This is a continuation of my previous post going through every offensive coordinator in the league, as well as some out of work coaches and college ( only Harbaugh )
Now we're going to look at my top candidates individually in depth, starting with Brian Schottenheimer.
Brian is the son of Marty, and I don't think you can over-value how much it helps to be in a professional football family. He just turned 37, which I think is in that prime range of head coach candidate ( 35-45 ). His playing history was as a quarterback in high-school, then as a starter at Kansas and a back-up at Florida. Ordinarily I'd say being a QB in college is a good thing, but at Florida under Spurrier I wouldn't consider it a plus.
He was a generic "assistant coach" with the Rams in 97 and Chiefs in 98, before returning to college as a generic assistant coach with Syracuse and USC. In 2001 he was hired by Marty to be the QB coach with Washington.This was Marty's only year in Washington and thus also Brian's. I think we all remember the horrible start and great finish.
Washington 2001 - QB Coach
The year before was Norv Turner's last year ( he was fired and they had an interim coach for part of the season ), they ranked 24th in points and 11th in yards ( a staple of Norv's offenses that fail in big situations ). They used QBs Brad Johnson and Jeff George combining for a 3900 yards and a 77 rating.
In 2001 the Redskins dumped Johnson and brought in Tony Banks. Not a great move, he played nearly every snap ( George and Graham ( lol ) were the backups ). They combined for 2700 yards, a 71 rating, just 28th in yards and points.They had 8 games in which they scored 14 or less, and 12 games in which they passed for less than 200 yards. Both abysmal.
This was his first year as a position coach, and there was a lot of turmoil as well as a pretty horrific QB.
San Diego 2002 - 2005 - QB Coach
San Diego swooped up Marty in 2002 and he brought along his staff. The prior year the Chargers were 14th in yards and 11th in points, so they already had some offensive talent brewing. Flutie played nearly every snap as the team put up 3700 yards and a 73 rating. In 2002 Brees took over, and here's how the offensive numbers went from there.
2002 - 20th points, 16th yards, 3300/76.5, 5 games 14 and under, 9 games under 200 yards passing
2003 - 16th points, 14th yards, 3200/73, 7 games 14 and under, 7 games under 200 yards passing
2004 - 3rd points, 10th yards, 3500/102, 1 game 14 and under, 5 games under 200 yards passing
2005 - 5th points, 10th yards, 3700/89.7, 2 games 14 and under, 7 games under 200 yards passing
The Chargers were really in the midst of becoming a juggernaut in this time. In the following year Brees left, and Rivers stepped in without missing a beat. So, how much of Brees' success do you give to Schottenheimer? Probably not too much, but he does receive some credit as he was primarily in charge of developing him from a spread college offense.
Jets 2006 - Present, Offensive Coordinator
In 2005 Marty was fired yet again, but Brian kept moving up. He jumped to the Jets with the new Mangini regime. The year before was Herm Edwards last year and consisted of QBs Bollinger, Testaverde, and the injured Pennington. It was a mess finishing near the bottom of the league in offense ( 29th/31st ). The year earlier with a healthy Pennington, things weren't so bad, 17th/12th. We'll use this as the better example as what team wouldn't suffer without the starting QB. They had 5 games with 14 or less, 10 games with less than 200 yards passing, 3200 yards and a 90 rating. A dominant defense helped carry the "manage the game" offense ( + 17 turnovers ).
When Brian took over, the offense returned back to there ( the scoring numbers weren't as good as the take away wasn't the crazy +17 ).
2006 - 18th/25th, 5 games 14 or under, 10 games with less than 200 passing, 3300 yards 82 rating ( +0 )
2007 - 25th/26th, 9 games 14 or under, 8 games with less than 200 passing, 3300 yards, 74 rating ( - 4 )
Favre takes over
2008 - 9th/16th, 4 games 14 or under, 7 games less than 200, 3500 yards, 80 rating ( -1 )
Sanchez Takes over ( rookie )
2009 - 17th/20th, 4 games 14 or under, 14 games less than 200, 2600 yards, 62 rating (+1 )
2010 - 4th/17th, of 7 games, 1 game 14 or under, 4 games less than 200, 1100 yards, 88 rating
These were some seriously ugly offenses over the years, which makes me a bit wary about him. He seems to have that same ideology of his father to run the ball, play turnover free offense, and pull games out in the end. It's a fine strategy for producing a string of .500 teams, but in the last 20 years only two teams have won a super bowl with this strategy and both were in the dog days of the early 2000s ( Ravens/Bucs ).
When I watch the Jets, it's very apparent that Schottenheimer is a master of the details. They meticulously move players around and combine patterns to get specific match ups. They have a lot of simple plays that focus on two routes to make it easy for Sanchez to go first, or check to second, hitting their breaks at the appropriate time for the throws.
That kind of skill can't be overlooked ( and is quickly and easily noticeable as missing around most of the league ).
Schottenheimer is a quality coaching prospect and there's the legitimate possibility that once he is back in a situation with a good qb in an offense they're comfortable with ( Brees years 3/4 in san diego, Sanchez in 2011/2012 ) that they'll be firing on all cylinders. Some team will take this gamble before it is proven as I think he is hired this off-season as a head coach. He has interviewed each of the last two years only to be beaten out in the final running by guys like John Harbaugh.
I don't think the 49ers would be up for that risk, but if things fell in a certain way I would not be upset with his hiring. His style fits the 49ers personnel, so it wouldn't require any kind of massive roster turnover.