Steelers have to fire Randy Fichtner as soon as possible

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner (Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner (Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) /

If recent speculation is true, Randy Fichtner needs to be let go at the end of the season

Shortly after the Steelers’ victory over the Colts, speculation began on Twitter as to why the offense suddenly got out of its rut in the second half of the game. Ever since the second Ravens game, the team’s offense was a complete disaster, running short passing plays without relying on the run or intermediate/longer passes. According to multiple NFL analysts, the Steelers allowed for Ben Roethlisberger to begin calling the plays due to Fichtner’s offense being called out pre-snap in the first half.

Now, to be clear, Twitter speculation is just that: speculation. That said, three of the primary people who brought this up are verified and cover the NFL at various different levels. Arguably the most prevalent name that talked about this story was Zak Keefer, as he covers the Colts for the Athletic. This isn’t just fan speculation; these are paid professionals that are bringing this story to light.

Assuming these are true then, a safer assumption knowing the people talking about them are valid sources, the Steelers need to fire Fichtner as soon as the season ends. It is bad enough that a team found your game plan so predictable that they could call out plays before the snap, but the team’s solution was to simply take him out of the equation. He wasn’t a part of the solution on Sunday, he was only a part of the problem.

The Steelers’ offense isn’t all Fichtner’s fault

To be fair, all of the issues associated with the Steelers offense aren’t the coordinator’s fault. The running game has stalled due to poor blocking and a lack of elite talent at the position. Meanwhile, Roethlisberger’s throwing technique has been sloppy as of late which has further limited him as a passer. It seems like a potential knee injury could be at fault, but regardless all of his passes were off the mark.

The issue is, Fichtner was never a part of the solution. The offense was the weaker unit and suddenly hit a stall after the Ravens rematch. Instead of trying to improvise and add some new wrinkles to the offense, Fichtner opted to run the same stale game plan and hope the defense could bail the offense out. Despite having his future Hall of Fame quarterback back, he called the offense like he did last year with Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges.

A good offense adjusts throughout the year and adds a variety of new looks to confuse the defense. Take the Browns, who started the year with a strong rushing attack, and when teams began to focus on stopping the run, the team came out throwing the ball each week. This sudden change caused the Browns to remain a top competitor and keep them competitive in a division that seemed lost up until last week.

A slow and lazy offense for a week or two isn’t the end of the world, but the fact that it persisted for over four weeks and through a three-game losing period is inexcusable. Worse yet, the Steelers’ offense being unpredictable was brought up by the other teams that beat the Steelers. The Football Team said they had a pretty good idea of how the offense would work, and as a result adjusted for it before the game. The Bengals said similar things after they beat the Steelers.

4 reasons the Steelers shouldn’t draft a 1st round QB in 2021. light. Must Read

The only thing that changed to make this team better was taking Fichtner out of the equation. His safe and stale offense is primarily at fault for the skid that the Steelers suffered through in recent weeks. No matter who stays or who goes this offseason, the Steelers can’t excuse the mistakes he has made as a coordinator. As soon as the team can, they need to move on from Fichtner.