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Why I Do Not Think Brian Schottenheimer Will Be Fired

Buddy James wrote an interesting FanPost today indicating his belief Brian Schottenheimer will be out as offensive coordinator after the 2011 season. I front paged it because I thought it was well written and made some interesting arguments. I agree with Buddy that Scottenheimer might very well be gone if he gets a head coaching job. His last name and the team's success will probably make him a hot commodity. His knowledge of X's and O's would probably make him a strong interviewer (even if he cannot always apply what he knows effectively).

I do not think, however, that Schottenheimer is likely to be fired barring a complete collapse of the offense's production. There are many reasons I feel this way. The first is that the team's offensive inconsistency under his watch has never put him on the hot seat. When was the last time there was any speculation he would be gone based on anything other than fan frustration? That is because there is much anecdotal evidence to suggest the team loves him. Beyond all of the "sources" we periodically hear allegedly from high up the totem pole, the fact remains Brian got to keep his job after the collapse of 2008 led to a coaching change.

One image sits in my mind, though, that tells me he is safe. It is Nick Folk's winning kick in the Playoffs against the Colts.


Look at the 40 second mark of the video. It is a replay of Rex Ryan's reaction to the kick. With his team's season on the line, he and Schottenheimer were leaning on each other. An involuntary backpat took place fueled by the emotion of the moment. Watch that and tell me these guys aren't really close. When watching a play that decides whether your season ends or pressure moments like it, you tend to make sure you are near people you are close with. Is it maybe reading too much into one clip? Perhaps, but combined with all of the other indications, I never really have gotten the impression fans' frustration with Schotty is matched by anybody making decisions in the organization.

The only way he is leaving is probably if he gets a head coaching job. If you want him gone, root for the offense to do really well. Ironically enough, if that happens, many of us will probably be upset to see him leaving.