In case you didn't know, it's time to rejoice in Steeler Nation!
Why? Because Todd Haley is out as offensive coordinator, and quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner is in (at least that's the report as I gleefully write this article).
Actually, I'm not gleeful about the news on Wednesday that head coach Mike Tomlin decided to go in a different direction with his offense.
For starters, with Fichtner in-charge of the game-planning, you're not going to see a different direction—and that's how it should be, anyway.
Obviously, with an all-time great quarterback heading into his 15th season—one who is surrounded by some of the greatest offensive talent in the NFL—the last thing you want or need is a new direction.
Say what you want about Haley, but the offense--and the all-time great quarterback—did improve during his tenure.
Again, though, Haley was game-planning for a super-talented group of men, so you likely didn't care for his results very much. And given how he often schemed for other teams and left you scratching your head during key in-game moments (there were more than a few, but you—like me—are still stuck on those two fourth and inches calls from the other day), you understandably don't think he got enough out of that super-talented group of men.
But weren't we saying the same thing about Bruce Arians six years ago at this time when he, like Haley, was fired in every sense of the word without it actually being verbalized?
In case you don't remember, you hated Arians and, like Haley, you didn't like how he schemed for other teams. He also left you scratching your head a lot during many key in-game moments.
You didn't like his fondness for bubble screens, nor his inability to get consistent results in the red zone (sound familiar)?
You also didn't think Arians was getting the most out of a super-talented group of men—forget the fact that it wasn't nearly as talented as the current one.
And this is why I'm not jumping for joy over the change in offensive coordinators.
Six years ago, the Steelers wanted quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's relationship with his coordinator to be less buddy-like and more businesslike.
They wanted a butt-kicker, someone to make the franchise quarterback realize he wasn't the one calling the shots.
They got that, and it mostly worked.
Only problem was, the franchise quarterback and the butt-kicker didn't get along...like ever.
Things got so bad in 2017, the franchise quarterback wanted Haley up in the booth, and when that didn't transpire, Roethlisberger wanted Fichtner on the sidelines to act as a buffer.
Six years ago, right after Arians was out and before Haley was in, I went on record as saying a franchise quarterback should get to call some of the shots—and he should absolutely have a great relationship with his offensive coordinator, like Roethlisberger did with Arians.
It makes no sense for a big-time quarterback and his coordinator to hate each other.
It's like a director and a famous actor not getting along.
Okay, so we've come full-circle, and Roethlisberger will have a buddy as his coordinator once again.
And, guess what?
You'll hate him.
Oh, you might be happy now, but I've seen this performance play out far too many times to think you won't hate Fichtner.
I know this because nobody ever likes the offensive coordinator...like ever.
You'll complain about Fichtner's schemes. You'll scratch your head during those key in-game moments. Heck, like "Hayley," you'll even spell his last name wrong a lot—it's almost impossible not to.
Let's be real, the reason Todd Haley was fired had almost nothing to do with performance and everything to do with not being able to get along with just about anyone—but especially his franchise quarterback.
The Steelers got what they wanted out of Haley. They wanted him to help turn Roethlisberger into a much better, healthier and more efficient quarterback.
No. 7's style has been adequately tweaked, and he has a masterful grasp of the offense.
If anyone should be rejoicing in Steeler Nation, it's Ben Roethlisberger.
As for you and me, it's just a matter of when we'll start hating Randy Fichtner.