Several members of the Jets organization have become whipping boys for the team’s fans during the first 10 games of the season, but few have generated as much ire as offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.
He’s had remarkable staying power in New York, remaining with the team after Eric Mangini was fired in 2008 and sticking through several seasons when he’s been criticized heavily for his game plans and the lack of progress shown by quarterback Mark Sanchez. In a home loss to the Dolphins late last season, chants of “Fire Schotty” could be heard in the Meadowlands.
This cat still has some more lives left, however. Schottenheimer’s future, or desired lack of one, has been widely discussed over the last two weeks, but he’s got something on his side. Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com reports that the team quietly extended his contract through 2012 during the offseason. Roderick Boone of Newsday is hearing the same thing and he also reports that defensive coordinator Mike Pettine received the same deal.
The extension doesn’t guarantee Schottenheimer’s return next season. Should the Jets miss the playoffs because the offense continues to sputter, the calls for his head will only get louder. Rex Ryan isn’t going anywhere, so the need for a scapegoat could still lead to Schottenheimer’s ouster. Given how long he’s outrun the axe, though, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Schottenheimer back on the sideline again next season no matter what happens the rest of the way.