Q-and-A with Schottenheimer Part II

Here is Part II of a recent interview with Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. He answers questions like whether the quarterback job is Chad Pennington's to lose, and what influence Paul Hackett had on him.

Q) How has Chad been throwing the ball?

Schottenheimer: He's throwing the ball very well. He's doing a nice job. He's on plan with what we're trying to get done, and I'm encouraged by what I've seen.

Q) Is the starting QB job Chad's to lose?

Schottenheimer: No, it's a four-man competition. I go back to what we're trying to do and that is to create competition. Whoever comes out of the competition should feel very good they weren't given a job, they've earned the job, and they've earned the respect and trust of their teammates and coaches.

Q) How would you describe your offensive system?

Schottenheimer: It's got to be flexible. When you say a flexible system, that means it's going to be built around what your players do well. We're still in the early process of finding out what our players do well. The other thing you have to take into consideration is that the system has to be built and is flexible enough to attack your opponent each week.

Q) How do you intend on using the running backs? Is one guy going to get 300 carries?

Schottenheimer: We're going to plug our players into the best role they fit. If we've got four tailbacks who are good players, we're going to find a way to get four tailbacks involved in the game. It goes back to the flexibility of the system. It's going to change weekly.

Q) Have you ever been a primary play-caller?

Schottenheimer: No, I have not.

Q) What are your thoughts about how that will work out?

Schottenheimer: It goes back to being a quarterback. You have an idea of things that you know work, things that feel right. Playing the position anytime like when I was at Florida and being in a no-huddle offense there, I had the ability to change plays. I'll use that. To me, calling plays is very simple. It's about finding out who's in the huddle and finding out who you want to feature with that given play.

Q) You played under Steve Spurrier at Florida. How did he influence the kind of coach you've become?

Schottenheimer: I learned a lot from Steve, just as I've learned a lot from everybody I've ever been around. I moved around a lot -- some of it was by choice and some of it wasn't. The method to that madness was I wanted to work around and under a lot of different people so I could build my portfolio. The people I worked with, I took things I liked from them and discarded things that maybe I didn't think fit my personality. That's kind of the way I moved around from St. Louis to Kansas City to Syracuse to Southern Cal. I wanted to build my portfolio because I knew I wanted to be in this profession for a long time.

Q) What was your take on Paul Hackett when you coached with him at Southern Cal?

Schottenheimer: I respect Paul a great deal. He's one of the best quarterback coaches I've ever been around. His attention to detail with coaching the position, the way he teaches footwork, rhythm, timing, balance are still things I implement today.

Q) How about the influence of your dad, Marty?

Schottenheimer: A lot of his sayings are things I believe in, probably because I've been hearing them since I was five years-old. He preaches one play at a time, being able to focus on one play to the next, expect to win, go into a game being fully prepared, step on the field with a positive expectation that you're going to find a way to win. And ball security -- the game comes down to who can take care of the ball the best and the winner of the giveaway-takeaway battle is ultimately going to have the upper hand nine times out of 10.

Q) How long will it take before hearing about how young you are gets old?

Schottenheimer: That's never bothered me; maybe because I started young, maybe because I was the kid with the runny nose sitting in quarterback meetings with Joe Montana. I've dealt with it from the day I got involved in coaching. I always go back to the fact that players want to know how you can help them get better. At the end of the day, that's what they want to know. I think because of my knowledge and my passion for the game, when I walk in, they say, 'Hey, this guy knows what he's talking about. He can help me.'

Whether it's Jeff George or Doug Flutie, I think there's always that preconceived notion of, 'Wow, this guy's young.' But once they get a chance to sit down and visit with me, they say, 'This guy is very bright, he's smart, he works hard at it. I can get something out of it.' I think experience and knowledge and work ethic are more important than age.

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