Jets’ Schottenheimer On Hot Seat, Not Worried About Job Status

NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Brian Schottenheimer’s cell phone has been buzzing a bunch lately.

The late-night text messages from friends and family members usually come as the Jets’ embattled offensive coordinator is still working, trying all he can to come up with a winning game plan.

“I’m like, ‘I’m getting another one. Something must’ve come out. Something was said,'” Schottenheimer said with a smile Thursday. “You have to laugh at it some. Hey, this is a great business, but I don’t get too caught up in it.”

Good thing, because there certainly is a lot being said about him. Fans have flocked to WFAN, Twitter and message boards, demanding that Schottenheimer be fired. There’s even a Facebook page dedicated to the cause. Media members have also floated out the idea that the Jets need to make a change.

Schottenheimer is aware of the mounting criticism, but isn’t concerned about his job security.

“You get texts from your friends, ‘Hey, you doing OK?'” he said. “You don’t have time to worry about it. It’s out of my control. I’m an excellent football coach. Have we been inconsistent this year? Absolutely. I wish I could put my finger on it and say exactly why that was.”

The Jets’ offense ranks 27th in the NFL, something Schottenheimer says he “absolutely” deserves blame for. Quarterback Mark Sanchez has been inconsistent and not progressed the way many expected, the offensive line has struggled at times and the receivers haven’t had many big plays down the field. The Jets even brought in Tom Moore, the former Indianapolis Colts’ offensive guru, as a consultant to assist Schottenheimer.

“There’s things that clearly I could do better,” said Schottenheimer. “There’s things that clearly the unit could do better.”

It all came to a head last Saturday as the offense couldn’t get much of anything done down the stretch in a 29-14 loss to the Giants that seriously jeopardized their playoff hopes. Sanchez threw 59 times in the game, something that had even the players scratching their heads.

“That’s not when we are at our best, we know that,” Schottenheimer said. “But when you get in a situation like that, you have to do what you think have to do to win the game.”

That performance also fueled growing speculation that Schottenheimer may be done after Sunday if the Jets don’t make the postseason.

“Everybody on the outside in thinks they can call plays better,” running back LaDainian Tomlinson said. “That’s just kind of how it is. … I think it’s unfair because it’s not Brian’s fault. He’s not on the field. He’s on the sideline, calling plays. We have to execute the plays and that what it starts with.”

Schottenheimer adds he doesn’t think the offense needs a good performance Sunday in the regular-season finale at Miami for him to remain with the team. He received a two-year extension before the season, and Schottenheimer, in his sixth year with the Jets, has been given no indication either way by the team about his future.

“I grew up in a household around a coach that took a lot of heat and got fired at 14-2,” he said, referring to his father Marty’s firing by San Diego following the 2006 season. “You have no control over it, so you just roll with the punches. … We lost the game, but Santa still came.”

Coach Rex Ryan has said all week that he should be blamed for the failures of his team, whether it’s on offense or defense, and not Schottenheimer or Sanchez. He also has previously said that he thinks Schottenheimer would make a terrific NFL head coach someday, a possibility the offensive coordinator turned down in previous offseasons to remain with the Jets.

“I absolutely feel the same way,” Ryan said of his feelings about Schottenheimer. “He’s a tireless worker. I think he’s surrounded with guys that are like him that way. When he becomes a head coach, I just think he has it. He’s got it in his bloodlines.”

But it’s safe to say Schottenheimer’s status as an up-and-coming head coaching candidate might have taken a hit. Sure, he says, there’s plenty to improve, but he also points to the fact that the Jets are ranked No. 1 in red-zone offense, previously a serious problem area.

“It’s not all bad, but the inconsistencies when you’re struggling and you’re on the verge of making the playoffs,” Schottenheimer said, “that stuff is going to be pointed out.”

Many of the players, such as Tomlinson and Sanchez, publicly back Schottenheimer, something that makes him feel good. He wants to remain with the Jets beyond this season, but knows that decision might be out of his hands now.

“I’ve been fired before,” he said. “If you get into this profession, you’re going to get fired. The guys that sit there and worry about it are generally the guys that end up getting fired.”

That’s why most of those late-night texts have gone unanswered for now.

“I don’t have time, so if you guys are watching, I’m not being a jerk,” Schottenheimer said with a smile as he looked into a television camera. “I just haven’t had time to respond. I’ll call you over the weekend.”

Should the Jets make a change at offensive coordinator? Sound off below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


One Comment

  1. Meme Meyagi says:

    what is done about 7 million mooslime terrorists living in usa?

  2. Johnny V says:

    Follow up with what I previously wrote. If I own the Jets I fire Rex and bring in a New Head Coach. Go back to the drawing board. Revamp the team and anything is possible in the revamp process. Rex is just a wind bag and not much more. So I get rid of him asap. If the Jets are stupid and don’t fire him it is worse than the Yannkees not firing Torre in 2002 after losing to the Diamondbacks. They went into a permanent stagnation in the post season until Joe Girardi showed up. I swear here is what I would do… Find the best college level coach who has surprised the general public with the improvement of his team in the last 2 years. Someone who is a motivator and can really get a team excited about winning and has a great mind. I would even not even look at second tier coaches that no one in the mainstream really knows about that much because they don’t get a lot of media attention . The coaching equivelent of a Phil Simms (as a quarterback). He was not a seond tier college kind of player. So there has to be a seond tier coach in college who can surprise the heck out of everyone. In fact I am sure there are more coaches like that then there are Phil Simms as quarterback out there.

  3. Johnny V. says:

    The problem is not the offensive coordinator but the big mouth Rex. His predicting the Jets will win Superbowl in Jan 2011 shows complete stupidity. I think Joe Namath had it right when he told Rex to “shut up” in so many words. This team has gotten progressively worse (both on defense and offense) each year under Rex the big mouth Ryan. So that is totally on the him. It would be a mistake to blame Schotty. We need another pro bowl pass rusher, another pro bowl guard and Tomlinson is way over the hill. Green is just an ok running back. . Maybe another Quarterback. would solve the offense issues. I see Sanchez to be more like a Vinny Testaverde at best. Just not the competitior to win it all. You need true greatness in a QB to win it all. Not seeing the greatness in Sanchez. Just an overachiever. Which is a mediocre player who has excellent moments not because of talent but largely because things fall in place. And when they don’t he just about stinks up the field.

  4. T.L. says:

    HELL YEAH< he should be fired !!!!!!!!! AND TAKE THAT PIECE OF DOG CRAP SANCHEZ WITH YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Read all about it says:

    When the Jets win it’s “what a great job Rex did, we’re winning the Super Bowl this year.” When they loss it’s “Fire Schottenheimer, he doesn’t know what he is doing.”

    When they win its “Sanchez is the best young QB in the league, we’re winning the Super Bowl this year”

    When the Jets win its “We’re the best team in the NFL, we’re winning the Super Bowl this year”
    When they loss its “Schotty needs to go, he’s holding Sanchez from developing”

    Jets fans, the bottom line is the Jets suck. One person does not make or break a team. The entire team SUCKS!!!! They overachieved beyond expectation the last 2 season.

    This year’s team is what the Jets really are. They backdoor into the playoffs in ’09 because two teams (Colts & Bengals) sat their starters and in ’10 they needed help from other teams (losing)

    This year no team is giving the Jets any help. The Jets have yet to earn a playoff spot in the 3 yrs Rex has coached the team.

    The Jets can fire Schottenheimer, but next year will be the same because the Jets will have the same QB & coach.

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