- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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Other than Mark Sanchez, the person getting roasted the most for Monday night's woeful offensive performance is coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. And with good reason, as his unit appeared dysfunctional in the 10-9 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Thursday, in his weekly Q&A with reporters, Schottenheimer touched on a variety of topics:
• He said RB Shonn Greene was benched for nearly two quarters because he violated the no-fumble edict. Because the team fumbled eight times in the preseason, the coaching staff made it a point of emphasis.
"If you fumble the ball, you're coming out of the game," Schottenheimer said.
He said the rule applies to every player, even future Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson. (But not Sanchez, because he's the quarterback.) When Greene lost a fumble in the second quarter, Schottenheimer talked to RB coach Anthony Lynn and they decided to pull Greene, who didn't touch the ball again.
"In no way, shape or form do we not trust Shonn Greene," Schottenheimer said. "Shonn is going to be a big part of what we're going to do. But that's the standard we set and we're going to hold to it."
• Schottenheimer exonerated Sanchez for the lack of a downfield passing game. (Sanchez attempted only three passes over 10 yards, completing one.) Schottenheimer said he was "pleased" that Sanchez was willing to check the ball down "when things didn't look good. We're not going to force him to throw the ball upfield." He said he hasn't lost any trust in Sanchez.
• At the same time, Schottenheimer took some of the heat, saying it "probably wasn't my most aggressive game" in terms of calling plays. But yet he said he called about six play-action passes and two run-action passes that were designed to go downfield and became check-down passes. Confused? Welcome to the club.
• Schottenheimer also admitted that he "had a hard time getting into a rhythm, I really did." That could be because the offense was brutal on third down, converting only one of 11. Here's the scary part: Eight of those 11 tries were six yards or less, very makeable.
• He said he'd like to have a couple of plays back, and one in particular was a third-and-2 run (Tomlinson stuffed for minus-1) in the third quarter. Schottenheimer said he misjudged the distance, realizing later it was closer to third-and-3. Presumably, if he had known that at the time, he would've called a pass. That was a terrible call.
• Schottenheimer, responding to Rex Ryan's stated belief that the offense needs to take more shots downfield, claimed that Sanchez is ready to handle it.
"I'll be honest, there were times last year I was concerned to call shots for Mark because I had no idea where the ball was going to go," he said. "A shot called was a shot that was going to get taken."
And now? He said Sanchez is mature enough to recognize the risk/reward of going downfield.
• Schottenheimer denied rumors of a post-game altercation with Ryan: "Absolutely not -- in no way, shape or form." He added, "I can't remember any heated words we've ever had, going back to last year."