Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive coordinator, to the surprise of probably no one, reportedly attended the Memphis Pro Day held back on Wednesday. That’s according to Draft Analyst Tony Pauline’s report in recapping the event.
“Running back coaches from the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens were on hand for Memphis pro day, so to was Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fitchner.”
Fichtner attending Memphis’ workout is to be expected at this point. He still has close ties to the university, where he served as offensive coordinator from 2001 to 2006, before Mike Tomlin hired him after getting the Steelers’ head coaching gig.
We couldn’t find Fichtner when coming through photos and videos of the Tigers’ workout. We do know that he wasn’t alone though. Area scout Dave Pettet was spotted in attendance. But this tweet was sent out after the workout, showing Fichtner.
Onto the important stuff. The two biggest offensive names to watch for are a pair of running backs: Darrell Henderson and Tony Pollard. Henderson is one of the most dynamic backs in the draft. At the Combine, he turned in a 4.49 40 with a 33.5 inch vert and 10’1″ broad. Declaring early as a junior, he averaged 8.9 yards per carry in each of the last two seasons and found the end zone 25 times in 2018. He’s expected to be one of the top picks off the board and per Pauline’s report, potentially taken in the second round. That makes him an unlikely match for the Steelers.
Pollard is more realistic. A Day Three candidate, Pauline says scouts compare him to Dexter McCluster while others have likened a Duke Johnson comp. While he’s a straight-line runner, Pollard is one of the most prolific kick returners in NCAA history with seven career touchdowns, including a whopping four of them in 2017. But he struggled to find a consistent role in the offense, mixing and matching at receiver and running back. Over his career, he carried the ball 139 times with another 104 receptions. His 4.52 40 time at Indy was a disappointment but ran in the low 4.4’s at Wednesday’s workout.
The Steelers have only drafted one Memphis prospect in team history. That came in 2004, burning their 7th round pick on defensive tackle Eric Taylor. While he never played a down for them, he did go on to have a decent CFL career that ended around 2015. Of course, Pittsburgh did have plenty of success with DeAngelo Williams, who played for Fichtner in college.