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Warren Sharp examines the Randy Fichtner effect

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

It was no secret that former Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner had an incredibly predictable offense last year, which is why he's no longer employed by the Steelers or any NFL team for that matter currently.

However, Warren Sharp of Sharp Football posted statistics on Twitter yesterday of Fichtner's 2020 offense, and it was quite alarming how predictable it was.

"When the Steelers were under center they ran the ball 85% of the time (avg=68%), when they were in shotgun they passed the ball 76% of the time (avg=72%)," Sharp tweeted. "They were the #1 most predictable offense in the NFL based solely on where the QB stood pre-snap."

Ben Roethlisberger going under center more has been a big topic this offseason, especially for people in the analytics community who harp on the fact that Roethlisberger doesn't run play-action a lot. However, Roethlisberger said during OTAs that he has no issue going under center in new offensive coordinator Matt Canada's offense.

“We’ve gone under center, we’ve got shotguns,” Roethlisberger said. “Yeah, he’s got more motions, but I feel that’s where the NFL’s kinda going right now with a lot of the jet sweep motions and stuff.”

According to Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus, since 2016, the Steelers have a 12.3% play-action rate (last) and 6.1 yards per play-action dropback, which also ranks last.

Canada said this week at minicamp that, "We’re going to do what Ben wants to do and how Ben wants to do it." So, it will be interesting to see whether Roethlisberger goes under center more and runs play-action at a higher rate with Canada now calling the plays. Only time will tell.


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