Why All the Fuss for Brian Schottenheimer?

There were dueling stories Monday about Brian Schottenheimer's future with the Jets. One said that he was staying with the team as offensive coordinator, while the other said he wanted to leave for another team because he was miffed about getting passed up as head coach. According to Adam Schefter, author of the latter report, plenty of teams are interested in Schottenheimer running their offense.

The only response to that news is astonishment. Do teams actually think he did a good job coaching the Jets offense in 2008 or are they just looking at year-end stats? The Jets finished ninth in the NFL in points, which seems impressive until you take out games against the St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals from the equation. The team scored 103 points in those two games, and dropping them from the equation subtracts four points per game from the remaining average. That would leave them 22nd in the league, a far less inspiring figure.

Schottenheimer misused Leon Washington all season, didn't use players like Dustin Keller or David Clowney nearly enough and never altered his thinking when his game plan wasn't getting results. Sounds like a guy teams would be lining up for, doesn't it? And, if they truly are beating down his door, why are the Jets so adamant that he remains on the staff?

According to Tuesday's Daily News, it is so Brett Favre is more likely to return. Hiring a new coach while continuing to plan around a quarterback and coordinator who conspired to lose four of the last five games of a season is a bit like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, no? Ryan's a defensive guy, so he's probably open to suggestion when it comes to offensive coaches, especially when the suggestion comes from his new bosses. 

It's fitting that Ryan would wind up with Schottenheimer. Both men have benefitted from football's easy relationship with nepotism throughout their careers, their paths diverging only because Ryan has been successful on his own merits. Schottenheimer's buzz is coming from different places.

It's not his results nor his coaching acumen that's got people interested. He's obviously got a good agent who is capitalizing on Marty Schottenheimer's success and, presumably, how well his father prepared him for the political part of the coaching game.

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