By Andrew Weiss on 14. Sep, 2010
Some of you wrote that I was a little-er-strong in my criticism of Brian Schottenheimer last night. In the cold light of day, let's think about it. In the NFL, the only thing you have to show for your work is performance. Everything else is just speculation. So let's look at the actual performance of our esteemed Offensive Coordinator. Let's look at the body of work.
Naturally, we're only interested in BS in his present position. At San Diego, where he is given credit for rearing Drew Brees and Philip Rivers, he was working with another man's system. He was only the QB coach. So, how those QBs performed is only relevant to the systems they were executing. Brian doesn't get credit for Rivers and Brees because Matt Cavanaugh, the Jets QB coach, shouldn't be blamed for last night.
So let's look at Brian Schottenheimer's system, his body of work as an Offensive Coordinator. His first crack was his present job, with the New York Jets, which he got in 2006.
Sean Sheppard has written a piece this morning on Brian Schottenheimer's career performance as OC on a game-by-game basis. His conclusion? "Brian Schottenheimer Led Offenses: Not One 300 Yard Passer Since 2006!" That's right, according to Sean, the Jets have not had a 300-yard passer since 2006, and that's under two different coaches with two different philosophies. Not only that, two of his quarterbacks were proven winners who both went on to produce 300-yard games after they left the Jets. It's a great piece and I recommend that you read it (here).
Sean didn't go into Schotty's season standings. How have his offenses done since he became an offensive coordinator?
The overall ranking (total yards) for Brian Schottenheimer' offenses in the past four years (2006 – 2009) is 25, 26, 16, 20. That's never higher than sixteenth in a league of 32 teams. In case you're wondering, the 16 was the year that Favre was here and the offense had to be "simplified" for the Mississippi mauler, who was accused of being unwilling to study hard. So, on average, BS offenses (Jets' offenses) have ranked 22nd in a 32-team league. As for passing, Brian Schottenheimer's specialty, the rankings were 17, 25, 16 and 31—sixteenth with Favre, 31st with the rookie, Sanchez. The average? 22nd in a 32-team league. Consistent, if nothing else. As for rushing, there's been continual improvement from 20th in 2006, when he took over, to first, last year, an average of 12th. Well, at least he can do that.
What about mentoring and guiding quarterbacks? When Schotty took over in 2006, his quarterback was Chad Pennington returning from injury. Chad's 2006 season was a respectable twelfth. Not bad, huh? Except Chad had never ranked lower than eleventh in his career which included a number one ranking in 2002. The following year under Schottenheimer, 2007, Chad ranked an inexplicable 15th. The team decided he was fragile and probably done, so they let him go and brought in Favre, who promptly ranked 21st among quarterbacks in Schottenheimer's simplified scheme. Just a couple of washed-up veterans, right? Except, Chad Pennington would rank second with Miami's poor receiving corps, once he left the Jets in 2008, and Brett Favre, would rank second in 2009, when he went to Minnesota. Sanchez, who showed so much promise in the first few games of the '09 season, wound up 28th. For those of you who like trends, since Brian Schottenheimer got here five years ago, his quarterbacks have ranked 12, 15, 21 and 28, and after yesterday's performance, 31st. We appear to be on a trend that will set a record, ranking 33rd out of a possible 32 teams.
So it doesn't look promising. It is axiomatic that the best predictor of future performance is past performance. If that's the case, the Super bowl is off the table. The Ravens, who had no offense to speak of, yet who won the Super Bowl in 2000, were ranked sixteenth in the league in total offense that year. The Jets have only sniffed that lofty ranking once under Schottenheimer, and that was with a Hall of Famer at QB.
So get used to it. If you want to go to the Super Bowl, Rex or Tanny or somebody over in Florham Park will have to face facts. The numbers don't lie.