No Win Situation for Jets Brian Schottenheimer


It is not easy being Schottenheimer these days.

The offensive coordinator of the New York Jets can’t seem to win for losing.  Whenever the Jets are not playing well on offense, he seems to be the scapegoat.  And an easy one at that.  “He’s getting away from their identity.”  “He’s throwing too much.”  “He doesn’t establish the run enough.”  All familiar cries for the embattled coordinator.

And no matter what happens, the criticisms continue.  They are 2-0, and ihas forgotten the Jets identity.  He tries to get back to their identity, he’s not throwing it enough.  There are reports that the WR’s are complaining to the head coach, although refuted.  Brian just can’t win.

A lot of grief is being given to Schottenheimer for his gameplan this past Sunday against the Patriots.  It’s very easy for Bob Ryan to say that the Jets should have thrown the ball more.  It’s very easy for him to take the quotes of the Jets out of context and use them as proof that the game plan was ill-conceived.  He seemed to take issue with the fact that the Jets wanted to have sustained drives to keep the defense fresh.  Take this quote from Ladainian Tomlinson.

“I thought we did a good job of balancing,’’ he said. “You don’t want to sit there and throw the ball too fast. We wanted to sustain drives and keep our defense fresh to play against that offense over there.’’  Ryan’s argument is that the balanced attack, 26 passes and 25 runs, was ill conceived because it only netted 255 yards.  Though correct, it only did net 255 yards, but Ryan’s opinion is short-sighted.  With all due respect to Bob Ryan, the opinion given is short-sighted, and here is why.

Let’s compare Sunday’s game, with the game everyone references, the playoff win from January.

The popular refrain is that the Jets should have thrown the ball more, because the Patriots are ranked low against the pass.  Heck, it makes sense, Chad Henne through for over 400 yards against the defense.  Throw it every time!  Brian you must be nuts.  How can you go for a balanced attack in this game?

Now look at the game in January.  Anyone wonder where the Patriots were ranked in pass defense in 2010?  15th in the AFC.  Against the run they were 6th in the AFC.  But did the Jets throw it all over the field that night in Foxboro?  No they did not.  Actually they were more leaned towards the run.  They threw it 25 times, and ran it 29.  But did we hear complaints?  No.  Why?

They won.

OK you ask, so what was the difference Alan?  If the game plan wasn’t the problem, what was it?  The answer is execution.

Sunday, the Jets were 3-11 on 3rd down, converting 27%.  In January, the Jets were 6-13 on 3rd down, converting 46%.  As much as Mr. Ryan of the Globe wants to dismiss this as a factor, it was.

This is not Schottenheimer’s fault.  If the Jets had converted a few more of those 3rd down plays, Schotty’s game plan would have looked a lot better, wouldn’t it?

And the other problem is run defense.

Remember when Bart Scott said the Patriots can’t stop a nosebleed?  Well it’s time to take a good look in the mirror.  The 2010 Jets would never have allowed the drive at the end of Sunday’s game when the Pats ate up the entire clock, setting up the game winning field goal.  The Jets have not been able to set the edges in 3 weeks, and teams are running in big chunks against them.  Not Schottenheimer’s fault.

Brian Schottenheimer is a good offensive coach.  Does he overthink sometimes?  Yes.  But his schemes are creative, and have led the Jets to some great wins when they are executed correctly.  To all of Brian’s detractors, let’s remember that he can only call the plays, he can’t run them.  It’s up to the players on the field, and they need to get better fast, or Schotty’s play calls will not make a difference.