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Ray Fittipaldo: Steelers' offseason coaching changes have clearly not had desired effect

Ray Fittipaldo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Football

Mike Tomlin made wholesale changes to his offensive coaching staff after the Steelers collapsed over the final six weeks of the season. He did not renew the contracts of offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner or offensive line coach Shaun Sarrett.

Instead of bringing in someone from the outside, Tomlin hired from within. Matt Canada, who had one season of NFL experience on his resume, was named his new offensive coordinator and Adrian Klemm his offensive line coach.

They were charged with the task of lifting the offense out of its funk. Those moves were necessary after the Steelers lost five of their final six games, but the changes haven't produced a better offense this season.

As hard as it is to believe, things have gotten worse.

After 11 games, the Steelers are averaging 20.4 points per game. They have scored 17 points or fewer six times already this season.

Last season under Fichtner, they averaged 26.0 points per game and were held to 17 points or fewer only three times — all in a three-game stretch last December.

 

The Steelers scored 17 points or fewer seven times during the 2019 season, but that was the season they played the final 14 games with Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges at quarterback.

The previous time the Steelers scored 17 points or fewer this often with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback was 2011, when they scored 17 or fewer seven times. But the big difference between that team and this team is the defense.

The Steelers were so good on defense in 2011 that they went 4-3 in those games and finished 12-4. This team is 1-4-1 in such games and will carry a 5-5-1 record into the game against the Ravens at Heinz Field on Sunday afternoon.

Could changes be on the way?

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