Although things are far from over, we have to face the possibility sooner or later that Rex and Mike meant what they said, and that Brian Schottenheimer will be returning to the team. It's painfully clear now that Schotty will not be hired away by any team in Florida, professional or school.
I have to believe that Brian was just a filler candidate for the Jaguars, and that they were never seriously considering signing someone whose offense performed so consistently bad over a tenure where he's outlived countless coaches and assistants, as well as offensive players that deserved to be retained far more than he ever did. Still, Mike Mularkey doesn't exactly have the best track record in football either. I believe that every single major candidate would have been offered the job over Schottenheimer. Although from what I've read, the hiring of Mularkey signifies that there was a lack of interest in the team from preferred candidate Jay Gruden, and possibly others.
So, let's examine the possibilities.
1. It was just diplomacy and Schottenheimer is done in Florham one way or the other.
This is obviously what most of us are still clinging to hope on. Fired coaches and available assistants are being scooped up like hot cakes. In house options are dwindling down and being either fired or signing elsewhere. Most people still expressing optimism float out the Haley-Sparano power coaching duo. While this doesn't personally appeal to me, I'd much prefer either candidate (with strong preference that Haley be chosen over Sparano) over the incumbent. Hue Jackson has the best track record of improving positions and doubling performance. Many don't want a name associated with Raiders dysfunction. I say to them, look at our team. Then look at how Jackson improved the offense everywhere he went in spite of coaching for teams like the Bengals and Raiders. The only season where an offense regressed under Jackson was with the Falcons, the year Vick was indicted and Petrino jumped ship. In terms of performance, Jackson is one of the best men you could hope to find.
2. Schottenheimer is staying and every other facet of offensive coaching is being retooled.
Why, exactly? Why are we letting Bill Callahan get away? Why are we letting go of other assistant coaching positions on offense, yet the man most responsible stays? I'm beginning to think that the FO love affair with Schotty junior will continue into the 12-13 season. I'm just afraid that Mike will overhaul the entire offense around Brian, before admitting a year or two from now that he's awful and moving on.
It's not entirely black and white. Nobody else is going to sign Schottenheimer away, to any position, because they actually have business AND football sense. It's possible that Brian stays while not falling into either category, bringing us to option 3:
Several if not all of the assistant offensive coaching positions are opening up for the Jets. I think it's still possible that the FO could decide to hire someone more successful coordinating the offensive unit, and offer Schotty a lesser title as a position coach. B.S. may very well have no choice but to take a job title reduction. I hope he's gone entirely, but this option would certainly be preferable to option 2.
What do you think is going to happen with the OC position now that Schottenheimer didn't get either job he was gunning for?