When the Pittsburgh Steelers were 10-0, there was not much to complain about.
In particular, on the offensive side of the ball, the Steelers finished fourth in the NFL in points per game (29.8). Quarterback Ben Rothlisberger’s renaissance has created a much-needed career on Haynes Field’s scoreboards, with the help of a consistent support of the best surrounding cast and running backs of pass-catchers.
While much of the season has yet to be played before a Super Bowl champion is announced, it does not stop the conversation of potential bumps on the road the Steelers have to cross to lift their seventh Lombardy trophy. Whether it’s a shootout with Patrick Mohams or a third test with Lamar Jackson, there are plenty of roadblocks to crossing Pittsburgh to reach the final destination of Tampa Bay by the end of February.
As the 2020 regular season draws to a close, I’m here to say that Pittsburgh’s biggest roadblock is not in Kansas City, nor is it playing for another team / coach.
This is attack coordinator Randy Fitchner.
I spent a few weeks discussing writing this section. How can I say this with the Steelers rolling into its current form? Putting something like this into the ether seemed almost awkward because I would either come out with an incredibly disgusting dislike for Fitch (I’m talked to him, no less than a good man) or I would simply adapt every yin and yang to their horrible pieces a little harder every Sunday.
Recently Film essay discussing Pittsburgh run game issues, I pointed out that Fitchner had one of a few problems acting against the Steelers ’ability to run the ball effectively. While not the only mistake, the team is very satisfied with trying to establish a ground game against heavily stacked boxes.
The truth is, Fitchner did not spend a game for Pittsburgh this season. However, the Steelers had a few games that were too close for comfort to the conservative game call. The matches against the Titans and the Eagles are examples of Fitzer taking his gas as a game-caller very quickly as the Steelers took a nearly 17 and 20-point lead in the third quarter of each game.
Of course, Pittsburgh’s defense should have some of that responsibility. However, while on your defensive domain, you should take ownership of those issues with the game call, without thanking for three and out offenses.
Even with a 27-3 win over the Jaguars in Jacksonville last Sunday, Fitchner’s love affair with the screen pass, the second and long draws to grow, grew into frustration with the inefficient use of jet sweeps. I often felt that the Steelers were all predictable in the usual run-run-pass sequence of plays that Fitchner dialed.
Sooner or later, Fitchner’s less effort will cost the Steelers. However, that is my opinion AllSteilers Publisher Nova Strokebeen sees things a little differently:
“Do I think Fitchner’s game call will cost the Steelers a game? No, but it’s not about him,” Strokebeen said.
“The Steelers’ best performance in crime is Ben Rothlisberger’s ability to create plays and know the ingenuity of crime when flying. They do exactly what they want, but Fitchner Steelers did no good for the crime. “
Maybe that’s the problem: Fitchner’s problems have largely disappeared, and at the end of the day the star play is covered by a combination of Rothlisberger and defensive stops near the final whistle.
Is Fitchner going anywhere? not at all. Like the Strokebean mentioned above, whether Fitchner and Rothlisberger are a bottle of two Peas, Nano or Steelers fans would like to admit it. Rothlisberger has all the freedom in the world under Fitchner, and the organization is not going to regret their ownership of the quarterback.
Combine the above rationale with Pittsburgh’s perfect start, and there are little reason to believe that Fitchner will not be sidelined if Rothlisberger remains.
Simply put, things work. There may come a point in a major game for the Steelers, when the lights shine brightly and the results get bigger, the guy who sends plays through the headset can’t be beaten by the team.
Is Fitchner the worst attack coordinator known to man? Of course not, I hope this piece did not come that way. Can do much worse than Fitchner (Steelers) (Dot Haley anyone?) Yet Fitchner has room for improvement. Lots of room. The Steelers ’offense is one of the most talented teams in the league, but Fitchner feels he could be the biggest person to stop them.
Pittsburgh’s crime is a Lamborghini. Randy Fitchner’s Play-Call is the best brakes you can buy.