Brian Schottenheimer: “I’m an excellent football coach”


New York Jets Offensive Coordinator sat down with the media today and proclaimed that he is an excellent football coach:

On if any of the outside criticism and rumors about his job creep into his mind…

You can’t let it.  You hear about it, you get texts from your friends, “Hey, you doing ok?”  You don’t have time to worry about it.   It’s out of my control.  I’m an excellent football coach.  Have we been inconsistent this year?  Absolutely, I wish I could put my finger on it and say exactly why that was.  There are things that, clearly, I could do better and there are things that, clearly, the unit could do better.  You don’t have time to worry about it.  You’re talking to somebody that has been here for six years now.  I grew up in a household around a coach that took a lot of heat and got fired at 14-2.  You have no control over it, so you just roll with the punches.

On taking the brunt of the criticism this week with the team on the verge of finding out whether they make it to the playoffs or not…

It’s a normal week for me, in terms of we have a big game this week against a familiar foe.  (It is) an awfully good defense (that) we’re getting ready to play.  You just try to keep your nose buried in it and concentrate on what you can do better.  Like I said, I think a couple of weeks ago, you have high highs and low lows in this business.  The low lows can outweigh the highs if you let them, but hey, you take it, you go to work, you roll your sleeves up and we have to find a way to beat Miami.

On if he has been given any indication on his status for next season…

I have not, no.

On if he would like to get his status clarified when the season ends…

Again, they made me feel great a couple of months back when I got a two-year contract extension.  I’ve said all along, I love being here.  All I’m worried about is this weekend because that is what I can control.

On if he thinks he should be responsible for the offense’s performance…

Absolutely, I’m the offensive coordinator.  I think that comes with the territory.  If you’re going to talk about the inconsistencies, I have to own that responsibility.  It’s our unit’s job, our staff’s job, but if we are going to talk about those, let’s talk about the things we’ve done well: the money zone, scoring and some things like that.  It’s not all bad, but again, the inconsistencies when you’re struggling and you’re on the verge of trying to make the playoffs, that stuff is going to get pointed out.

On how he keeps his mind on the upcoming game and also assures his friends and family that he is ok despite the criticism…

Honestly, I don’t respond (laughter).  I don’t have time, so if you guys are watching, I’m not being a jerk, I just haven’t had time to respond.  I will call you over the weekend (laughter).  I really don’t.  I kind of look at them.  It’s funny because I’ll be doing  a script late at night or something and I’ll look at my phone, ‘Oh, got another one.’  I have that Droid phone.  You guys know that Droid phone (that goes) “Droid,” that real loud noise.  I’m like, ‘I’m getting another one.  Something must’ve come out.  Something was said.’  You have to laugh at it some.  Hey, this is a great business, but I don’t get too caught up in it.

On if he can lean on the fact that his father was fired after going 14-2…

I think so. I’ve been fired before. If you get into this profession, you’re going to get fired. The guys that sit there and worry about it are generally the guys that end up getting fired, because they are sitting there worried about it. But again (my father) has been great for me throughout my coaching career. Again, I think you have a chance to lean on guys like that. And Rex and I talk about that all the time, we learn so much about this game, just growing up around our fathers, that maybe it allows you to handle things like this a little bit better than most.

On if the offense needs a good performance this week for him to keep his job…

I don’t think so. I think however we play this weekend, we’ll go back and look at it and we’ll give a full evaluation of how we played. I am not worried about that at all. I want to play well, I think we need to play well, because there certainly is chance for us to still make the playoffs, and once you get in, I think you have a chance to compete. I think we’ve shown that the last couple of years, the first year especially, where we got in the last week and then went on a run. But again, I don’t worry about that.

On how much does support from the players help him…

Again, we’re all in this together. That’s the beauty of it. That’s the part where you know you have the right guys. It doesn’t surprise me that guys have my back, I have their backs. I think that is where you know you have the right guys. I think we all are held accountable, but ultimately, I am held responsible.

On if there is any sense of irony facing the Dolphins this week after speaking with them in the past about becoming their Head Coach…

No, I don’t think so. It’s just a divisional opponent that, again, we are very comfortable with. But in terms of irony, no, I don’t think of it that way.

On what he looks at when evaluating his performance at the end of the season…

I don’t get caught up in stats. Because, again, I get caught up in wins and losses. There are a lot of ways you can play. There are some teams that get caught up in stats. I look at it as basically, did we develop our players, did we teach our players well. Were we demanding enough of them of the fundamentals and the execution. And in some of those areas I will probably say no. There are things that we missed. It will be a full evaluation and there will be things that I’m really pleased with and things I’m disappointed in.

On whether he got his extension this last offseason…

Yes, (I got it) a couple of months ago. The football season is like a season in its own.


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