Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Steelers looking in-house first

The Steelers will look for an offensive coordinator in-house first, giving Randy Fichtner and Sean Kugler the first shot at replacing Bruce Arians.

Fichtner, the team's wide receivers coach when hired, has spent the past two seasons as quarterbacks coach.

Kugler, meanwhile, has been with the Steelers for two seasons as offensive line coach, joining them after stints in Detroit and Buffalo.

Both men are sharp and it seems becoming an offensive coordinator would be the next logical step for either man.

44 comments:

Steve-O said...

What are you thoughts on Kugler? I think he's done an incredible job with the hand he's been dealt but I'm not sure that makes him OC material. If he hasn't previously been involved in planning an offensive strategy (beyond the O-Line) then I wonder if the Steelers aren't better off going after a Todd Haley type of guy.

Anonymous said...

Todd Haley or Al Saunders if he`s available...

Anonymous said...

good

if Rooney really wants a better running attack then Kugler would be a fine choice

but with the way the NFL is going Fichter seems like the sensible, yet less balanced, choice

Robert K said...

I don't understand the desire to go in house on offense at all. You go in house to maintain continuity. But our offense was mediocre to bad, why would you want to continue that?

I don't think I would have a high opinion of Ben's QB coach given Ben's undisciplined play and the way it hurt the team this year and last year.

Anonymous said...

Wiz was in house, Mularkey was in house. They were pretty good, and so was Arians. What's the big deal?

the system is not broken, it just needs tweaking. Im cool with Arians gone because we need some fresh blood there. But an outside OC would bring too much changes that could leave us our of the race this season

DAVE said...

Here's a thought, if the OC is Fichter they'll possibly need to find a QB coach that is not in-house.

Continuity because the system is not broken, but enough new blood to keep everyone working hard and focused.

Robert K said...

Why does everyone think putting in a new OC will ruin the offense?

The 49ers put in a whole new coaching staff and went from losers to nearly making the SB. They also ranked 11th in scoring compared to our ranking of 21st. ALL WITH ALEX SMITH AS QB.

I think our offense could learn a new system faster than you think.

Anonymous said...

How about Batch for the in house QB Coach. Too early??

Sure, it's not impossible to learn a new system in less than one season. But the system is not broken like the 49ers' was. Ours is good but needs someone to make it better, not start from the beggining. Much less risk at that, and I think it's likely what we'll see

but if they do bring in a new coach then I'm all for it. The players on offense are pretty good so adapting to a new one shouldn't be hard. Just don't think we HAVE to scrap what we have alrready

just my 2 cents

adamg said...

Kugler would be interesting especially if Rooney wants to return to tough, blue collar football.

HACK said...

Im all for giving them the interview...but I would also look outside....Its how they found Tomlin after talking to Whiz, and Grimm.

I would be looking at a guy that is an exceptional play caller, with an eye on situational football and player match ups. Have him come in...and learn the Steelers system...not the other way around.

There really is not an "expert" today that does not agree football is all about matchups....Yet BA never tried to take advantage of these things...He had his favorites...and thats who played. BA was quoted on many occasions saying "We don't worry about what they do, we do what we do."

Your OC needs to be liquid...and feel the ebb and flow of the game. I think BA was very good with the X's and O's...his weakness was always play calling.

adamg said...

I think next season we are all going to learn if the offense/play calling deficiencies were due to BA or BR.

TarheelFlyer said...

Dale just throwing this out for discussion...I have heard it said that one coach didn't want Hines back this year. Any chance that coach was BA and the organization chose Hines over BA?

Anonymous said...

@ Tarheel

From Dale's twitter soon after the Arian's announcement.

"Departure of Bruce Arians could open things up better for the return of Hines Ward to #steelers"

~sbk

Anonymous said...

I can believe it was Arians who wanted Hines out.

Arians' comments during the regular season about Hines' reduced roles and going for 10,000 career catches seemed off to me.

Anonymous said...

^ 1,000 catches*

Dale Lolley said...

Going outside, you could wind up with another Ray Sherman.
Nice guy. Interviewed well.
But wasn't a very good coordinator.
Staying in-house you accomplish a number of things. It rewards assistants for solid work. It gives your own people a chance for advancement.
And, you know them better than you'll know anyone coming in from the outside.
And even by doing that, they'll still need to go get QB/oline and running backs coach from the outside.

San Francisco's offensive numbers this season had as much to do with the defense and turnovers as it did with anything their offense did. Remember, that's a team that went through five or six OCs in the previous five or six seasons. How'd that work out for them. Just because they finally had success with one means they're actually about 1 for 5.

And yes, it was Arians who wanted to cut Hines before the 2010 season. At least that's what the word was at the time. Wanted to keep Tyler Grisham over Ward.

Anonymous said...

good way of putting it Dale

speaking of getting a new QB coach, as has been mentioned here, any chance Batch takes that spot? With Leftwich healthy and Troy Smith plus a possible QB in the draft you'd think his days are numbered

or will they keep him for insurance of another Leftwhich injury, sigh.... Just play the young guys and bubblewrap Byron and Ben!

Dale Lolley said...

Charlie still thinks he can play, so I don't know that he'll be ready to make that step. He might want to take some time away if he's not re-signed. I'm sure they might approach him about it, though. He already does a lot of that kind of stuff now.

HACK said...

It was pretty obvious it was BA that wanted Hines gone....I myself think BA also sabotaged Limas Sweed, and would love to see Sweed get another camp now that BA is gone..

To me BA was always like a kid with a toy....he had his favorites...and would completely ignore everything else.

BA favored speed and the deep ball over size..virtually every team in the league has the jump fade in the corner of the end zone....the Steelers have no one capable of winning a jump ball.

Anonymous said...

Most teams don't have an elite deep threat (let alone two, antonio and wallace) like we do

nitpicking doesn't get you anywhere

Tim said...

I completely gree about Sweed. In his two make-or-break years, he got injured. Sweed was not a bust for lack of talent. If he'd been given a chance to work through his issues he might have worked out. I don't think he was ever given a fair chance.

Dale Lolley said...

Can't make the club in the tub

Anonymous said...

The Ravens suddenly becoming "injured" somehow after the game reveals a lot about the character of the club. A lot more can be shown in how you handle a loss than how you handle a win. The way this team is imploding doesn't reflect well on Harbaugh.

adamg said...

Chris Hoke announced his retirement today. Great backup and seemed like a genuinely good guy.

Tim said...

I was referring to his first two years in the league. I don't blame BA for the torn achilles.

Anonymous said...

I think Sweed was doomed when Hines had his hissy fit following Ben's "tall receiver" comment. It wouldn't surprise me if everyone went out of their way to alienate him, consciously or otherwise.

Patrick said...

thats all a bunch of great theories about Sweed, but I'm pretty sure those guaranteed touchdowns that he dropped is what did him in.

Or faking an injury and wasting a timeout in a playoff game against the Ravens after one of those drops.

MAYBE thats what did him in.

bruinmann77 said...

Dale with hokie retiring that another Veteran off the DL and Chance A Smith follows Hokie?. I think if they stay with Fitcher for OC who might be the nw Qb coach?

Tim said...

Patrick, I bet you play GM at home a lot like me. You like to cut 2nd round rookies for dropped TDs and a wasted timeout? Not that there's more to it than that, 'cause there's not. Just wondering.

Sweed still dropped fewer touchdowns than Nate Washington in any given year, and could get open a lot easier.

Dale Lolley said...

Yes, Aaron Smith is likely going to retire.

As for Sweed, he had the Achilles injury, then missed most of his last camp with an assortment of minor injuries

HACK said...

Dale, Any idea what Sweeds health is now? Still rehabbing?

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't Fichter also be OK with Ben taking huge unnecessary hits, refusing to check down, managing the clock poorly, and being generally sloppy with the football (more turnovers than touchdown passes in 2011; yards schmards)? Since he was the QB coach?

I think it's crazy for Batch or Leftwich to be the backup QB. Ben's never going to have a healthy season with all the hits, especially as he gets older. I think the second-stringer needs to be someone solid & veteran like Batch or Leftwich except without all the broken bones, etc. There's going to be a half-dozen decent veterans out there in August. Just grab one and hope for the best. Will almost have to be an improvement because there's no way Leftwich & Batch stay healthy.

Patrick said...

My point about sweed is not whether he should/should not have been cut, but why he was cut. You guys are coming up with all these theories when the most obvious and likely one is right there.

HACK said...

Sweed had what? 3 drops? He never saw the field...When he was healthy BA said "I forgot about you" When he was injured he was on the bench. Dale might have the stats...but Sweed had like 7 catches..3 drops...and 2 passes in the dirt.

Im not saying Sweed could or could not..Im saying he was given very little game time to decide.

TarheelFlyer said...

My theory with Sweed is this: He wasn't BA's guy. He wasn't a guy he wanted to pick. He wasn't a burner who would allow you to throw the ball deep like Wallace is. Therefore, since he can't go deep, he can't play. Hence why the drops were used as an explanation for why he never saw the field. BA didn't like him, but lets also remember BA didn't like Hines recently either.

Patrick said...

Jay Paterno

nebbsteeler said...

Why are we talking about Sweed....he sucked, never showed anything on the field...so do you really think he made an impact in practice?
Thats how you get playing time as a young WR. Come in prepared, play hard, study, give full effort = see ABrown, ESaunders, etc...

HACK said...

Yes. I think when healthy Sweed made an impact in practice....Wallace's rookie year Sweed and Wallace were supposed to rotate in with Hines, and Tone as the Starters....BA fell in love with his new speedster toy and never put Sweed in the game....Publicly apologized to Sweed after saying "I forgot about you"

The Steelers will be bringing in a lot of WR's to camp anyway...at least 8 or 9....I don't think he will be, but IMO Sweed should be one of them....one more time.

Tim said...

Patrick, Hack said it. 3 career drops. I recognize they were touchdowns, but they ultimately didn't cost us anything. The sample size is WAY too small. You might as well cut a 2nd round QB after his first three interceptions. He was not given a real chance to succeed on the team. We never went 4 WR, we instead put Moore at WR. They just didn't put him out there. Why? Not his practice. Every report said he looked great in training camp. They just wouldn't put him on the field, and he can't prove anyone wrong from the bench.

Sweed was the biggest deep threat on the team. I don't care what anyone says about him not being able to catch the ball. If a defense really thinks he won't catch it to the point where they don't cover him, I'll take that matchup every time.

Tim said...

And I agree, since we always have like an extra 10 WRs lying around camp that have ZERO shot of making the roster, I don't see why Sweed shouldn't be one of them, if he's available. At least he's a guy we know has it in him, even if it's buried.

Patrick said...

Tim read my post again, I assume you are capable. And see that I said theres no conspiracy to WHY he was cut. Not should have been, or anything like that. People here are acting like there was a watergate like scheme to get the guy out the door and it was all about his drops.

Whether that was justified or not, that is the reason. I agree he didn't get every chance in the world. But he did get chances. And he didn't make the most of them. Plus he sounds like he had some other issues. He was put on reserve the one year for non football related issues.

Anonymous said...

So much for no rift.

After Ben's interview today I expect the dimwitted II to trade him.

Tim said...

I am talking about "why."

WHY were there only 10 passes thrown to him? He was healthy, willing and able for about a season and a half, but was only on the field for a handful of plays.

Obviously the drops are the worst we saw of him. The "conspiracy" talk is about why he wasn't in the games more. There was simply no reason. Or maybe Mewelde Moore and Matt Spaeth were legitimately better options for a 5 wide set.

bruinmann77 said...

Dale maybe going outside is not a bad thing also sure they can get a Ray Sherman but maybe find a new star also /
Dale why so negative