Todd Haley took over as the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2012. Since then, here is where they have ranked in total offense in each of his six seasons:

2012: 21st

2013: 20th

2014: 2nd

2015: 3rd

2016: 7th

2017: 3rd

There are two major things you should notice from those numbers. The first is that the first two seasons of Haley's tenures were largely failures on offense. There are a multitude of reasons for that, like the fact that Le'Veon Bell didn't emerge until the 2014 season. But the crux of it is this: installing a new offense from scratch takes a lot of time to do properly. This is not just the case with the Steelers. Consider the historic 2016 Atlanta Falcons. They posted 33.8 points per game in Kyle Shanahan's second season as offensive coordinator. In his first, with a nearly identical roster, they were 21st in the league with 21.2 points per game.

The second thing you should notice is that whatever Haley did from 2014-2017 clearly worked at least on some level. The Steelers were a top-seven or better offense in all four of those seasons. The goal for a team is to win Super Bowls, but the goal for an offense is to score points and gain yardage. The Steelers did that in spades over the past four seasons. The basic scheme here works.

This points to an obvious conclusion: the Steelers shouldn't fundamentally alter their scheme. Ben Roethlisberger is at the tail end of his career. Le'Veon Bell might not be with the team much longer. Antonio Brown is getting older. The Steelers don't have seasons to waste perfecting a new system. The one that was in place before is the one that should stay now.

But once again, the goal is to win Super Bowls as a team, and a big reason the team didn't was mismanagement of game situations. That falls on Haley, who was rightfully let go because having the right scheme is only part of the battle as an offensive coordinator. What the team needs is someone who can take the good elements of Haley's system and keep them in place while improving upon his poor play-calling. That points to an internal candidate, and the Steelers chose the perfect one. 

Randy Fichtner will be the next offensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers. As the quarterbacks coach, he worked more closely with Roethlisberger than anyone else on the team's staff. The disconnect between Haley and Roethlisberger was a big reason for the offense's early struggles in 2017. Roethlisberger wanted to run more no-huddle, and it took until the game against the Tennessee Titans for him to be given the green light to do so. A stronger relationship with his coordinator, as Fichtner has with him, will lead to clearer communication and a more united front.

Fichtner does have experience as an offensive coordinator at the college level, but he does not come with a ready-made system as many external candidates would. He has worked under Bruce Arians and Haley, two wildly different kinds of offensive coaches, and has thrived with both. He does not seem to have the need to install a completely new system, but rather, make tweaks to what Haley has built with the team over the past six years.

That's all the Steelers need on offense: tweaks. They need a coach who can still score 42 points against the Jaguars, but one who has the common sense to run a quarterback sneak on fourth and one. A coach who can communicate openly and clearly with his star players to the point where they don't feel the need to call him out publicly. Someone who utilizes the talent that this group has in the simplest ways.

Yes, the Steelers could have gone big game hunting and try to lure someone like Jim Caldwell or Darrell Bevell, but that comes with risks that this team couldn't afford to take. The proper path was always to maintain some sense of continuity on the offensive staff and promote from within. Fichtner solves many of the problems Haley presented without raising any new ones. That is why he is the team's new offensive coordinator

Keep up to date with the 6X Super Bowl champions! Click here to receive your FREE newsletter!