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View Full Version : Fichtner has pedigree to succeed as Steelers OC.....



DIESELMAN
01-25-2012, 03:08 AM
By Scott Brown, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Randy Fichtner's former boss said three words best describe the coach that could become the Steelers' next offensive coordinator: energy, enthusiasm and passion.

"It's not just a day at the office with Randy, and I think it's contagious," said Tommy West, who was the head coach at Memphis University when Fichtner was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach there. "He has 'it,' and players respond to it."

Fichtner, the Steelers' quarterbacks coach, is a candidate to succeed Bruce Arians, who told the York Daily Record earlier this week that the Steelers did not renew his contract.

Fichtner has a close relationship with coach Mike Tomlin and franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and the Steelers' last three offensive coordinators Arians, Ken Whisenhunt and Mike Mularkey were in-house hires. Fichtner also has play-calling experience, having served as an offensive coordinator for 10 consecutive seasons before joining Tomlin's staff in 2007.

Fichtner presided over a spread offense at Memphis, something that might be at odds with the Steelers' smash-mouth sensibilities. But he also helped mold running back DeAngelo Williams during his second coaching stint at Memphis, and Williams became an All-American and a first-round draft pick by the Carolina Panthers in 2006.

"(He was an) unbelievable players' coach when I was with him at Memphis," said Clay Helton, who coached wide receivers at Memphis while Fichtner was the offensive coordinator. "I think players understand that he has a genuine care for them on and off the field, and he is as an attention-to-details coach as there is out there."

Helton said Fichtner put as much energy into coaching players that weren't on the depth chart as he did the starters. That, he said, allowed Memphis to weather so many injuries at quarterback during one season that the Tigers were forced to start their No. 4 signal-caller and still went to a bowl game.

Helton said Fichtner's success didn't just stem from preparing his players for games.

"I thought he had a great strength for being able to adjust in ballgames, being able to make adjustments at halftime," said Helton, now the quarterbacks coach at Southern Cal. "Everywhere he's been, he's been successful. Given the opportunity (to serve as the Steelers' offensive coordinator) he would do that again."

Fichtner and Tomlin go back to the late 1990s, when he served as Arkansas State's offensive coordinator while the latter served as the team's wide receivers coach in 1997 and the secondary coach in 1998.

West said the two were known to have such a strong working relationship that when the Steelers hired Tomlin in January 2007, he knew Fichtner would soon be bound for Pittsburgh.

Fichtner coached the Steelers' wide receivers for three seasons, helping to develop Santonio Holmes and Mike Wallace, whom he had endorsed before the Steelers selected the speedster in the third round of the 2009 draft.

Fichtner took over as quarterbacks coach in 2010, following Ken Anderson's retirement, and he helped ease the Steelers through a tumultuous first quarter of the season. The Steelers started three different quarterbacks in the first five games because of injuries and a suspension to Roethlisberger, and they still went 4-1 during that span.

This past season, Roethlisberger threw for more than 4,000 yards for only the second time in his career, despite a high-ankle sprain that caused the eighth-year veteran to miss a game and hampered him in two others.

Roethlisberger will play in his second Pro Bowl on Sunday, and Fichtner and his wife are among those who will be in Hawaii as Roethlisberger's guests.

One thing that could work against Fichtner becoming only the second offensive coordinator under Tomlin: if the Steelers want to shake things up after Arians and go outside the organization for his replacement.

The Steelers finished 12th in the NFL in total offense last season (372.3 yard per game), but were tied for 21st in scoring (20.3 ppg).

Team president Art Rooney II brought up the Steelers' scoring difficulties last week when asked what he thought had gone wrong in 2011.

Tomlin said at his final news conference of the season that he values continuity. If he decides to promote someone from his staff, West said, Fichtner would be an ideal choice.

"Randy's got a great football mind," West said. "It's the enthusiasm that I think sets him apart as a coach."

Not the "sexy" pick everyone has on their wish list. he does have the credentials, knows the offensive players and with that knowledge comes knowing the players strengths and weaknesses. That's the one of the keys to our offense for 2012, play to our strengths. That in itself would solve a lot of issues we have on offense especially our red zone problems. We shall see....,

Steelers_All_Day_43
01-25-2012, 06:27 AM
I've been thinking about him being our OC more and more and tbh, it's not so bad along as he makes the tweaks necessary for our offense to excel.

K Train
01-25-2012, 06:58 AM
he would be a commitment to mediocrity at the position

LatrobePA
01-25-2012, 08:59 AM
Just like drafting a punter in the 4th round this team will always make me scratch my head!

JensK
01-25-2012, 09:02 AM
It is anything but decided yet anyway. Steelers are, apperently, keeping their cards very close about this. One I do wonder though is why we have not heard anything about interviews from outsiders. I mean, I'm not a bug fan of Fichtner, but if its him I'll be more than willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I would, however, be very disappointed if they hired him without giving other more obvious candidates an interview.

LatrobePA
01-25-2012, 09:10 AM
Picking from with in means Ben will still control the coach, this is Tomlins way to help smooth over Ben after being forced to release his BFF! It's just another sign that Tomlin is all talk no sack!

K Train
01-25-2012, 09:13 AM
Just like drafting a punter in the 4th round this team will always make me scratch my head!

hey he was a great pick

JensK
01-25-2012, 09:14 AM
Picking from with in means Ben will still control of the coach, this is Tomlins way to help smooth over Ben after being forced to release his BFF! It's just another sign that Tomlin is all talk no sack!

Seeing its most likely Rooney who are in charge of this (judging from what we've heard thus far), I guess you are somewhat right. Apparently Rooney won't trust Tomlin to do this. Again, I'm fine with trying Fichtner for a year or two. You never know, he might be a brilliant coach, but I just want him to win it over other candidates rather than just getting the job per default.

LatrobePA
01-25-2012, 09:15 AM
hey he was a great pick

Key word was! lol

BlitzburghRockCity
01-25-2012, 09:51 AM
One of the things I've heard about him from several sources is that he's a great X's and O's type of guy. He understands football, knows the fundamentals inside and out, and can gameplan accordingly to give the offense the best matchup possible.

From that perspective he would be a very good choice, I think the questions are will he be able to control Ben and his desire to not change his game and "who he is".

LatrobePA
01-25-2012, 10:22 AM
From that perspective he would be a very good choice, I think the questions are will he be able to control Ben and his desire to not change his game and "who he is".

Bingo! Throw the last 3 play playbook into the fire and start fresh, put Ben's *** on a very short leash, pick up a true FB and I'm fine I guess!

SteelCityKid5
01-25-2012, 10:43 AM
IMO, go outside the organization

coldrolled
01-25-2012, 10:57 AM
Fichtner was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Memphis...

And he is now QB coach here and ben holds the ball forever... doesnt throw it away for anything and takes the sacks instead of seeing another play.. ben has a lot of bad habits and randy is the coach of those bad habits...

im not feeling real good about this idea...

K Train
01-25-2012, 11:09 AM
ben isnt really coachable in that regard....thats just natural ability and mentality taking over in game time.

thats not my concern at all, its playcalling and scheming

LatrobePA
01-25-2012, 11:49 AM
Fichtner was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Memphis...

And he is now QB coach here and ben holds the ball forever... doesnt throw it away for anything and takes the sacks instead of seeing another play.. ben has a lot of bad habits and randy is the coach of those bad habits...

im not feeling real good about this idea...

In other words he's a terrible coach so why would he be a better OC?

Answer: HE won't, Ben has gotten worse IMO since he took over as QB coach..

BlitzburghRockCity
01-25-2012, 12:41 PM
We can't blame all of Ben's "shortcomings" for lack of a better term on Randy. Arians came up with the gameplan each week, and called the plays during the game. It's not a matter of Ben's mechanics being bad or a lack of talent; which is what Randy focuses on with a good bit of his time.

He doesn't control the offensive line and the injuries that cause the lack of protection every week. I don't think he'll be a bad coach, he knows the x's and o's of NFL football. The question will be how much of Arians will he have in him and can he improve the redzone efficiency.

Raleigh Steel
01-25-2012, 01:12 PM
the only reason ben holds onto the ball too long is because the route distribution was so poor under arians that nobody was ever open and he plus the receivers had to adjust and get open.

arians taught ben basically, "if you're gonna throw it, don't take anything less than 15 yards."

K Train
01-25-2012, 01:37 PM
the only reason ben holds onto the ball too long is because the route distribution was so poor under arians that nobody was ever open and he plus the receivers had to adjust and get open.

arians taught ben basically, "if you're gonna throw it, don't take anything less than 15 yards."

arians loved screens to so that logic makes no sense.

the only reason ben holds on to the ball so long has nothing to do with route distribution, its because hes huge and has awareness levels off the charts and can swat most defenders away

coldrolled
01-25-2012, 02:05 PM
ben isnt really coachable in that regard....thats just natural ability and mentality taking over in game time.

thats not my concern at all, its playcalling and scheming

im not looking at it that way... but if you do.. you did have a qb coach and a OC working together and coming up with that game plan and the qb play.. then when ben was hurt whos job is it to have a quality backup qb ready to play into the game plan? like yates did for the texans...

The QB coach or OC or both?... Still not feeling good about this one.

LatrobePA
01-25-2012, 02:13 PM
Cam Cameron? Reports are saying he could be out of bmore.

Steelers_All_Day_43
01-25-2012, 02:39 PM
Cam Cameron? Reports are saying he could be out of bmore.

NOT SURE IF SERIOUS?

LatrobePA
01-25-2012, 02:50 PM
NOT SURE IF SERIOUS?

I am 100%, when he was first hired there I was pissed, I think he's decent but trying to hard to make Sacco a QB he wasn't...

Steelers_All_Day_43
01-25-2012, 03:36 PM
I am 100%, when he was first hired there I was pissed, I think he's decent but trying to hard to make Sacco a QB he wasn't...

I hope he doesnt get hired...he doesnt know how to utilize his weapons. He barely runs the ball with the ravens best player being at RB. He also has Anquan Boldin lined up on the outside most of the time when hes way more effective in the slot. Many ravens fans also complain that he tries to throw from i-form waaay too much. Im not a fan

LatrobePA
01-25-2012, 03:54 PM
I hope he doesnt get hired...he doesnt know how to utilize his weapons. He barely runs the ball with the ravens best player being at RB. He also has Anquan Boldin lined up on the outside most of the time when hes way more effective in the slot. Many ravens fans also complain that he tries to throw from i-form waaay too much. Im not a fan

This past season I agree 100% it wasn't his finest showing.. Years past when they used Ray Rice more I thought damn this guy is good..

BlitzburghRockCity
01-25-2012, 04:39 PM
This might make us feel a bit more at ease if Fichtner does get the job.

Helton said Fichtner put as much energy into coaching players that weren't on the depth chart as he did the starters. That, he said, allowed Memphis to weather so many injuries at quarterback during one season that the Tigers were forced to start their No. 4 signal-caller and still went to a bowl game.

Helton said Fichtner's success didn't just stem from preparing his players for games.
"I thought he had a great strength for being able to adjust in ballgames, being able to make adjustments at halftime," said Helton, now the quarterbacks coach at Southern Cal. "Everywhere he's been, he's been successful. Given the opportunity (to serve as the Steelers' offensive coordinator) he would do that again."

Fichtner and Tomlin go back to the late 1990s, when he served as Arkansas State's offensive coordinator while the latter served as the team's wide receivers coach in 1997 and the secondary coach in 1998.


Full story (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_778223.html#ixzz1kVaUTfo)

Black@Gold Forever32
01-25-2012, 05:57 PM
I don't know why people are so quick to bag Fichtner......I'm all for Todd Haley or somebody of that pedigree but at the same time who knows if Fichtner isn't the next great OC....I'm willing to give the guy a chance if he is the next OC......

K Train
01-25-2012, 07:07 PM
with a steelers hat and sunglasses he looks way to much like bruce arians for my comfort level

Black@Gold Forever32
01-25-2012, 08:03 PM
with a steelers hat and sunglasses he looks way to much like bruce arians for my comfort level

I know what you're saying but that doesn't mean he will be exactly like BA.......This isn't the Rooney's are always right post from me either...Just saying I'm willing to give the new OC a shot as long as its not Jim Caldwell.......:lol:

K Train
01-25-2012, 08:09 PM
i was definitely joking lol, i did confuse them on the sidelines a lot though.

im kinda sick of promoting after arians...the steelers wont give us a splash in free agency, they could at least give us something to be excited about in an offensive coordinator lol

connecticutsteel
01-25-2012, 10:54 PM
I think no matter what people are going to be unhappy with the hire

jpele
01-25-2012, 11:04 PM
I don't know why people are so quick to bag Fichtner......I'm all for Todd Haley or somebody of that pedigree but at the same time who knows if Fichtner isn't the next great OC....I'm willing to give the guy a chance if he is the next OC......

Basically the same thing I said in the Kugler post. Everybody has to start somewhere. Fichtner was a good OC on the college level.

BlitzburghRockCity
01-27-2012, 02:44 PM
At this point I would have to say I'd be surprised if it's not Fichtner. Nobody is leaking anything, no news on any pending interested candidate interviews.

With so much change going on potentially with player injuries and the salary cap, I would doubt they will rock the ship and go outside of the team if they can possibly help it.

coldrolled
01-27-2012, 03:57 PM
its brad childress......

oh, for two games...

Shurmur hires ex-Vikings coach Childress as Browns OC

BlitzburghRockCity
01-30-2012, 12:56 PM
I'm just waiting for the announcement that Fichtner is the guy. Even more though to hear Tomlin and or Rooney II say that he was the front runner all along but they did speak to some others. I also expect them to not reveal who's those other candidates were regardless of how much the media presses them for that information.

K Train
01-30-2012, 01:05 PM
i just cant wrap my brain around haley getting no attention at all

Raleigh Steel
01-30-2012, 01:07 PM
i just cant wrap my brain around haley getting no attention at all

agreed, he must have called tomlin for an interview during dinner or something.

LatrobePA
01-30-2012, 01:13 PM
i just cant wrap my brain around haley getting no attention at all

They're scared, under Tomlin you are not allowed to be seen jumping, high fiving, cheering or showing any kind of emotions on the sidelines...

Haley is a homerun IMO!!