More than halfway through the season, it’s probably safe to say that the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense is running well under first-year offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner, who was promoted to the job after spending the previous 11 seasons as the wide receivers coach and then the quarterbacks coach, the latter job he still possesses.
Last night, the Steelers put up 52 points, 45 of which came from the offense. They did their job so well that Ben Roethlisberger checked out of the game with 10 minutes to play. They scored on every possession in which Roethlisberger was in the game aside from the one leading into the end of the first half, and all but one of them resulted in a touchdown.
“I think Randy called Randy called a great game”, Roethlisberger said afterward with his ‘complete game’ coaching. “He’s been great. I think we’ve worked well together”, he continued. He later added that the play-calling was very good on third down.
Everybody who follows the team by now is a aware of the fact that Roethlisberger and Fichtner have a close relationship. Both of have been on the team together since 2007, though Fichtner was the wide receivers coach at the time. The majority of Roethlisberger’s career has been under Fichtner as his quarterback coach at this point.
So it’s no surprise that the transition to him being in his ear and calling plays has gone relatively seamlessly. He clearly has a less contentious relationship with Fichtner than he had with Todd Haley, who is currently looking for another job. Apparently, the biggest issue is Fichtner getting too excited.
“There’ll be times that he’ll yell ‘you got it’, which just means I’m calling one, or he’ll call one. There’s a really good chemistry there and we’ve obviously known each other for a long time. We’ve worked together for a long time”, he said.
“The biggest thing I tell Randy”, he added, is that “he’s a very excitable person so he gets really loud in the headset sometimes. Like I tell him to dial it down a little bit, but that’s just Randy loving and being passionate about the game”.
After last night’s win, the Steelers are now averaging 31 points per game, putting them within striking distance of their first 500-point season in franchise history. The team has never scored more than 436, averaging 27.3 points per game, which they accomplished in 2014.
In other words, the offense has never been more efficient. And after last night’s four-for-four performance from inside the 20-yard line, they are also the best red zone team in the entire league. That’ll help you out in the scoring department. They have only attempted 10 field goals all year.