Remember Brian Schottenheimer?
He was the former New York Jets offensive coordinator who shouldered most of the blame for the team's downfall and eventual implosion last year. The Jets finished 25th in total offense and it cost Schottenheimer his job. He eventually landed with the St. Louis Rams, while New York hired Tony Sparano in place of "Schotty."
One year later, the Jets’ offense remains in shambles. Quarterback Mark Sanchez has regressed under Sparano and the Tim Tebow experiment is a bust. New York’s offense is ranked 30th entering Week 11 -- five spots lower than Schottenheimer’s group last season.
The Jets will meet their former scapegoat Sunday when the Rams (3-5-1) host the Jets (3-6). It will be a chance for Schottenheimer to get revenge and send his old team further into the abyss.
"My impressions, he’s doing an outstanding job," said Rams head coach Jeff Fisher on a conference call Wednesday. "I was very excited initially that he was available. We hit the ground running and he’s been a big influence of the early turnaround of this football team."
St. Louis is not an offensive juggernaut. The Rams are 19th in passing and 12th in rushing in Schottenheimer’s first year. They certainly appear to have a few more pieces offensively than New York with quarterback Sam Bradford, receiver Danny Amendola and the dual running threat of Steven Jackson and Daryl Richardson.
Most importantly, Fisher said Schottenheimer has a good rapport with his players. Things seemed to sour with Schottenheimer in New York last year, particularly with Sanchez.
"He has a great relationship with Sam," Fisher explained. "The two of them have spent a lot of time together. Sam has a very good feel for what we’re trying to do. Brian and Sam are on the same page all the time during the ballgame. I think Sam is only going to get better and better."
Schottenheimer will get his chance to kick the Jets while they’re down this weekend.