Keeping a strong coaching staff together is almost as hard as keeping a championship-caliber roster intact. Successful teams have other clubs cherry pick coaches from them on an annual basis. This year, Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is reportedly drawing interest for at least one head coach opening.
Adam Schefter reported last weekend that the Houston Texans will consider Schottenheimer for their current vacancy.
Pete Carroll isn’t new to this. He’s seen former defensive coordinators Gus Bradley and Dan Quinn get head coaching jobs with the Jaguars and Falcons, respectively. Carroll believes Schottenheimer should be his next pupil to get such an opportunity.
He gave a resounding recommendation for Schottenheimer on Wednesday.
“I think he's an incredible candidate,” Carroll said. “I think he's exactly what owners are looking for. He's been around. He's been in charge. He commands the whole team with his leadership. He's got great background. I say that because he's been through our program for enough years that I know that he's got his philosophy in order, he's got his approach how he would do it because we've worked on that stuff, so he's ready to go.
“We haven't talked about it this time around yet, but we've talked about it in the past, and I did hear that like yesterday or something like that that maybe there's something up. So we'll see what happens.”
Russell Wilson echoed those sentiments.
“I think Schotty would be a tremendous head coach. I think he understands the game so well. He’s got that great pedigree, obviously with his dad. He’s been around the game for so long. He’s coached a lot of great quarterbacks along the way, starting with Drew Brees and Philip Rivers. … He’s a great coach. He’s a great teacher of the game. He’s always motivated. He works hard. He’s a great family guy, too. I love him as a person.
“I think all the things he can do as a play caller, how confident he is, I think he’d be great. I think he’s a great leader of men, too. … That’s the problem with this game sometimes, when your team is playing great and everybody is scoring touchdowns and making plays, you lose some people you love sometimes. If he does get a great opportunity, I know he’ll be great at it. You want to root for him for sure.”
Schottenheimer certainly has the experience in order to take the final step up the coaching ladder. He has been the offensive coordinator for three different teams spanning 12 seasons. His current three-year run in Seattle has warranted the national attention among potential head coach candidates. The Seahawks have had a top 10 scoring offense all three years with Schottenheimer pulling the strings.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have Wilson, DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett at your disposal. That’s what Schottenheimer made sure to point out when asked about Houston’s reported interest in him.
“It’s about how well we’re doing offensively,” Schottenheimer said. “It’s not about me. It’s about the Seattle Seahawks. It’s about Russell Wilson and Tyler Lockett. Let’s talk about those guys, what a great job those guys are doing. Chris Carson being back. The offensive line. I’m honored and flattered, but I’m just proud of this group and how well we’ve done, but we’ve got a lot of work left to do.”
Schottenheimer added that he’s had five interviews for head coach openings in the past, but those came back during his tenure as the Jets OC from 2006-11.
“I’d love to be a head coach,” he added. “Those things are flattering, but they don’t help you beat a really good Washington team. Honored to be in that consideration, but I’m really focused on doing what I can to play well against one of the best defenses we’ve played this year.”
Schottenheimer isn’t wrong. The Washington Football Team owns the fourth-ranked defense in terms of DVOA and the sixth-ranked scoring defense. That defense has powered Washington’s recent surge up the NFC East standings.
Washington hasn’t allowed more than 17 points in a month with wins over the Steelers and 49ers in that span. Getting a win at FedEx Field will be no easy task, but doing so would clinch a playoff spot for the Seahawks.
As a subplot, a standout offensive performance would also do wonders for Schottenheimer’s candidacy in Houston and potentially other teams with head coach vacancies.