Can a Rex Ryan defense stop a Brian Schottenheimer-led offense?
We will find out next season with the New York Jets travel in 2012 to face the St. Louis Rams. The AFC East will play the NFC West next season, and this is one of the intriguing angles that will come from this series.
Schottenheimer left the Jets under curious circumstances. He underachieved this past season in New York, which had the 25th-ranked offense. Quarterback Mark Sanchez failed to make major strides in his third season under Schottenheimer's leadership. Also, by the end of the season, players were unhappy with the system and fighting amongst each other.
The Jets officially said Schottenheimer resigned, but it appeared more like a mutual parting. New York quickly hired new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano and was ready to move on. Meanwhile, after several interviews with team, "Schotty" landed with new head coach Jeff Fisher and the Rams.
Schottenheimer knows New York's defense well after practicing against it everyday. Jets head coach Rex Ryan admitted he didn't know Schottenheimer's offense as well as he should have. But there are plenty of coaches on the Jets' staff who have a feel for it. So who has the advantage?
An underlying theme to watch with Schottenheimer and the Jets is the development of young, first-round quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Sanchez. If Bradford thrives in Schottenheimer's system, that would say a lot about Sanchez. But if Sanchez plays better in Sparano's system and Bradford struggles, that it telling for Schottenheimer.