It might be Randy Fichtner’s first rodeo in the NFL but certainly not in his coaching career, taking over for Todd Haley as Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator. Though he’s never done it at this level, Art Rooney II doesn’t seem concerned. Speaking on DVE Thursday morning, Rooney pointed to Fichtner’s tenure with the Steelers as confidence in his ability to take over the reins.
“It really doesn’t,” when asked if his inexperience is a problem. “Randy has been in the booth and on the field with our offensive staff for a number of years. He’s been part of a game preparation. It’s not like he’s parachuting in from nowhere to do this job. He’s been part of the whole program for the past few years and had the opportunity to suggest plays here and there. He’s been an integral part in how we call plays.”
He’s also called the shots before too. Fitchtner was the offensive coordinator at two places prior to joining the NFL ranks. He got his first shot at Arkansas State in the late 90s, where he helped develop Cleo Lemon, before moving on to Memphis at the same position. There, he developed a high-octane, spread offense, molding players like DeAngelo Williams into a first round pick.
And as you already know, Fichtner was the most logical decision. To keep the offensive relatively the same and ensure a strong relationship between coach and quarterback, something Ben Roethlisberger never fully had working alongisde Haley.
He’ll remain as the team’s QB coach, pulling double duty, though he did the same at Memphis. Speaking with Steelers.com in a video posted yesterday, Josh Dobbs praised Fichtner for how he helped him during his rookie season.
“I’m really excited and happy for Randy,” he told Missi Matthews on the team website. “He shows up to work everyday. Seems to be the first one in the office. Never could beat him in. And staying after practice late, going through film, going through the little things, not just the big picture, but looking at the little details of the defense we’re playing…giving Ben different ideas. I think the future is definitely bright with him.”