For the second off-season in a row, St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer interviewed for a head coaching job. Last year it was with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and this time it was at the collegiate level with the Vanderbilt Commodores in the SEC.
It was no surprise to me that most fans of the Rams are not pining for him to stay. Many were hoping he would get the head coaching job with the Commodores. I didn’t think he was going to get hired there anyway. I couldn’t see him getting the boosters lathered up or having that impact on the recruiting trail.
This is nothing new when it comes to fans, players or former players feeling less than enthused about Schottenheimer. While with the New York Jets, Schottenheimer frequently butted heads with receiver Santonio Holmes. It got so bad that Holmes went and complained to head Coach Rex Ryan.
New York Daily News columnist Tim Smith had a quote in a story that reminds me of the St. Louis Rams’ offense today: “By design or by accident the Jets morphed into a team that wasn’t a downfield threat.”
That’s still a real concern for the Rams. This is year three with this offense and the Rams have to be able to move the ball through the air efficiently. It’s debated whether this is the fault of the coordinator or the players. It’s a combination of both. Coaches call the plays, and it’s up to the player to execute them. But I also strongly believe it’s coach’s job to put the ball in the hands of your best talent by any means.
In Schottenheimer’s New York Jets offense, wideout Jerricho Cotchery posted three straight seasons of 70-plus catches, including matching a career high in catches (82) and yards (1,130) in 2007. And Cotchery isn’t known to be the most explosive player at that position. He’s a tough football player who gets everything out of his ability and never gets cheated.
We’ve haven’t seen that yet from this offense. And I think Schottenheimer has more speed to work with here in St. Louis than he had in New York. I know hindsight is 20/20. But, what if the Rams had chosen to target Cotchery instead of tight end Jared Cook?
I think this could be a make-or-break year for Schottenheimer. Rams general manager Les Snead has already stated that he’s going all in with Sam Bradford for 2014 and beyond. So where does that leave Schotty if the offense creeps along again?
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