- Jane McManus, Reporter & Columnist, espnW.com
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- As the Jets prepare to meet St. Louis, Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is trying to block out the emotion of a reunion with his former team.
“I enjoyed my time in New York, I really did,” Schottenheimer said. “I had great experiences, won a lot of football games and, again, looking forward to seeing those guys.”
Rex Ryan noted that there would be a game of cat-and-mouse when it comes to the matchup. Clearly, Schottenheimer knows the Ryan defense — he had three seasons to practice against it. And Ryan knows what Schottenheimer might pull on offense.
"He’s a fun guy to play cat-and-mouse with,” Schottenheimer said. “He’s a dangerous guy to play cat-and-mouse with. But, we enjoyed it for three years. It will be fun on Sunday in the Edward Jones Dome.”
St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher’s assessment of Schottenheimer echoed what Ryan said about his former offensive coordinator Thursday morning.
“Well, (Schottenheimer has) done a good job,” Fisher said. “The offense is in and we’ve got flexibility week to week. He’s not satisfied. No one’s really satisfied with our production because up until last week, it was well documented we were having difficulty getting the ball in the end zone. But, guys are playing hard. I think we’re settling down now. With (WR) Danny (Amendola) coming back it certainly helps. He’ll never be satisfied. He’s very, very talented – I know that. His opportunity to be a head coach is not far away.”
Schottenheimer comes from a coaching family. His father, Marty, coached in the NFL, and Schottenheimer had that in common with Ryan, whose father Buddy once coached in the NFL and brother Rob is the Dallas defensive coordinator. Fisher commented on the Ryans.
“I see a lot of Buddy in Rex and Rob,” Fisher said. “They’re excellent coaches as Buddy was, and excellent defensive minds and flexible. They can go down the street and coach a four-man line one day and come back and coach a three-man line the next day. They understand defense and they understand how to play defense.”
Schottenheimer took a lot of criticism for a predictable and clunky offense during his last year in New York, after the team went to back-to-back AFC title games. He said at the end he saw the writing on the wall.
“If there’s one thing I learned growing up in a coach’s family is stability in this business is crazy,” Schottenheimer said. “We enjoyed six amazing years in New York. Back-to-back AFC championship games, we had so many wins, we were so close to get into the Super Bowl. I wish we would have had a chance to finish it. But, like I learned from my father going 14-2, with him getting fired, is there comes a time when it’s time to make a move and change and move on.”
“I’m thrilled to be a St. Louis Ram,” Schottenheimer said. “I’m thrilled to be here with these guys. Again, I wish (the Jets) nothing but the best and I look forward to seeing them on Sunday.”