Breaking down the pros and cons to the Steelers retaining Randy Fichtner

Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that it is expected the Pittsburgh Steelers retain the services of offensive coordinator. Despite the plethora of negative things on display in 2019, there could be some positive things on the horizon.

If you follow my Twitter account or have read my previous posts, you know I am a huge critic of the Steelers offensive coordinator, Randy Fichtner.

From predictable and repetitive play-calling, lack of innovation, and an obsession with the wildcat formation, I was furious at the offense’s lack of production.

Many Steelers fans were up in arms when it was reported that the Steelers will likely retain Randy Fichtner. I was one who reacted very negatively to this.

Despite the fans airing their grievances, it is obvious the Steelers organization, head coach Mike Tomlin, and Big Ben have some patience and loyalty with Fichtner. I have always believed loyalty can be a double-edged sword–this is no exception.

In a contract year, Fichtner presents a very intriguing set of opportunities. Simply put: things will either go very well or very poorly. Let’s look at a quick break down of the pros and cons of retaining Randy Fichtner.

Why keeping Randy can be a good thing…

First and foremost, it looks like all chips are on the table for Ben’s return from season-ending elbow surgery. It is not a mystery that Ben has a lot more control of the offense with Randy at the helm.

If these two can get back on the same page like they were in 2018, this could be a dangerous team paired with the reconstructed defense from this past year.

Also, this creates continuity and opportunity at rebuilding offensive chemistry. Whatever “system” Randy runs will not have changed much and most of the offensive starters will return in 2020.

Finally, with how bad things went in 2019, if Randy is smart, he’ll be a tough critic on himself and thoroughly evaluate his situational play calls, how he set his young quarterbacks up, and over the game plan. This is a very optimistic takeaway, but if things are going to benefit from his return this has to be one.

Why keeping Randy can be a bad thing…

I could write a book on the negative aspects of Randy, but I will keep it simple.

The first thing is if he does not evaluate how he could’ve helped his offense better in 2019. He did have moments where gently threw Mason Rudolph under the bus–specifically after the 49ers game after he had a very conservative approach this Rudy’s first start. Things like have to change.

If he can’t have an honest evaluation of his role in the dysfunctional 2019 offense, I will have no faith he can help any young quarterback develop properly. It simply means he won’t change and won’t take self-accountability.

If these things come to fruition, then the worst aspect of all of this could be if Ben can’t return for the 2020 season. There have been conflicting reports of Ben’s rehab. One report says he has serious doubt only to be followed up with one that disputes such speculation.

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If the perfect storm brews and Ben cannot return with the combination of Randy continuing to not only be inept but arrogant, the loyalty to this man will cost the Steelers a third consecutive year of postseason ambitions.

Check back into as the new league year approaches for the Steelers offseason.