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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Ask the men he coaches what makes Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner tick Ernie Stautner Jersey , and you get a variation of the same response.He’s a dude. A good dude. But just a dude.“There’s nothing special or outrageous or eccentric,” guard David DeCastro said.And that might be exactly what the Steelers need after six highly productive if occasionally volatile seasons with Todd Haley calling the plays.On the surface Fichtner and his predecessor could not be more different. The sometimes combustible Haley wasn’t one to hide his emotions and followed a personal mandate to wear shorts at every practice regardless of the weather.Fichtner, promoted from quarterbacks coach to coordinator in January after the team allowed Haley’s contract to expire, takes a decidedly more even-keel approach.The most recent time he remembers truly losing it on the field came during the 2010 season opener against Atlanta.When Rashard Mendenhall crossed the goal line for a walk-off win, Fichtner leapt into the air and jokes he may have pulled his hamstring in the process.To be fair, the 54-year-old Fichtner can still move a little bit. He finished practice on Thursday by playfully dropping into coverage as a safety while the first-team offense went through a quick walkthrough after the defense left the field.Unlike Haley, Fichtner makes more conservative choices, at least sartorially.While Haley showed off his calves, Fichtner is usually in sweats, a long-sleeved undershirt and a pullover as he was on Wednesday even as temperatures soared into the 90s.The thing is, Fichtner didn’t really look uncomfortable. Probably a good thing considering the stakes of his new gig.He takes over one of the league’s most star-laden offenses, even with All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell out while waiting … and waiting … to sign his one-year franchise tender. All Fichtner has to do is design an attack that will produce a fifth consecutive playoff berth and — the team hopes — its first trip to the Super Bowl in eight years.Asked if he’s ready to be second-guessed every Monday and Fichtner smiled.“Sure, absolutely, comes with it,” Fichtner said. “I get it.”He’s been there before, just not for a while. He’s a football lifer. His father Ross was a quarterback at Purdue then spent eight seasons as a cornerback for the Cleveland Browns in the 1960s. Randy didn’t wander far afield.He played briefly at Purdue then went immediately into coaching after graduation. His nomadic climb up the ladder included four years at Arkansas State from 1997-2000, where he crossed paths with a young defensive backs coach whose energy and edge Fichtner couldn’t help but be drawn to.So when that young defensive backs coach called in 2006 and offered Fichtner a job in the NFL, Fichtner figured there was no way he could tell Mike Tomlin no.More than a decade later, the partnership is still going and is one of the main reasons Fichtner stayed in Pittsburgh rather than chase other opportunities.“That’s just, my relationship with Mike,” Fichtner said. “I told him when I came L.C. Greenwood Jersey , I told him ‘I’m coming for you’ and since I’ve been here, I’m all-in for the (owners) and the organization also. Makes it a couple of reasons. I’ve always felt I’ve been content with jobs that I’ve had and I’m content and just do the best I can.”Having some of the most talented players at his disposal doesn’t hurt either. Fichtner has developed a strong bond with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who figures to given plenty of leeway to run the no-huddle as he pleases when the Steelers open the season in Cleveland on Sunday.“I’m sure he’s quite capable of making the right decisions at the right time,” Fichtner said. “He’s done it in the past and I don’t see it being any different in the future.”Still, even Roethlisberger is a bit curious how different things will be with Fichtner’s voice coming through his helmet instead of Haley’s.“I don’t know,” Roethlisberger said. “We’ll see. That’s the question everyone wants to find out. What’s Randy’s personality? What are his tendencies? We’ll all find out on Sunday I guess.”Josh Dobbs, who credited Fichtner’s tutelage for helping him supplant Landry Jones as Roethlisberger’s primary backup coming out of training camp, is curious to see how willing Fichtner will be to let the creativity he shows during meetings come to life on the field.Yet for all of Fichtner’s “just one of the guys” persona, Dobbs allows there’s a fire underneath even if it’s imperceptible on the practice field. Just start watching film with Fichtner. The joking stops, at least briefly, replaced by Fichtner’s inner perfectionist.“When you get in the meeting room, he flips and he’s the most passionate guy every single play,” Dobbs said. “It’s ‘Do this and it’s a touchdown. This is what we can do.'”The self-described “old dude” understands he’s an unknown quantity outside the locker room. He’s not inside the locker room. His role has changed. His approach has not.“He’s probably wanted to be an OC for a long time,” Dobbs said. “So to get to that position where he’s the guy calling plays and game-planning and to see him not change is really good. He’s the same guy, bringing energy. … I think that shows in how he attacks the field.”NOTES: Tomlin said he does not plan to outline the team’s plan for Bell with Bell’s representative. Bell’s agent Adisa Bakari said Wednesday they wanted to discuss Bell’s usage before Bell reports. “I don’t communicate with agents regarding how I utilize players,” Tomlin said. “I communicate with players regarding how I utilize players.”… TE Vance McDonald (foot) did not practice on Thursday and is unlikely to play against the Browns. The Pittsburgh Steelers have won three straight games and have finally started to “stack wins”. After their 33-18 win over the Cleveland Browns in Week 8, the team has to move on quickly as they prepare to face the Baltimore Ravens, on the road, in Week 9. Something I did last season and I’m going to start again is the Black-and-gold Links article. This is an article where I take stories from quality news sources across the Internet and add them here for your viewing pleasure. I won’t be posting the entire articles, but I’ll link each story and author so that you can read the full article. Today we talk about how every single report or rumor which has swirled around the Steelers’ All-Pro running back, Le’Veon Bell Dermontti Dawson Jersey , has proven to be pure poppycock. They said he would report for Week 1. Didn’t happen.They said he would report during the bye week.Didn’t happen.They said he would report after the NFL trade deadline.Didn’t happen.It seems as if the only person who knows when Bell is coming back is Bell himself. Despite this situation, with each additional James Conner touchdown, it seems less and less likely he shows anytime soon. Could Bell pull a no-show for the entire rest of the season? He could, and I doubt Steelers fans would have any issue with that at this point.Let’s get to the news:Steelers’ Le’Veon Bell still no-show as trade deadline passesBy: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-ReviewMike Tomlin was wrapping up his news conference Tuesday afternoon when he was asked the obligatory weekly question about Le’Veon Bell’s delayed return to the Pittsburgh Steelers.“Anyyy other questions?” Tomlin said, raising his voice into a high pitch while elongating the first word.Tomlin smiled and walked away as laughter filled the room.Nothing had changed. It was another day without Bell at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, although, like most others, this one had extra significance.It was NFL trading deadline day, the final chance for the Steelers to ship their star running back to another team if Bell reported and signed his franchise-tag tender first.Since that didn’t happen by 4 p.m., Bell is free to report to the team without fear of being traded once he puts his name on the $14.55 million contract that has been reduced by $6.84 million because of his eight-week absence.The next date on the calendar to watch is Nov. 13. Bell must sign his contract by 4 p.m. that day. If he doesn’t, he can’t play in the NFL this season.Bell’s teammates long ago gave up speculating when he might arrive, and they’ve thrown their support behind James Conner, who is third in the NFL with 599 rushing yards. On Sunday, he became the first running back in franchise history to record a third consecutive game of 100-plus-yards rushing with two touchdowns.“I don’t want to talk about it because he’s not here,” quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said on his weekly 93.7 FM radio segment. “When he gets here, we’ll talk about it. Until he’s here, I’ll talk about James and the guys that are helping us win now.”Thanks to Conner’s spiking yardage totals, the Steelers have won three games in a row and take a 4-2-1 record into their game on Sunday in Baltimore (4-4).Conner was held to 19 yards on nine carries when the Ravens defeated the Steelers, 26-14, on Sept. 30 at Heinz Field. Since then Jack Ham Jersey , Conner has rushed for 367 yards on 64 carries, a 5.7 average. He has scored six touchdowns in that span, increasing his season total to nine.“Keep it going,” guard David DeCastro said. “I think it’s one of the things that is the standard. I don’t think anyone is really surprised by it. No one is over here hooting and hollering and getting really excited about it.“I think everyone’s like, ‘Let’s keep doing it.’ That’s what we pride ourselves on week-to-week and repeating it.”Kevin Gorman: Steelers’ best move is one they didn’t makeBy: Kevin Gorman, Pittsburgh Tribune-ReviewJust hours before the NFL trade deadline, Mike Tomlin was asked about whether he expected the Pittsburgh Steelers to make any moves.“I haven’t thought a lot about it, to be honest with you,” Tomlin said, stern and stiff-lipped. “I’m sure the phone will ring. We’ll see what happens. But more than anything, I’ve just been focused on Baltimore.”Over the next three hours, a handful of deals were completed around the league: The Texans traded for wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, the Eagles for wide receiver Golden Tate, the Rams for defensive end Dante Fowler, the Redskins for safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and even the Ravens for running back Ty Montgomery.The Steelers stood pat.Like it or not, that’s business as usual for the Steelers in October. Their wheeling and dealing has been done around the NFL Draft and before the start of the season, not at the trade deadline.The best move is the one they didn’t make.Le’Veon Bell didn’t sign his franchise tag tender, so the Steelers couldn’t trade the All-Pro running back who has boycotted the offseason and the first seven games. Perhaps this was his plan all along, to wait until after the trade deadline to report so he couldn’t be dealt.Like him or not, Bell is better than any player who was traded Tuesday and would provide the Steelers the best boost if he ever decides to show up and play. He has until Nov. 14 to report, but it’s a crapshoot to say if and when he will arrive at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.Bell just doesn’t play cornerback Jack Lambert Jersey , the position of need.The Steelers were smart not to press the panic button, refusing to overreact to the concerns at the corner opposite Joe Haden. Perhaps that will come back to bite them if Artie Burns keeps showing up late to the Saturday walk-through, if Coty Sensabaugh’s toe injury is worse than anticipated and if Cameron Sutton can’t cut it as a cover corner.Telling from Tomlin was how he answered a question about why the Steelers put a premium on protecting draft picks, instead of playing fantasy football and using them to acquire players with pedigree.“We believe in homegrown talent,” Tomlin said. “We invest time and resources into the development of players. Players buy into what we’re selling and work their tails off to improve and be reasons why we’re successful. I think it’s difficult to walk away from relationships when people are invested. We’re invested. The players are invested.”James Conner’s numbers hard to ignore, with or without Le’VeonBy: Jeremy Fowler, ESPNThe fans inside Heinz Field weren’t the only ones chanting James Conner’s name during Sunday’s 212-yard performance against the Cleveland Browns.Apparently Ben Roethlisberger’s son was, too.“I texted [Conner] and I told him, ‘James, it must have been pretty cool to have [Heinz Field] chanting ‘Con-ner, but you want to know something that’s even cooler -- when I come home and play catch with my son and every time he catches it he’s you,’” Roethlisberger recalled on his weekly radio show Tuesday. “I said, ‘Thanks for being a good role model and please don’t ever stop understanding that everything you do you have a chance to be an amazing role model.’”The Conner project is off to a roaring seven-game start, which doesn’t discount Le’Veon Bell’s brilliance on the field over five seasons. But it does raise questions about how the Steelers should handle the running back position when Bell returns.One obvious question is, should the Steelers ride the hot hand?If building an NFL team, a full-strength Bell over Conner is the logical pick. The Steelers would probably make that pick. Bell is an All-Pro with a versatile skill set not seen since the days of Marshall Faulk. His raw production -- 128.9 total yards per game from 2013-17 -- is unmatched for a five-year stretch.But Bell’s two-month absence has complicated matters. Conner has 922 scrimmage yards, the second most in franchise history through seven games -- behind Bell’s 938 yards in 2014. His 367 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns the past three weeks are why it’s “not hard to figure out” why fans chanted Conner’s name, coach Mike Tomlin said.Bell hasn’t touched an NFL practice field in nearly 10 months. And though Steelers players are intrigued by a killer two-back system, the offense has been a one-back, workhorse attack for as long as Bell has worn the black and gold.