He was the former New York Jets offensive coordinator who shouldered most of the blame for the team's downfall and eventual implosion last year. The Jets finished 25th in total offense and it cost Schottenheimer his job. He eventually landed with the St. Louis Rams, while New York hired Tony Sparano in place of "Schotty."One year later, the Jets’ offense remains in shambles. Quarterback Mark Sanchez has regressed under Sparano and the Tim Tebow experiment is a bust. New York’s offense is ranked 30th entering Week 11 -- five spots lower than Schottenheimer’s group last season.The Jets will meet their former scapegoat Sunday when the Rams (3-5-1) host the Jets (3-6). It will be a chance for Schottenheimer to get revenge and send his old team further into the abyss.
"My impressions, he’s doing an outstanding job," said Rams head coach Jeff Fisher on a conference call Wednesday. "I was very excited initially that he was available. We hit the ground running and he’s been a big influence of the early turnaround of this football team."St. Louis is not an offensive juggernaut. The Rams are 19th in passing and 12th in rushing in Schottenheimer’s first year. They certainly appear to have a few more pieces offensively than New York with quarterback Sam Bradford, receiver Danny Amendola and the dual running threat of Steven Jackson and Daryl Richardson.Most importantly, Fisher said Schottenheimer has a good rapport with his players. Things seemed to sour with Schottenheimer in New York last year, particularly with Sanchez."He has a great relationship with Sam," Fisher explained. "The two of them have spent a lot of time together. Sam has a very good feel for what we’re trying to do. Brian and Sam are on the same page all the time during the ballgame. I think Sam is only going to get better and better."
Schottenheimer will get his chance to kick the Jets while they’re down this weekend.
New York Jets owner Woody Johnson dropped the verbal gauntlet Thursday.
"I didn't sign up for a 3-6 season," Johnson told New York reporters. "We haven't had one of these in a while. I'm not happy about it, yet I'm optimistic that some of these things can be corrected."Although names weren't mentioned, we know exactly who this was directed to. Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum and Rex Ryan should feel a little less secure than they did one day ago. Johnson officially put both on notice.Johnson signs a lot of checks – big ones -- and he has just three wins to show for it. His team is widely viewed as a circus with a combustible locker room full of characters. The Jets bark a lot more than they bite the past two years, and that's not a good look in the NFL.
Tannenbaum is responsible for putting this roster together. The Jets currently are an old team lacking depth and a franchise quarterback. The recent drafts (Vladimir Ducasse???) haven’t been good and the salary-cap situation isn't ideal.Ryan is responsible for coaching the Jets. It's Ryan's job to keep the locker room together and getting the team ready to play each week. He's failed at that job more often than not. The Jets are 3-6. Even worse, this week’s story with anonymous players ripping backup quarterback Tim Tebow shows more signs of poor chemistry and Ryan not in control of his team.With all that said, Ryan and Tannenbaum deserve one more year. This pair led New York to back-to-back AFC Championship Games together in 2009 and 2010. It can work, and Ryan and Tannenbaum have earned enough equity to prove it based on their first two years.
Just like the AFC East blog labeled 2012 a no-excuse year for Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, the same applies for Ryan and Tannenbaum in 2013. Next year should be win-or-bust for this Jets pair. But Johnson owes Ryan and Tannenbaum one more chance.
As the Jets prepare to meet St. Louis, Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is trying to block out the emotion of a reunion with his former team.“I enjoyed my time in New York, I really did,” Schottenheimer said. “I had great experiences, won a lot of football games and, again, looking forward to seeing those guys.”Rex Ryan noted that there would be a game of cat-and-mouse when it comes to the matchup. Clearly, Schottenheimer knows the Ryan defense — he had three seasons to practice against it. And Ryan knows what Schottenheimer might pull on offense."He’s a fun guy to play cat-and-mouse with,” Schottenheimer said. “He’s a dangerous guy to play cat-and-mouse with. But, we enjoyed it for three years. It will be fun on Sunday in the Edward Jones Dome.”
St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher’s assessment of Schottenheimer echoed what Ryan said about his former offensive coordinator Thursday morning.
“Well, (Schottenheimer has) done a good job,” Fisher said. “The offense is in and we’ve got flexibility week to week. He’s not satisfied. No one’s really satisfied with our production because up until last week, it was well documented we were having difficulty getting the ball in the end zone. But, guys are playing hard. I think we’re settling down now. With (WR) Danny (Amendola) coming back it certainly helps. He’ll never be satisfied. He’s very, very talented – I know that. His opportunity to be a head coach is not far away.”Schottenheimer comes from a coaching family. His father, Marty, coached in the NFL, and Schottenheimer had that in common with Ryan, whose father Buddy once coached in the NFL and brother Rob is the Dallas defensive coordinator. Fisher commented on the Ryans.“I see a lot of Buddy in Rex and Rob,” Fisher said. “They’re excellent coaches as Buddy was, and excellent defensive minds and flexible. They can go down the street and coach a four-man line one day and come back and coach a three-man line the next day. They understand defense and they understand how to play defense.”
Schottenheimer took a lot of criticism for a predictable and clunky offense during his last year in New York, after the team went to back-to-back AFC title games. He said at the end he saw the writing on the wall.“If there’s one thing I learned growing up in a coach’s family is stability in this business is crazy,” Schottenheimer said. “We enjoyed six amazing years in New York. Back-to-back AFC championship games, we had so many wins, we were so close to get into the Super Bowl. I wish we would have had a chance to finish it. But, like I learned from my father going 14-2, with him getting fired, is there comes a time when it’s time to make a move and change and move on.”On the two quarterbacks he’s worked with, Schottenheimer said he thought Mark Sanchez was a terrific player who needed to be more consistent, and Sam Bradford had the potential to be special.“I’m thrilled to be a St. Louis Ram,” Schottenheimer said. “I’m thrilled to be here with these guys. Again, I wish (the Jets) nothing but the best and I look forward to seeing them on Sunday.
Twice to the AFC Championship game with a top 10 offense despite having a qb that was posting bottom 10 individual stats.
He left the Jets voluntarily when not many people could see the organization was about to implode.
The only way Schottenheimer can get revenge on the Jets is if doesn't inform the Rams defense about how easy it is to rattle Mark Sanchez so that Sanchez puts together a decent game thus prolonging his tenure as the starting QB.
Hopefully he'll slip up, Sanchez will have 5 turnovers before halftime and someone will hogtie Rex so that a backup QB can give it a go.