Sprint Game Ball: Brian Schottenheimer

I have been very critical of Brian Schottenheimer when I thought his thought process was flawed. That has happened often during his five year tenure as offensive coordinator. I must give him credit for his approach yesterday. I thought it was one of the finest jobs he did.

Unlike other times this year, he did not make things overly complicated. He gave Mark Sanchez simple throws to build the confidence of a struggling quarterback. The plays were well designed and created space underneath.

Changing his approach, he gave a backup tackle pressed into action plenty of help against an aggressive attacking defense.

He figured out how to attack his opponent's tendencies by calling bootlegs on sell outs in short yardage situations and well timed delayed runs on third downs to get blitzers caught up field.

Was the game he called perfect? No, there were things I didn't like. However, there was a coherent theme that played to his guy's strengths. Even on the last offensive play the Jets had, which was a questionable pass call, Schottenheimer rolled Sanchez out and moved the pocket, which kept his young quarterback out of a situation where he might get pressured and panic.

It's easy to credit the offensive coordinator when things go well and blame him when things go poorly. Think of the criticism that he calls too many runs on first down. That seems to me like people are just critical because something doesn't work. Nobody had a problem with run heavy calls last year. I think with the Jets this season, however, the coordinator and success are connected. He has largely not put his guys in a position to succeed through the season. He did yesterday.

This doesn't really change my mind about his overall job performance on my opinion on what his 2011 status should be. However, for the terrific game he called, Brian Schottenheimer gets my Sprint Game Ball.

Who gets your game ball?

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