A Pretty Schotty Job

Most Jets fans want to see him go, but is the rap on offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer deserved?

Rex Ryan may be the most polarizing current New York Jet from a national standpoint. But among NYJ fans, Rex is God. Want controversy? Look no further than Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Schottenheimer has a hefty portion New York fans seething at his frequent attempts to outsmart himself and others singing his praises for taking a young quarterback to the conference final in the signal-caller's first two years. But many Jet fans simply can't help but hop the Schotty fence on a regular basis.

So we thought we'd break down the best and worst of Schottenheimer in 2010.

The Best –

3.

Giving the young QB the call vs. Colts in the Wildcard: New York is driving with under a minute to go looking to get into field goal range for a 1-point victory over Indy. Quarterback Mark Sanchez hits a few safe passes before the Jets need only a handful of yards for the kick. During a break, Schotty asks Ryan if he wants to run to get closer. Rex says, "Yeah, or throw it. I could give two *$%!, let's go!." (That's the actual conversation.) Schottenheimer decides to leave it up to the guy pulling the trigger, and Sanchez makes the call to a confident Braylon Edwards. The two connect for a sideline pass that gives kicker Nick Folk a relatively easy shot, and the Jets advance.

2.

Sanchez naked bootleg vs. Steelers in Week 15: The Jets are fourth-and-one on Pittsburgh's 7-yard line, down by seven points midway through the third quarter. New York elects to go for it, and Sanchez, Shonn Greene and the Jets offensive line sells a pound up the middle. The Jets appear to have the first down by Greene, but there goes Sanchez looping around the left side for the score. Perfect play-fake, perfect execution. But more importantly, perfect call by Schottenheimer.

1.

Final drive vs. Texans: Down by a score with less than thirty seconds to go and the clocked stopped, Schotty dials up a right-sideline bomb to Edwards, taking full advantage of Houston's "shoddy" secondary. Result? A beautiful over-the-shoulder and between-the-defensive-backs bomb to Bray, plus a clock-stoppage. The next call was even more brilliant – a corner/flag timing toss to Santonio Holmes in the back-left corner of the end zone. Jets win in the final seconds. Money. So money, he does it again on a crucial touchdown throw in the Divisional round of the playoffs as the Jets ousted the Patriots in Foxboro.

The Worst –

3.

The season-opener vs. Baltimore: The stats say it all: 60 NET passing yards. 1-for-11 on third down (nine percent). SIX total first downs. Sanchez is practically handcuffed during this game, taking just two deep shots the entire game. When he connects on one, a beautiful toss to Dustin Keller gets called back because of a penalty. The Jets never go deep again. Schotty calls rushes on 11 of 15 first downs, including two Brad Smith runs and an end-around to Edwards. Just an atrocious showing on offense, capped off by Keller's famous catch-and-step-out one yard short on fourth down, which ends the game.

2.

Opening offensive drive vs. Patriots in Week 13: New York's defense holds the high-powered Patriots offense to a field goal to start the game, and the goal offensively should be to sustain long drives, keep Tom Brady off the field and out-physical the opponent. Schotty's response? An 11-play drive (minus the missed field goal kick) that consists of eight shotgun plays, seven no huddles and five passes. The Jets stall their drive, stall the clock and are stuck with an impossible kick. They proceed to get demolished, 45-3.

1.

Must-have goalline stand vs. Steelers late in AFC Championship: First down is good – power it up the middle with Greene for a gain of one. But then, with a yard to go, the Jets throw on second and third downs, only to run again on fourth… with LaDainian Tomlinson. Arguably the best offensive line in football has three downs to gain a yard on the ground with a battering ram of a back, and you go pass-pass-predictable run with the smaller guy. Tomlinson is pretty darn good at the goalline, but you're in a power situation against a power franchise. That's not really his thing. This one hurt the most, because it was on the second-biggest of stages — a stage were New York trips up badly.

Follow Nick St. Denis, author of OffTheLineFootball.com, at Twitter.com/NickStDenis


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