Steelers need to hire Doug Pederson to fix the offense
The Steelers don’t need to leave Pennsylvania to replace Randy Fichtner. Doug Pederson is the perfect coach to breathe life into Pittsburgh’s offense.
Not renewing offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner’s contract was the right first step in the Steelers’ quest to fix their offense. Hiring former Eagles’ head man Doug Pederson could be the perfect step two.
The days of the Pittsburgh lining up and grinding opponents into submission with their physical ground game are long gone. Any offensive success the Steelers have enjoyed in recent years has come on the back of their explosive aerial attack. That happens to be Pederson’s specialty as a coach.
It’s clear the Steelers need to get more creative on offense to help whoever they employ as their starting quarterback in 2021. Ben Roethlisberger remains the favorite to keep his job, but he will almost certainly need to agree to a revamped contract if he wants to stay in Pittsburgh.
If Big Ben does leave, the team’s need for offensive creativity will only increase with a new quarterback at the helm.
Doug Pederson is the perfect Offensive Coordinator for Steelers
Pederson has the coaching to help anyone who plays under center for the Steelers next season. Things went off the rails for Carson Wentz last season, but Pederson shouldn’t shoulder the lion’s share of the blame for his quarterback’s struggles. Injuries decimated the team’s offensive line and Wentz seemed to inexplicably lose the ability to throw the ball with any accuracy as the season progressed. In short, nothing about last year should significantly diminish Pederson’s well-deserved reputation as an offensive guru.
One advantage Pederson would immediately enjoy in Pittsburgh is a serious uptick in the quality of his wide receiver room. He was woefully short of talent on the outside during his final season in Philadelphia. Even if JuJu Smith-Schuster isn’t retained in free agency, the Steelers still have Chase Claypool, James Washington, and Diontae Johnson in the fold. Pederson is the ideal offensive mind to engineer success for Pittsburgh’s receivers.
One subtle way in which Pederson can aid the Pittsburgh offense is in his demonstrated ability to maximize the efficiency of his team’s ground game. The Steelers really struggled to run the ball with any consistency last year. Pederson’s offense doesn’t require an established star at the running back position to achieve success. That could aid the Steelers if they lose James Conner to free agency.
Mike Tomlin has the strong personality required to hire a high-profile offensive coordinator and maintain control of the locker room. That makes Pittsburgh a perfect landing spot for Pederson.