Report: Steelers won’t renew OC Randy Fichtner’s contract

USA TODAY Sports

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said on Wednesday he understands that “we better make some changes in what we do” after losing five of their final six games, including the 48-37 drubbing by the Browns that knocked them out of the playoffs last Sunday night.

One of those changes is reportedly coming at offensive coordinator. Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports that Randy Fichtner will not have his contract renewed for the 2021 season.

Fichtner joined the Steelers as the wide receivers coach in 2007 and became the quarterbacks coach in 2010. He added offensive coordinator to his title after Todd Haley left following the 2017 season and dropped the quarterbacks coach title this season.

The Steelers ranked 12th in points scored and 24th in yards this season, but struggled to move the ball on the ground all season and had wholesale issues as they sputtered to the finish line in the regular season.

Defensive coordinator Keith Butler’s contract is also up, so the Steelers could wind up making changes on both sides of the ball after a year that had an unhappy ending.

54 responses to “Report: Steelers won’t renew OC Randy Fichtner’s contract

  1. As a Steeler fan, why did we ever go away from using a TE and understanding how important they are to a good run game and diverse passing game look at SF, TN, GB, BLT!

  2. As a Steeler fan, why did we ever go away from using a TE and understanding how important they are to a good run game and diverse passing game look at SF, TN, GB, BLT?

  3. Tomlin has decided the best way to save his own job is to throw everyone else under the bus. Look forward to more firings. If you’re an assistant coach, why wouldn’t you jump ship when he’s going to blame his lack of leadership on the coaches.

  4. They need changes at both coaching positions, or Mike Tomlin could eventually find himself on the move as well.

  5. Just like the Pete Carroll comments that foreshadowed Schottenheimer getting fired, you could have foreseen this with what Mike Tomlin said on Monday. They fired Bruce Arians for the same thing, getting away from the Steeler identity of running the football and being physical, and he was way better than this guy.

  6. Well, that a good first step Front Office. Next, force Ben to take a pay cut or cut him. Move on.

  7. At least the Steelers acknowledge something was wrong and are inclined to make changes, unlike George “Mediocre” McCaskey who thinks things are just fine….

  8. Tomlin needs a fresh start, so do the Pittsburgh Steelers. 3 playoff wins in 10 years. The new standard is pretty low in Pittsburgh. Since he lost Cowhers coaches and players it’s been nothing but underachieving and early playoff exits.

  9. So the high snap on the game’s first play and Big Ben’s failure to fall on the ball (as in Cam Newton) and four interceptions were the fault of the OC.

    Got it.

  10. When a team struggles to run the ball, it’s usually not the play caller’s fault. He’s not the one failing to make the blocks or not hitting the hole fast enough. The Steelers RBs are below average, which is on the GM, not the OC.

  11. I’m looking for a serious opinion on this from Steelers fans. It seemed to be a pretty well functioning offense. Was it really the OC?

  12. Funny how through week 11, the OC & DC looked very good. They both should have insisted on extensions mid season.

  13. Glory, glory, hallelujah!!!! Guy was in way over his head. I will be surprised if he ever makes it past WR coach ever again.

  14. This might also mean that Big Ben is going to retire. It is unlikely that he’ll want to learn a new offense if he only plays one more year.

  15. He was at a disadvantage due to the non-existant run game, but the last six weeks or so have been the worst steelers offense seen in over a decade. It was so basic and predictable that teams were jumping routes and calling out plays pre-snap. Any semblance of a capable offense came from no-huddle. Sayonara Randy.

  16. The fall guy goes down. Now the Steelers r in great shape and Tomlin will win the next super bowl. Lol. this is like throwing deck chairs off the Titanic. They need to get rid of the whole staff from head coach on down.

  17. Steelers fan here – worst part of the season was when you could hear the other team calling out our plays, killing them before they even began.

  18. Even though the overall offense has been productive when Ben played from 2017-2020, the only year the Steelers weren’t in the bottom 3 in terms of rushing office was Bell’s final year as a Steeler and that year they were in the middle of the pack.

    Playcalling and play design have to be part of that problem, but so is talent. Randy – meet scapegoat…

  19. It’s no secret Ben likes to audible out of run plays, maybe because he wants to pad his stats ? But yeah fire the OC.

  20. Steelers should also dump Keith Butler and bring in Matt Patricia as defensive coordinator, and perhaps head coach-in waiting.

  21. You B. Crazy says:
    January 14, 2021 at 11:58 am
    When a team struggles to run the ball, it’s usually not the play caller’s fault. He’s not the one failing to make the blocks or not hitting the hole fast enough. The Steelers RBs are below average, which is on the GM, not the OC.

    **********************************************************************************

    That’s questionable. Steelers OL has been rough at run blocking this year and last, and that’s not debatable.

    Part of it’s age. OL needs fundamentally revamped. Villanueva, Pouncey, and DeCastro are getting old. They can’t pull as well as they used to and they get blown up too often now. Villanueva’s not being resigned. Pouncey and DeCastro, we’ll see (DeCastro will probably be back; unsure about Pouncey). Conner’s not the shiftiest or fastest guy, but there’s no reason he can’t be a decent RB behind a half-decent run blocking OL. Knock on him is durability, not productivity.

    OL coach also got canned today. Kinda had the impression people were sour on him because his name isn’t Mike Munchak, but if they’re drafting the next generation at OL, better to have a guy in place that they think can do it right.

  22. I am actually shocked Raham Morris or wade Phillips hasn’t been named new DC.
    Randy sucked but his QB refused to get under center and hated play action so that limited the play options. Definitely need new blood on the o line

  23. Nick Name says:
    January 14, 2021 at 12:00 pm
    I’m looking for a serious opinion on this from Steelers fans. It seemed to be a pretty well functioning offense. Was it really the OC?

    Absolutely. His play calling was terrible. Defenses were figuring out what they were running and he did not adjust. When they went to the hurry up with Ben calling plays in his last 2 games, the offense was clicking.

  24. joshhatesthesteelers says:
    January 14, 2021 at 12:44 pm
    It’s no secret Ben likes to audible out of run plays, maybe because he wants to pad his stats ? But yeah fire the OC.

    Ben audibles out of run plays when he sees the defense keying on the run. Nothing to do with padding his stats. The OC has been terrible this year.

  25. Part of the issue with the Steelers O is that they have zero creativity. As a fan, who watches every game, and every snap, I can see the same vanilla plays week after week. They rarely, if ever, try to exploit the other team’s weakness. Part of why they can’t run is playcalling…the dink and dunk killed this offense. I’m assuming they thought they were protecting BR’s elbow, but it greatly cost the team…IMO. They need a fresh, creative mind in there that is given a lot of latitude to develop a dynamic offense. There will be growing pains, but it’s better than rolling out the same thing week after week.

  26. Retreads to an extent may be all they get. Why would the OC and O line positions be attractive for anyone young? OC- the QB is old, may be here one year may not come back. O line – the line is old and or shot. Only thing attractive is pass catchers.

  27. Hate to say it as they had such a good run, but the browns FINISH’d the Steelers mortal kombat style. Feel bad for their fans

  28. joshhatesthesteelers says:
    January 14, 2021 at 12:44 pm
    It’s no secret Ben likes to audible out of run plays, maybe because he wants to pad his stats ? But yeah fire the OC.

    Ben audibles out of run plays when he sees the defense keying on the run. Nothing to do with padding his stats. The OC has been terrible this year.
    ———————————————————–

    Ben audible out of plays and calling the plays out of the no huddle is the only reason they moved the ball and scored any points at all this season.

  29. I feel bad for Steelers fans, because they’re stuck with this coach who can’t get them to the promised land. He won with someone else’s team when he first took over, and hasn’t been able to deliver since

  30. bondlake says:
    January 14, 2021 at 11:44 am
    So the high snap on the game’s first play and Big Ben’s failure to fall on the ball (as in Cam Newton) and four interceptions were the fault of the OC.

    Got it.
    —————
    no but you know what is? zero running game and 5-yard crossing routes for every wr. every play.

  31. Ya have to blame someone for that debacle and funny, the HC seems safe yet its his ship that went into the toilet bowl.

  32. I’m reading that some Steelers fans want Tomlin fired. Really?? His winning percentage is fantastic. Who are they going to get? Tomlin needs fresh blood infused in his coaching staff. Everyone knew what plays the OC was calling. Definitely need a fresh defensive approach and a running back NOT named James Connor. If my team had Tomlins success, I’d be gleeful.

  33. stlrhd says:
    January 14, 2021 at 11:24 am
    Good news. Bet Ben packs it in, too. No way he comes back for one year with a new OC.
    —————————————————————————————————-
    He has 34 million reason to come back.$$

  34. Ben audibled out of run plays cause we can’t run, the rb’s are avg at best and the oline sucks, plus half the time they were stupid dives or fake end arounds into the middle of the line anyway… So yeah that’s why…duh.

  35. The Steelers went 11-0 on bad defenses/bad teams. They were predictable and got beaten up once they started playing good or even decent teams. Yes, the WRs started to make Agholor look like Freddie Belitnikoff but still. They are an old team that could not run the ball and had no back-up plan and no innovation. All that said, that first quarter would have killed almost any team. They had to make changes. The D suffered injury after injury so Butler might survive. They need to convince Ben to pack it in and somehow pry Hurts away from Philly.

  36. Christopher Allan says:
    January 14, 2021 at 2:45 pm
    stlrhd says:
    January 14, 2021 at 11:24 am
    Good news. Bet Ben packs it in, too. No way he comes back for one year with a new OC.
    —————————————————————————————————-
    He has 34 million reason to come back.$$

    ;:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
    Ben’s cap for 2021 is $41 million………by Ben

  37. Mike Tomlin’s clock management skills and in game adjustments are off the charts. He has his bunch ready to play every week….well um… any way he’s not going anywhere because the Steelers will never fire him.

  38. Does this mean no more inside handoffs? I hate that call and you always know when it’s coming

  39. It is time to blow up this team and have two years of pain. They draft well but the salary cap prevents them from getting stronger. They need to get a younger crew in.

  40. First Bruce Arians was the problem, then Todd Haley is the problem, now Randy Fichtner is the problem. Who is the problem now?

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