Jets: Time to Stop Scapegoating Brian Schottenheimer for 2011 Failures


Dec 18, 2011; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer along the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Jets 45-19. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

The Jets had an open locker room yesterday at Florham Park headquarters, for anyone who wasn’t aware. We all heard the now famous comments about Tim Tebow and his lunch. Why we are supposed to care about this, I don’t know, but that is for another discussion.

This morning, I talk about something else that was mentioned yesterday by Joe McKnight, but has come up at other times with other players. A former player told our friend Jake Steinberg the same thing. I don’t fault Jake by any means, I fault the players that are saying this. What they are saying is how complicated Brian Schotteheimer’s offense was. If I remember correctly, coach Rex Ryan alluded to it earlier this offseason. McKnight went so far as to say yesterday that if Sparano’s offense was in place rather than Schotty’s, the season would have ended differently.

My response. BALONEY! That is simply not the case, and the Jets players need to stop scapegoating Brian Schottenheimer for their own failures.

52-45. You know what that is? That is the Jets’ record over the six years that Brian Schottenheimer was the offensive coordinator. I didn’t hear any of these complaints from anybody in the organization during these seasons, did you?

How about 2009, the year the Jets led the league in rushing? The offense seemed pretty understandable then, didn’t it?

3, that’s the number of playoff appearances the Jets made while Schotty was the OC. As I recall, they were leading the AFC championship game in 2009 at halftime, weren’t they? For one half, Mark Sanchez and the Jets were outdueling Peyton Manning and the Colts. I guess if you ask the players, the offense got more complex since then. I guess Brian changed the playbook.

2008 was the year that the Jets offense finished in the top 10 in the league. Yes, gunslinger Brett Favre was there, but Schottenheimer was still the offensive coordinator. Was the hillbilly from Mississipppi smarter than everyone else? Did Brian have a simpler playbook then? In 2008 it might have been a bit simpler, there wasn’t as many moving parts as usual. But still, it’s not like it was a different playbook.

How about 2010, when Santonio Holmes made that TD catch in the corner in New England during the divisional playoff game? Or when Shonn Greene scored the eventual game winning TD? The offense was pretty manageable then, wasn’t it? I don’t remember anyone calling for Schotty’s head. Was the offense easier then, just one year prior?

The answer to all of that is no. The Schottenheimer system did not all of a sudden become more complex in 2011. That’s easy to say, it’s easy to kick a guy when he is gone. It wasn’t the system that caused Wayne Hunter to be thrown around like a rag doll on many occasions, such as the one below:

Or make throws like this into triple coverage:

What was it then?


They would have had a better fate if they had executed. Not if they had a different system. Was it complex? Maybe. But it’s not the reason they went 8-8.

What is the moral here?

Was it time for Schotty to go? Yes. The Jets needed a new voice leading the offense, no doubt about it.

But blaming him for their failures is just the Jets making excuses. It’s time for it to stop. How about saying “We didn’t play very well.”, when talking about last year? How’s that for an idea?

Well, a guy can dream.