With Brett Favre's retirement, a ton of pressure within the organization shifts to offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Schottenheimer escaped the chopping block after reportedly impressing the front office while interviewing for the head job. We will soon find out whether the faith of Woody Johnson and Mike Tannenbaum was justified.
Schottenheimer went against the grain with his playcalling. Even though he had an excellent tandem in the backfield, the best fullback in football, and an excellent run blocking offensive line, he favored throwing in almost every situation, even those which obviously called for pounding the rock. Perhaps that was only because the team acquired a $13 million Hall of Fame toy. Perhaps he felt he had to build the offense around somebody with Brett Favre's resume. Now that he will not likely have a proven commodity at quarterback, will he adjust and rely more on the team's strength, the running game, or are these tendencies really his philosophy? Can he adapt his system and playcalling to the players he has?
In addition, there is a good chance Gang Green will have a young player under center on Opening Day 2009. Schottenheimer will not have the proven veteran in Chad Pennington or Favre he enjoyed during his first three seasons. He actually may need to guide a youngster's development. Football pundits praised the work he did with Drew Brees while San Diego's quarterbacks coach. That work landed him this job. His future employment with the Jets and as a coordinator in the league might depend on the work he does with the new starter.
The coordinator faces critical tests as he gets a fresh start.