Brian Schottenheimer was fired as the offensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday, January 12th. The two sides parted ways after a disappointing home playoff defeat to the Los Angeles Rams. The Seahawks scored just 20 points in the game, finding the endzone just twice on the day.
Schottenheimer had been the offensive coordinator for the Seahawks since 2018.Over the course of his tenure, the Seahawks never won fewer than 10 games in a season, but also never advanced past the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs.
Seattle ranked in the top ten in points scored in all three seasons with Schottenheimer calling the plays, but simultaneously ranked in the bottom half of the league in yards in two of those seasons.
Schottenheimer's firing is not thought to be directly tied to on-field results. The Seahawks are generally considered one of the better offenses in the league, fueled by superstar QB Russell Wilson, and emerging breakout receiver DK Metcalf.
Schottenheimer's ultimate undoing in Seattle was a failure to remain on the same page as head coach Pete Carroll. Carroll and Schottenheimer reportedly had opposing viewpoints on how to run a balanced offense.
Carroll is a fan of a more up-tempo and dynamic offensive approach that establishes the run to set up the pass. Schottenheimer, on the other hand, preferred to stick to the more traditional West Coast offense.
Seattle fans and even some former players were calling for changes to be made to the offense, citing the fact that even a stud like Metcalf struggles to get touches.
Metcalf did not get his hands on the ball in Seattle's Super Wild Card Weekend matchup with the Rams until midway through the second quarter. He was also visibly frustrated on the sidelines for the duration of the contest.
In more innovative offenses in the league, such as the scheme run by the top-ranked Kansas City Chiefs, playmakers are given the ball in space with the opportunity to make something happen, regardless of the position.
Schottenheimer's style of coaching is a stark contrast to these aggressive concepts, leading many to wonder whether or not the team would be better off with a more progressive-minded coach in control of the offense.
This year's Seahawks team scored more points than any other version of their offense in franchise history. However, ultimately, it wasn't enough to advance to the next round of the NFL Playoffs, and thus is a forgettable performance.
Schottenheimer and Pete Carroll are admittedly at odds. Carroll stated in a post-game interview that he wishes "we would have given [Russell Wilson] more chances to force the ball out quicker".
Carroll also added that he was "fighting" the play call on a fourth-and-one attempt that Seattle failed to convert in the fourth quarter. Thus the obvious choice was to move on from Schottenheimer.
Who could replace Brian Schottenheimer in Seattle?
Arguably the hottest name when it comes to current NFL offensive coordinators is Kansas City signal-caller Eric Bieniemy. He has been linked with many job openings around the league and in the college football ranks over the past two off-seasons.
If Bieniemy does decide to leave Kansas City, it would not be for greener pastures. Perhaps Seattle could offer enough money to attract Bieniemy. But it is more likely that the up-and-coming coordinator would only leave his current post for a chance to be the head coach of a team. And Seattle can not offer him at this time.
Current Los Angeles Chargers OC Shane Steichen is another candidate for the job. His stock has been rising, particularly for his work with and development of young QB Justin Herbert. Herbert may have been the most impressive rookie QB in the NFL this season.Published 13 Jan 2021, 08:32 IST