A lot has been made recently about how Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has evolved as a player over the course of the last three years and while most of the credit appears to be going to offensive coordinator Todd Haley in addition to Roethlisberger, himself, not enough is probably being given to position coach Randy Fichtner, in my opinion.
While Fichtner, who has been the Steelers quarterback coach since 2007, isn’t directly in charge of the yearly offensive scheme or the weekly play calling, he is tasked with making sure that Roethlisberger carries out his duties properly and stays on top of his mechanics. The two have a great relationship and the Steelers quarterback recently talked about what he means to him.
“I’ve been with Randy for quite a few years now and it’s great to know that everyday that I walk in that I know what I’m going to get,” Roethlisberger said recently. “And he’s a guy that’s always willing to help and whether it’s today when I asked him to come out early to work on some stuff that I wanted to work on, he’s always out here ready to go.
“The film study – just having a guy to talk to. I think the best thing about having a coach that has a player like myself that’s a veteran guy, is to not try to over coach, just to be there for the things the player might need and I think that’s what Randy does the best.”
Prior to being hired by the Steelers, Fichtner was the offensive coordinator at Memphis where he coached current backup Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams. In both 2003 and 2004 Fichtner’s offenses ranked in the top ten in the nation for both yardage and scoring, totaling over 5000 yards in each season.
With all of the above being noted, you have to wonder if other NFL teams might consider Fichtner for any offensive coordinator jobs that figure to come open next offseason and especially if the Steelers offense has as much success as many predict they’ll have again in 2015.
It would certainly be a big loss for the Steelers and Roethlisberger should Fichtner ultimately wind up leaving next offseason, but the 51-year-old will certainly be deserving of any opportunity that presents itself. In my opinion, he’s an underrated NFL offensive coordinator in waiting and I’m sure that Roethlisberger would agree with me.