|Brian Schottenheimer has been in New York since 2006. He may not be back. (Getty Images)|
By Ryan Wilson
On Monday, a day after the Jets' season imploded in South Beach, head coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum, still shocked from how the season ended 24 hours earlier, held a press conference to talk about the future of the team.
Among the revelations: wide receiver and team captain Santonio Holmes needs an attitude adjustment, quarterback Mark Sanchez will be the 2012 starter, and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, the ire of many a Jets fan, would be welcomed back with open arms should he not land a head-coaching gig.
On Saturday, we wrote that while Schottenheimer's head-coaching fate remains undecided, the Jets are making contingency plans to fill his job. Two names mentioned as possible replacements: Tony Sparano and Dirk Koetter (although they weren't selling themselves as a two-for-one special). A day later, ESPN New York's Rich Cimini writes that he would be "stunned" if Schottenheimer returns to New York, adding "I could see him making a lateral move before returning."
Schottenheimer has been the Jets offensive coordinator since 2006 and appears to have the full support of his head coach and general manager. So what happened? Well, it's not uncommon for public comments to differ from personal beliefs. It happens all the time (see John Elway's recent remarks that Tim Tebow will be the Broncos' starter in 2012 … and then see how that changes in the coming weeks and months). Plus, sometimes relationships run their course. In fact, you could argue that Schottenheimer has overstayed his welcome in New York.
More details from Cimini:
"League insiders tell me the Jets are trying to save as much as possible on Schottenheimer's remaining contract -- two years, $3.2 million. (They'd have to eat it if they fire him.) That enormous, two-year extension he received last offseason, I'm told, was a reason why they couldn't get OL coach Bill Callahan to re-up before the end of the season. Apparently, the rising tide doesn't lift all boats, as far as the Jets are concerned."
Is Schottenheimer the primary reason for the Jets' 8-8 finish? No, of course not. Holmes' selfishness, Sanchez's inconsistency, and a defense that struggled at times in 2011 all played a part in a disappointing season.
That said, it's probably time for a change. The Jets need to find out if Sanchez can be their franchise guy. That'll be one of the primary duties of whoever the next coordinator might be. So when the Jets say they're making preparations just in case Schottenheimer doesn't return, they're telling the truth. It's just that, despite what Ryan and Tannenbaum said six days ago, it may not be Schottenheimer's decision.
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