From Bob Labriola,

During a Zoom call today, the Steelers offensive coordinator was asked if there is anything about this run-up to the 2020 regular season that would qualify as normal, and somewhat shockingly Fichtner didn’t need much time to think of something.

“That might be the easiest question to answer,” said Fichtner. “Normal now becomes Ben Roethlisberger back in the huddle. He’s paired up with Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro and some of those guys up front. That just gives you the normalcy. That will be normal. That’s what we’re used to. Just getting back to normal will be looking at a group of mostly experienced players and being excited about what this journey, this season, is going to bring.”

Fichtner admitted that he didn’t get a chance to spend time with Roethlisberger during the offseason, but he was able to see him doing some throwing on the videos that were making the rounds on social media. That changed over the last day or so now that quarterbacks have been allowed to return to their teams, and even though Fichtner indicated he expected to see Roethlisberger throwing a football soon, the rules set forth by the NFL and the NFLPA don’t allow for something as basic as a padless 7-on-7 drill until the middle of August. And don’t forget, no preseason games this summer.

“We’ll have to take advantage of those game situations we can present for him against our defense,” said Fichtner about how the process of getting Roethlisberger ready is likely to unfold. “Naturally, the first thing is we have to get a feel for where he is, and his arm will tell us. It’s not unusual for us to work him a day, then work him a half-day, then get him a day’s rest, and he knows that routine. It’s going to be a little bit different kind of camp, and so I think we’ll have to play that by ear (in terms of) how he feels and how much he wants, because there are going to be times when he wants it all, and we’re going to have to back him off. That’s a good thing.”

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