The Pittsburgh Steelers are making at least one significant change on offense in 2021.
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Thursday that the Steelers are parting ways with offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner, per a source informed of the situation.
Fichtner's contract was set to expire at the start of the new league year, and the club will not renew a deal for its offensive coordinator.
Fichtner joined the Steelers in 2007, coach Mike Tomlin's first year with the club.
The Steelers later confirmed the news, adding offensive line coach Shaun Sarrett and defensive backs coach Tom Bradley will also not have their contracts renewed.
"I want to thank all three of the coaches for their commitment and dedication to the Pittsburgh Steelers," Tomlin said in a statement. "They have all played integral roles in our success and I am appreciative of their efforts. Personally, Randy and I have been in Pittsburgh since I hired him in 2007, but our relationship began well before that. He has been a friend of mine for years and wish his family nothing but the best, and I am eternally grateful for our relationship both on and off the field."
The team also announced the retirement of longtime tight ends coach James Daniel, who started in that post in 2004.
Fichtner started as the Steelers wide receivers coach, a title he held for three seasons. He then moved on to QBs coach, working directly with Ben Roethlisberger. He held the quarterbacks coach gig for eight seasons before becoming the OC in 2018 when he took over for Todd Haley.
Under Fichtner's guidance, the Steelers' offense got off to a hot start, with Roethlisberger throwing for 5,129 yards in his first season as OC. It's been a sharp downhill since.
Last year with Big Ben on the shelf for most of the season, the offensive struggles were expected. In 2020, Fichtner helped tweak the game plan for Roethlisberger, with the QB getting the ball out of his hands quicker than he has at any time in his career. The move helped Roethlisberger get hit less frequently, but the offense as a whole was rough to watch and inconsistent, and couldn't run the ball.
The Steelers sorely missed offensive line coach Mike Munchak as the blocking has been one source of trouble, particularly in the run game, since he left two years ago. Sarrett took over at that time.
Fichtner was just the third OC during Tomlin's tenure, following Bruce Arians and Haley.
Now the Super Bowl-winning coach will take another shot at jumpstarting an offense that needs a fresh voice.