Depending on your perspective, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ making a change at offensive coordinator from Todd Haley to Randy Fichtner was either one of the most or least significant changes that the team made this offseason.
While it was a major change in the sense that you are putting a different person into a very prominent role, it was also a person that is very familiar with the team who is already inheriting a system that is pretty well in place and who has a great relationship with Ben Roethlisberger.
It was largely thought that this was a change that Roethlisberger wanted to be made. The results have been positive so far, averaging 28.5 points per game, fifth in the league, with a high success rate in the red zone, though third-down conversions still need some work.
Roethlisberger was asked about how he believes this new setup with Fichtner running the offense has gone on so far this season, now that they are coming out of their bye week after playing six games. The interview came just earlier today on 93.7 FM The Fan on his weekly radio spot.
“I think things are going really well. I think we’re doing some really good things on offense”, the quarterback said. “I think communication is going well”.
He added that “it’s not like we haven’t had a couple hiccups here and there, but the great thing is that, as it was with other coordinators and coaches, that even if you have a disagreement and argue, whatever you want to call it, the key is how do you move on, how do you just let it be water under the bridge?”.
For the two of them, Roethlisberger estimates that they have done that. “So I think things are going really well. It doesn’t seem like anything’s really changed from when he was a quarterbacks coach, so that’s a good thing”, he said.
While he admitted that it’s not all “rainbows and cupcakes”, he said that it never is in such relationships. He was sure to point out that he and Fichtner get into their own disagreements as any two individuals in their positions and their levels of experience would.
The ultimate litmus test will always be on the field, and in that regard, things have been so far, so good. They have scored at least 28 points in four of their first six games and seem to be on a roll after correcting a baffling problem in which they couldn’t score points in the second half, or touchdowns in the first quarter.
The next item in the agenda is avenging a tie from the season opener against the Cleveland Browns in which the offense fell flat in the fourth quarter and squandered an opportunity to win it in overtime. Then after that is the rematch of their worst performance, after they scored just 14 points against the Baltimore Ravens.