Bill Parcells once said, "You are what your record says you are." We have a tendency to say, "That really isn't a bad 4-12 team because they had unlucky bounces." Parcells' point is that none of that matters. All that matters in the NFL is results. If you are good enough, you will figure out a way to find success.
Let's take a look at Brian Schottenheimer's record. Let's ignore the subjective stuff like whether we approve of his play calling or how he is developing his players. Let's just look at objective results.
Ahaigh actually just did so with a FanPost examining the productivity of the Jets offensively in the six years since Schottenheimer took over as offensive coordinator.
YPG 2006 305 (25th) 2007 295 (26th) 2008 330 (16th) 2009 321 (20th) 2010 351 (11th) 2011 308 (27th)
YPP 2006 4.8 (24th) 2007 4.7 (25th) 2008 5.4 (13th) 2009 5.0 (21st) 2010 5.2 (19th) *2011 4.8 (29th)
There you have it. Only once under Schotty have the Jets finished in the top half of the league in both total yards and yards per play. In four of six years, they did not crack the top twenty in either category. He has never had a top ten offense. So this is a guy who has consistently led a bottom third offensive unit in a stretch spanning four different starting quarterbacks. You could probably come up with a decent excuse to explain away any one of these years. When you combine all of these things, though? You can talk all you want about personnel. Anybody could look good with Drew Brees throwing to Calvin Johnson. In the real world, coaches have to work with what they are given and compensated well to do so. An offense doesn't have to be the best in the league to overachieve. Can anybody seriously say that consistently leading an offense ranked in the 20's is coaching players up?
Let me give you another part of Schottenheimer's record. Two quarterbacks under him have been run out of town and were branded as failures by fans at the time. The very next year after they left Schottenheimer, they finished top five in the MVP voting. I am talking about Chad Pennington and Brett Favre. Again, you might be able to make an excuse for one of these, but when combined with the other issues it gets tougher.
Not happy with Mark Sanchez? Think he isn't any good? Guess which coordinator gave the team a full throated endorsement after working him out at USC prior to the 2009 Draft. It wasn't Mike Pettine. If you think taking Sanchez was a mistake, and you want to use it as an excuse for Schottenheimer, you run into a logical problem. The offensive coordinator's stamp of approval surely carried some significant weight.
The bottom line is this. You can make a compelling case for getting rid of Mark Sanchez in 2012. You can also make a compelling case for bringing him back. It is a debate that will likely dominate some portion of the offseason. There is absolutely no compelling case for bringing back Schottenheimer. Maybe Sanchez really isn't any good. Maybe the offense will sputter with a new coordinator. Well, the offense will almost certainly be bad if Schottenheimer returns no matter the quarterback. He has not earned the right to develop the next quarterback. There is nothing to indicate he could do an effective job.