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Job doesn't worry Brian Schottenheimer

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The embattled Brian Schottenheimer took responsibility for the New York Jets' struggles on offense, but he insisted Thursday he's not worried about his job security and he doesn't think the final game will have any bearing on whether he returns as the offensive coordinator.

"I'm an excellent football coach," an upbeat Schottenheimer said. "Have we been inconsistent this year? Absolutely. I wish I could put a finger on it and say exactly what it was. There are things, clearly, I can do better. There are things, clearly, the unit can do better, but you don't have time to worry about it."

Schottenheimer has been on the hot seat at various times during his six-year tenure as the coordinator, which began under previous coach Eric Mangini, but his time is likely running out.

At 8-7, the Jets are a long shot to qualify. They finish the regular season Sunday at the Miami Dolphins (5-10), needing a win and a lot of help to secure a wild card.

Schottenheimer is under contract through 2013 after receiving an extension last offseason, but he probably will be the fall guy for the disappointing season.

"They made me feel great when I got the two-year extension," he said. "I've said all along I love being here. All I'm worried about is this weekend. That's what I can control."

The Jets' offense has bottomed out the last two weeks, producing only 33 points in 31 possessions in losses to the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants. Schottenheimer was heavily criticized for his play calling in the Christmas Eve loss to the Giants, as quarterback Mark Sanchez attempted a career-high 59 passes.

"We lost the game, but Santa still came," said Schottenheimer, defending his play calling.

Publicly, coach Rex Ryan has expressed lukewarm confidence in Schottenheimer, dodging questions about the future. Schottenheimer said he hasn't received any indication from the team about his future.

"I hate that people are pointing at Schotty and pointing at Mark," Ryan said. "It should be on my shoulders."

Schottenheimer didn't duck responsibility for the failures -- the Jets are ranked 27th in total offense -- but he also wasn't apologizing for any of his decisions.

"If you're going to talk about the inconsistencies, I have to own that responsibility," he said. "It's our unit's job, our staff's job, but if we're going to talk about those, let's talk about the things we do well."

He mentioned red-zone efficiency and scoring offense, categories in which the Jets are ranked first and ninth, respectively.

"It's not all bad," he said, "but when you're struggling, that (other) stuff gets pointed out."

There was no mea culpa for last weekend, when the Jets -- a run-oriented team -- called pass plays on 67 of 89 snaps. Schottenheimer, echoing Ryan's postgame refrain, acknowledged, "That's not how we're at our best." But he defended the strategy, making sure to note that the other coaches were on board.

Curiously, the Jets stayed in a hurry-up offense when they got the ball at midfield, down by six points, with five minutes to play. Schottenheimer said it was the consensus of the coaches to remain in that mode because they had been moving the ball.

"We talked about it as a staff, we did," he said. "We literally said, 'Hey, what do you guys think? What do you want to do?' Literally, that's how the conversation went. ... (The Giants) looked tired to us."

Schottenheimer said it was similar to a game last season in Detroit, where the Jets overcame a 10-point deficit late in the game and, surprisingly, stayed in the hurry-up to start overtime. They wound up winning by a field goal.

But against the Giants, Sanchez wasn't as hot as he was that day in Detroit. He completed only 30 of 59 passes for 258 yards and two interceptions.

"Mark has a chance to be a great player," Schottenheimer said, "but he has to be more consistent."

Schottenheimer, the son of former longtime coach Marty Schottenheimer, has been around football his entire life and he knows it's a cutthroat business. He saw his father get fired after a 14-2 season with the San Diego Chargers.

"This isn't the first time a Schottenheimer has been criticized," Ryan said. "I'm sure his dad was at some point. Those things happen."

After acquiring wide receiver Plaxico Burress before training camp, the Jets envisioned a breakout year for the offense, but they've been erratic in most areas. Sanchez hasn't improved as much as they had hoped, the offensive line has slipped and there have few big plays.

They can't blame it on injuries because they've been remarkably healthy.

"I've been fired before," Schottenheimer said. "If you get in this profession, you're going to get fired. The guys that sit there and worry about it are the guys that generally get fired. ... I'm not worried about that at all."

Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com.