PITTSBURGH (AP) – The Steelers didn’t look very far for offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s replacement, promoting longtime quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner to the position on Thursday, four days after Pittsburgh’s season ended with a divisional round playoff loss to Jacksonville.
The Steelers chose not to renew Haley’s contract, opening the door for Fichtner to take over one of the league’s most dynamic offenses. The 54-year-old Fichtner last called plays while serving as offensive coordinator at Memphis from 2001-06.
He joined Pittsburgh’s coaching staff in 2007 as one of coach Mike Tomlin’s initial hires. Fichtner spent three seasons as wide receivers coach before becoming the quarterbacks coach in 2010, where he developed a close rapport with Ben Roethlisberger.
“We have a tremendous roster, and it will be my charge to continue putting our offensive players in position to succeed and score points,” Fichtner said in a statement.
“We have the nucleus to be successful, and I am thrilled about the chance to lead the offense as we have already started preparing for the 2018 season.”
Pittsburgh finished third in total yards and eighth in scoring in 2017 and put up 42 points against the Jaguars, but that wasn’t enough for the Steelers to keep Haley. Pittsburgh parted ways with Haley on Wednesday after six successful, if occasionally, volatile seasons.
Fichtner has a more low-key approach to his job and a long relationship with Tomlin. Fichtner was quarterbacks coach/offensive coordinator at Arkansas State in 1997 when the program hired Tomlin as a wide receivers coach.