Did Byron Leftwich Really Reach Out To Steelers About Joining Coaching Staff And Get Ignored? | Here’s Why Mike Tomlin Should Pick Up Super Bowl-Winning Offensive Coordinator

It’s no secret that the Pittsburgh Steelers offense has struggled under offensive coordinator Matt Canada.

In fact, things have been so bad for the league’s 30th-ranked offense that Steelers fans have continually chanted “Fire Canada” during games. Head coach Mike Tomlin has been reluctant to move on from Canada, but each week his inability to lead the offense is a problem. 

While the team did get a huge 17-10 comeback win over the archrival Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, a distraught Canada could be seen lamenting quarterback Kenny Pickett’s game-winning touchdown to wide receiver George Pickens for some odd reason.

The play was rumored to be one that Pickett audibled to, changing Canada’s original play, which further displayed why Tomlin may need to move on from his embattled OC. 

Byron Leftwich Looking To Join Steelers?

With the offense struggling, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich has reportedly reached out to the team about joining their staff.

Per Mark Kaboly of The Athletic, Leftwich’s call reportedly was not returned. Tomlin has already stated that he will handle this situation in his way and on his terms and won’t be pressured into a situation. It seems inflexible, but it’s the Steelers way.

Kaboly stated that the Steelers are “pretty much ignoring him.” With a solid defense but an offense at the bottom of the league, could Leftwich make a difference?

He couldn’t be any worse than Canada, who’s now coached 40 games as the offensive coordinator and the team has not once reached 400 yards. In fact, in 26 of the 40 games the Steelers haven’t reached the 20-point plateau either.

Five games into this season the Steelers are averaging 15.8 points per game, which ranks 29th in the league. They’ve also failed to reach 300 yards and 17 points in four of their five games this season. 

That’s unacceptable for an offense that has players with the ability of Pickett, running backs Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren. Plus wide receivers Diontae Johnson, Calvin Austin III and the dynamic Pickens. 

Would Leftwich Be An Upgrade? 

As the coordinator of the Buccaneers, Leftwich was able to mesh his offense along with Tom Brady’s during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. That in turn led to a Super Bowl win that season.

The Bucs had one of the league’s top offenses the following season as well, losing in the NFC Divisional round. But in 2022 things didn’t go as well, and they averaged a paltry 18.4 points per game and just over 76 yards rushing per game.

But not all of that was on Leftwich. In some ways Father Time finally caught up to Brady, and injuries and retirements along the offensive line also played a role in their offensive woes. 

One has to believe that Leftwich would get the most out of his stars as he did in Tampa, something that Canada hasn’t been able to do in roughly two-and-half seasons as the primary play-caller. 

There wasn’t much fanfare for Leftwich after he was relieved of his duties by current Bucs head coach Todd Bowles after last season. But that’s a sticky situation, as Leftwich thought he’d probably get the nod as head coach when Bruce Arians retired. Ownership wanted Bowles because of his experience. 

Maybe Tomlin should take a flier on Leftwich. The Canada experiment has run its course. Leftwich also once played for the Steelers, so he’s familiar with the culture of the organization.

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