer T’eo to be positive about the black and gold. He has attended most home games and it looks like he is growing increasingly frustrated with the direction of the team without him on the field to steady the helm in rough seas. It is also apparent that he believes Pickett is a good quarterback with a bright future.

Steelers Batch and Ben

Steelers Ben Roethlisberger and Charlie Batch embrace each other after the Steelers knock off Baltimore with a last-second field goal / Photo Credit: CBS Sports

Roethlisberger has been emphatic that no amount of money could get him into the facility to coach, but his long-time backup Charlie Batch is in the building often and a Pittsburgh native. Based on his recent appearance on the podcast, Batch is one of the most respected players of his era and has an eidetic football memory. The Steelers have employed former players to mixed results as coaches in the past but based on the Roethlisberger endorsement, Pickett could benefit from extended study with Batch.

What do you think Steeler Nation? Are you surprised Ben Roethlisberger called out Matt Canada’s bizarre playcalling? Comment below or on my Twitter @thebubbasq.

#SteelerNation

I have been rooting for the Steelers actively since 1975. I love the Black and Gold and support them through thick and thin. I am a Navy Veteran, living in Jacksonville, FL and never miss a chance to go to the neutral site games here in Jacksonville. I am new to the Steeler Nation website, but I love discussing Steelers Past, Present and Future.

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Pingback: Diontea Johnson on Steelers rough 3-7 record ; "This is what happens when you don't capitalize." - SteelerNation.com

  2. Michelle Gelormino

    November 22, 2022 at 11:27 am

    I wish they’d fire Matt Canada. His play calling is terrible. All teams know what he calls because he doesn’t change things which makes us Lose!!!

  3. TigersPurpleandGold

    November 22, 2022 at 1:10 pm

    We had Matt Canada at LSU in 2017. We lost to Troy for the first time ever. Guess what his favorite play was? I’m surprised he got the job in Pittsburgh to begin with.

  4. SMORNING

    November 22, 2022 at 1:35 pm

    The Steelers can’t afford to go into next season with Matt Canada play calling isn’t his thing give him the job as lot attended.

  5. Pingback: Steelers HC Mike Tomlin Absolutely Would Love QB1 Kenny Pickett's Progression To Be Quicker - SteelerNation.com

  6. joe

    November 22, 2022 at 3:08 pm

    I get all the criticism of Canada BUT Tomlin must have the final call on offensive game planning. And if MT doesn’t like a given call, overrule it in real time over the headset. Tomlin is Canada’s boss. Tomlin is responsible for the good and the BAD.

  7. Mark

    November 22, 2022 at 8:14 pm

    Maybe it time to clean house with new GM M T Ben hear long enough

  8. John Camarato

    November 22, 2022 at 10:11 pm

    Freakin Fire that Matt Canada,He’s was Garbage last year&it will only get worse.3&7 is Down Right Gut Wrenching.Please Fire that Piece of Poop💩💩💩💩💩

  9. Richard Welsh

    November 23, 2022 at 4:59 am

    Get rid of Canada and start winning more games and get ben back as your QB coach and light a fire under Tomlin.

  10. DJ

    November 23, 2022 at 9:28 am

    Every time that I tried to watch a video and I sat through 2 minutes of commercials, the video would start and more commercials. Knock it off.

    Canada is terrible and needs replaced if we have any hope of winning.

  11. Reg Donachie

    November 23, 2022 at 10:53 am

    Tomlin has destroyed this franchise ….. Worst coach in Nfl for years … He has a very small biased picture of football and CANNOT DO ANY BETTER … ALL the coaches have to go …

  12. SteelMan1968

    November 23, 2022 at 11:15 am

    Reg is correct- it all starts with Tomlin and his buddy issue with Canada has got to go- Tomlin always says it’s a business- well our owners better start treating it as such-get over the black coach thing believe me the Roons won’t be looked at any different- do the right thing if not at least replace Canada as quick as possible- if your going to REBUILD now is the time- don’t ruin KP anymore than they have as the kid is on the ground or running for his life 8-10 plays – DO THE RIGHT THING -Ben knows what needs to be done – listen to him

  13. Elrick King

    November 23, 2022 at 11:52 am

    Why not recruit Ben as the OC!! Tomlin is a solid coach, the offense is trash because of play calling!! Canada has to go!!

  14. David Werline

    November 23, 2022 at 5:15 pm

    The play calling is bad
    And so is the defense I’m tired of watching the defensive backs play off their man 10 yards plus. They are letting teams easily march down the field with 2 minutes before the halftime and the last 2 minutes. They pass the ball 10 yards down the field and gain a few more yards before the they step out of bounds untouched. The steel curtain has melted. I like our couch but I think he has got to be getting on his players more. He seems way too laid back this year. Maybe he thinks he won’t get fired because Steelers Owners are loyal.
    The owners need to tell him that get this team together or we’ll find someone who will. And please don’t play Randolph again he’s a good guy but I have no confidence in him

  15. donald shontz

    November 23, 2022 at 5:43 pm

    im not surprised ben called out matt canada as hes dealt with it hisself,its bad when fans and opposing teams allready know whats coming

  16. Judie Friedlander

    November 23, 2022 at 6:51 pm

    CAMADA os responsible for the team’s LOSSES – and Tomllin is responsible for letting him p lay-call. Shame on both of them – someone please help this team. Rooneys, where ;are ;you?

  17. Sean Durrant

    November 24, 2022 at 10:11 am

    Time for the new GM to clean house meaning everyone is gone. Defense is on the field too long,Canada’s offense is completely predictable and Tomlin could use a change of scenery. Embrace the suck spend the next 2-3 years fixing it. This will take at least a few years to fix this team its a dumpster fire.

  18. Pingback: Steelers Struggling OC Matt Canada Doesn't Escape Play Calling Criticism From 2 Offensive Legends - SteelerNation.com

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