clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Keith Butler is an example why Randy Fichtner doesn’t deserve all the blame for the Steelers offense

The Pittsburgh Steelers offense has been stagnant, but maybe fans need to look at the past to really see the present through the correct lens.

Kansas City Chiefs v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The other day I was getting our house ready for the holidays which are about to ensue, and I was thinking about the abysmal Pittsburgh Steelers offense. I couldn’t help but wonder what, or who, was to blame for the unit barely being able to score a touchdown, let alone 30 points in a game.

Immediately my mind goes to Randy Fichtner, the offensive coordinator.

I have been very vocal on our many podcasts about my disdain for Fichtner’s play calling and overall perceived ineptitude when it pertains to the job. However, the more I thought about another coach, the more I realized I might be wrong about Fichtner.

That coach would be none other than defensive coordinator Keith Butler.

Think about all the things you are hearing about Randy Fichtner after the 16-10 loss to the New York Jets where the offense was shut out in three of four quarters.

“Fichtner doesn’t know how to put his players in the best places to succeed!”

“These plays Fichtner calls are downright idiotic!”

“This guy has to go...”

If you rewind just a few short years ago, the almost identical statements were being made about Keith Butler.

“Butler can’t coach this team up!”

“Can we get Dick LeBeau back?”

“This guy has to go!”

I remember the absolute anger spewing from keyboards when the Steelers decided to keep Butler for the duration of his contract. But was anyone complaining about Butler in 2019? Were #FireButler tweets a thing that I didn’t notice?

Butler was given time, and it paid off. The biggest factor is Butler finally had the horses in the stable needed to run his schemes. The drafting of Devin Bush, the trade for Minkah Fitzpatrick and the acquisition of Steven Nelson have all paid huge dividends for the defense in 2019.

It very well might have saved Butler’s job and gotten him a new contract.

As for Fichtner, shouldn’t he be given the same patience the organization gave Butler? After all, it isn’t like Fichtner has 10 first round draft picks on his side of the ball like Butler has...

When Ben Roethlisberger went down with his season-ending elbow injury, it started a domino effect which was only compounded by the lengthy losses of James Conner and JuJu Smith-Schuster for their own injuries.

Before I go any further, let it be known I am not ecstatic with the job Fichtner has done this season. There is plenty of room for improvement, but I feel it prudent to take a more wait-and-see approach to Fichtner’s job duties.

Let’s see what he can do with Roethlisberger, James Washington, Diontae Johnson, JuJu Smith-Schuster and hopefully some new faces at key positions which will impact the team in a positive way, unlike what Donte Moncrief did in his short stint with Pittsburgh.

This isn’t a popular sentiment right now, but what I believe in moving into the offseason.

Want more on this topic? I dive into it in detail in the podcast below!

To listen/watch the podcasts, check out the players below!


Podcast Player: