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Q&a With Schottenheimer

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1Q&a With Schottenheimer Empty Q&a With Schottenheimer on Tue 03 Feb 2009, 10:09 pm

Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, retained two weeks ago by new coach Rex Ryan, answered questions from writers today on a conference call. No earth-shattering revelations. A few highlights:

• No, he hasn't talked to Brett Favre since the end of the season. At first, he sounded lukewarm about the prospect of Favre returning. When that was pointed out, he claimed he isn't lukewarm, that he'd welcome the chance to coach Favre.

• He hinted that the late-season slide occurred, in part, because they were working with a pared-down offensive package (because of Favre) and opponents might have caught on to what they were doing.

• He said he was "very disappointed" that he didn't get the head-coaching job. He admitted that he harbored fleeting thoughts of leaving, but felt this was "the right place" after meeting with Ryan.

• He won't have "complete autonomy" over the offense, but that's the way he wants it. He was cryptic on this subject, saying Ryan will have input. Presumably, Schottenheimer will continue to call the plays.

• Frankly, I didn't think he was particularly effusive on Kellen Clemens and Brett Ratliff. Then again, how could he be?

Anyway, here is some of the Q&A:

Q: On whether he has talked to Favre since the end of the season:

A: No, I haven't spoken to Brett. He's probably in a tree stand right now as we speak, doing some hunting.

Q: Do you want Favre back?

A: I would welcome the opportunity to coach Brett again.

Q: On his short answer sounding a bit lukewarm:

A: Please don't take it that was lukewarm with that answer. There is a lot of conversation that has to take place with Brett, with Mike Tannenbaum, with Rex Ryan. I really enjoyed coaching Brett, I really did. If he chooses to come back, he's still performing at a winning level. When I say I'd welcome the chance to coach him again, I really, really enjoyed being around him. I enjoyed working with him. We have a heck of a relationship and I don't think anything would change if he decides to come back this season.

Q: His theory on why Favre bottomed out in the final five games:

A: One thing that sticks out as I play it back in my mind, he did get hit some. Probably could've gotten ball pushed out of his hand a little bit more. Anytime a quarterback gets hit, it can tend to make him miss a throw here and there … We weren't clicking on all cylinders. Some of it was design flaws on my part. Some of it was bad reads or bad decisions. Or poor protection. It's unfair to put it all on Brett.

Q: On the prospect of starting over at quarterback if Favre decides to retire:

A: If Brett does not come back, the good news is we've got a couple of years experience with Kellen (Clemens) and Brett Ratliff … We have a great start with those guys … (Starting over) would be something we would work to and feel comfortable we could overcome. Would it be some work? Sure, but that's what the offseason is like in the life of an NFL coach.

Q: Thoughts on Ratliff and Clemens:

A: I'll say this: Both are in the building already. They're around. They didn't leave. They're working out, trying to keep them selves in good shape … I think we have a good stable of young players. Kellen, when got the chance to play two years ago, did a lot of good things. I think it takes quarterback a little while to truly come into his own. I think the fact that he's got some experience helps him. Brett did really, really well in the preseason. I don't think that should be looked at in a negative light. He was playing against some good players, but he was also playing with people with the same skill set. Both those guys have some upside. I love the fact that they've been in the system. It does help because they can kind of read your mind. You can spend more time coaching them on the fundamentals and things that might help them reach a new level, things like footwork and accuracy.

Q: On whether he'd want a veteran quarterback if Favre leaves:

A: We're going do our homework on all the differen t possibilities. We have a good sense of what we have with the guys here. Hopefully, a decision will be made once Brett, Mike and Rex have a conversation. We'll look at what else is out there. Believe me, and it's not just the quarterback position, we look at all options at all positions.

Q: On the amount of coaching stress caused by Favre's late arrival, in terms of changing the offense:

A: Anytime you add a good player it's good stress. Was it a lot of work? Absolutely. Quite honestly, when Brett got here, it was very simple: We started over. We went back to the early installation and said, 'What are you comfortable with? What do you like? What do you run?' There was a lot of sharing of ideas. Brett, at no point, did he say, 'I only want to run this, I only want to call that.' It really was give and take. We adjusted as a staff some. Brett adjusted some. The other players adjusted. We had to change the way we called some things because that's the way Brett had called it for so many years."

Q: On how the offense never seemed to find a sustained comfort level:

A: Midway through the season, at 8-3, we did find our groove. Unfortunately, our groove dried up a little bit. Maybe that's because we didn't have as big a package as we would've liked to and teams caught on. I really don't think that's what it was. It came down to more us not executing, and not always calling the right play in the right situation - and having limited opportunities because of the turnovers and the inability to covert on third down.

Q: On being passed over for the head-coaching job and being retained by Ryan:

A: Once the decision was made and I finally got a chance to sit down and visit with Rex, it really was something that felt right. It felt good. I respected Rex for a long time. He and I have a very similar background, both growing up in a coaching family … He had been in a similar situation the year before in Baltimore. It's always good to have people that have gone through the same experiences as you have because they understand things.

Q: On the disappointment of not getting the top job:

A: It was obviously very disappointing. I think people here should be disappointed if I wasn't disappointed. Initially … it's something I hoped would happen. But once the decision is made, you start to realize, 'Hey, this is what this business is about. This business is about change. What is in the best interest of my family? What's in the best interests of my career?' Once I sat back and took the disappointment out if it, my family and I feel very comfortable here in the New York area. I feel very good about the product we put on the field. I like the fact that we've got things in place here.

Q: On whether he was ever serious about trying to get out of his contract:

A: I know there was speculation about where I might go, but the most important thing for me to figure out was, did I want to be a part of the Jets? I was obviously still under contract. At the end of the day, when the smoke cleared, I really did feel like this was the best place for me. So nothing of substance, no.

Q: On whether he will have complete autonomy of the offense:

A: I wouldn't say complete autonomy. He's the head coach of this footballl team and he's going to add some great insight to us on the offensive side of the ball. He's clearly going to be involved. I want it that way … I appreciate and really respect the fact that he has the confidence in us to take the lead, but I wouldn't say full authority to do whatever we wan. That's not what I would want.

Q: On speculation that his hands were tied last season by Eric Mangini at the end of the season:

A: I'm being very honest, I haven' given a lot of thought to the last five games. I'll speak a little to the things I can recall, but I don't want to take you down the wrong path. I really haven't studied it or looked at it like I would have if all this other stuff hadn't transpired. The big thing for us, obviously, was the turnovers. Late in the season, ball security becomes more important. Obviously, that hurt our ability to score points and it cost us some momentum at times. We struggled on third down. We weren't able to sustain drives.

Q: On the inability to get Leon Washington consistently involved in the offense:

A: You're getting tired of hearing me say this, but we have a number of good players. Unfortunately, until the league changes the rule, we only get one ball. Each week, we have plays for Leon. One of the things we tried to do in the last game of the=2 0year against Miami was to try to get Leon the ball. Leon plays a unique position. It's not like Thomas (Jones). He plays tailback, he plays in the slot., he plays fullback, he plays all over the place. Sometimes when you put him out in space, you can't guarantee you can get him the ball. Believe me, we're committed to getting the ball to Leon.

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2Q&a With Schottenheimer Empty Re: Q&a With Schottenheimer on Sun 08 Feb 2009, 11:43 pm


Practice Squad
Practice Squad
Well his offense did score alot of points and he can't be blame for alot of thing brett favre is at fault.

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