Randy Fichtner debuts as OC this Sunday
Fresh off of his promotion from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator, Randy Fichtner will make his debut as a play-caller this Sunday in Orlando, Florida…
At the Pro Bowl.
With Todd Haley out as the OC in Pittsburgh, the Steelers coaching staff was caught in a strange situation. Haley’s contract expired at the end of the 2017 season: the Divisional Round loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Shortly after, it was announced by Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin that Haley would not be returning as the offensive coordinator. The predicament which followed is that the Steelers staff was named to lead the AFC side in the NFL’s annual All-Star game.
Not only were fans asking who the offensive coordinator would be for the Steelers in 2018, some also had a curiosity as to who might assume the role for the Pro Bowl as well.
Okay, no one was on pins and needles for the Pro Bowl; a game which is intended to be an honor for the players who play in it, but due to the nature of how it’s played and when it’s scheduled, the Pro Bowl is often considered a joke. Still, Sunday is an opportunity for at least one person to show the world what they can do.
And that person is Randy Fichtner.
— Missi Matthews (@missi_matthews) January 25, 2018
Fichtner was announced as Haley’s replacement nearly a week ago and is already in Orlando preparing the AFC team for their upcoming game. In all seriousness, this may be Fichtner’s debut as an NFL offensive coordinator, but that’s a tongue-in-cheek approach to a less than serious game. However, that hasn’t stopped some Steelers who are also down in Florida prepping for the game from speaking highly of their coach. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had this to say about his new OC:
I like Randy a lot. I’ve been with him since I was a rookie. I’m sure he’s excited and I’m excited to have him.
Big Ben mentioned that he expects some cotinuity between Haley and Fichtner with little change:
He talked to me about a couple of little things. We’ll have some personnel changes. Some formations will be different, but it’s just small minor changes.
— Blitzburgh (@Steel_Curtain4) January 25, 2018
Fichtner started with the Steelers back in 2007 when Mike Tomlin was brought on as head coach to replace Bruce Arians (who was promoted from wide receivers coach to offensive coordinator). In 2010 Fichtner moved over to quarterbacks coach, a position he’s held until his own promotion to head of the offense for the upcoming season.
Little else is known right now about how Fichtner may alter the Steelers offensive plans. However, we might get a vanilla idea of how his high-powered offense could run during Sunday’s Pro Bowl. Ten Steelers were selected to the AFC roster. Seven of them, including Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, three offensive linemen and fullback Roosevelt Nix are on Fichtner’s side of the ball.