Randy Fichtner Named Steelers Offensive Coordinator, QB Coach

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 18, 2018

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 09:  Quarterbacks coach Randy Fitchner of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on from the sideline during a game against the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field on October 9, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Steelers defeated the Titans 38-17.  (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
George Gojkovich/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers didn't waste much time replacing offensive coordinator Todd Haley, promoting quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner to the position, according to Teresa Varley of Steelers.com. 

He will also remain the team's quarterbacks coach.

"I want to thank Coach (Mike) Tomlin and Art Rooney II for giving me this opportunity to be the offensive coordinator for this organization," he said. "We have a tremendous roster, and it will be my charge to continue putting our offensive players in position to succeed and score points. We have the nucleus to be successful, and I am thrilled about the chance to lead the offense as we have already started preparing for the 2018 season."

Fichtner, 54, has served as the team's quarterbacks coach for the past eight years and also served as the team's receivers coach for three seasons. 

Before joining Mike Tomlin's staff in 2007, he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at both Memphis (2001-06) and Arkansas State (1997-00). He also previously held coaching positions at Purdue, UNLV, USC and Michigan.  

Fichtner will take over a talented offense that finished third in yards (377.9) and eighth in points (25.4) per game in 2017. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will return, along with wideouts Antonio Brown and Juju Smith-Schuster. The future of free agent running back Le'Veon Bell remains unclear, though Bell has made it known that he would like to return to the Steelers.

"Of course," he said on Sunday when asked if he wanted to remain with the team, per Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com. "I never want to leave this city, but obviously, circumstances and things like that. But I definitely don't [want to leave]."

If Bell returns, the Steelers will once again be expected to have one of the most dynamic offenses in football. 

Tomlin's announcement on Wednesday that he wouldn't retain Haley, meanwhile, likely had more to do with Haley's reportedly contentious relationship with Roethlisberger than with results on the field. While Haley led the Steelers to sustained offensive success—under his tenure, they finished top-10 in yards five times and top-10 in points four times, per Pro Football ReferenceIan Rapoport of NFL.com described the relationship between Haley and Big Ben as "not sustainable."

Fichtner's task, then, is to not only build upon Haley's on-field results but to also foster a more productive relationship with Roethlisberger. Expectations will once again be high for the Steelers in 2018, and how Tomlin's decision to replace Haley with Fichtner plays out could ultimately factor into his own job security down the road.

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