Seahawks Fire OC Brian Schottenheimer

A day after Pete Carroll said Brian Schottenheimer would stay on as offensive coordinator, the Seahawks have reversed course. Schottenheimer is out after three seasons as Seattle’s OC, according to the team, which cited “philosophical differences.”

Carroll said Monday during an interview with 710 ESPN Seattle that Schottenheimer would be back next season (Twitter link via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta), but the franchise will instead look for his replacement.

Often criticized for overusing the run game, Schottenheimer nevertheless oversaw a season that saw Russell Wilson break the team’s single-season touchdown pass record (40) and D.K. Metcalf break Steve Largent‘s 35-year-old single-season receiving yardage record (1,303). The traditionally conservative Carroll attributed the Seahawks’ return to a run-oriented offense down the stretch as an effort to prevent turnovers. This came after Wilson struggled with interceptions during a midseason swoon. The Seahawks ranked 17th in total offense but eighth in points this season; they ranked top 10 in scoring during each of Schottenheimer’s three seasons calling plays.

Seattle was on a historic offensive pace (and a historically bad defensive pace) to start the season, turning Wilson loose in September and October. But he committed seven turnovers in losses to the Bills and Rams. After five 300-yard passing performances from Weeks 1-9, the ninth-year quarterback did not eclipse 270 yards in any game in the season’s second half. Schottenheimer’s firing comes after Wilson’s woeful 11-for-27 playoff outing, which included a pick-six on a wide receiver screen pass.

Schottenheimer, 47, has been an NFL OC for three teams — the Jets, Rams and Seahawks — and began that run in 2006. He stayed on during multiple Jets coaching regimes but was let go after the 2011 season. During his 12 seasons in charge of offenses, only one of them — the 2019 Seahawks — ranked in the top 10 in total yardage.

As for the next Seahawks OC, NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo throws out former Chargers play-caller Shane Steichen as a name under consideration (Twitter links). Despite the Chargers going through a coaching change, Steichen’s work with Justin Herbert should ensure he will see another play-calling opportunity soon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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24 comments on “Seahawks Fire OC Brian Schottenheimer

      • paddyo875

        It seems a few from SF staffay leave for promotions. LaFleur, Ryans, and Saleh all leaving will be quite the challenge. DeMeco as the next DC and a promotion for LaFleur hopefully keeps them in Santa Clara.

  1. martevious

    Too bad. Pete Carroll started getting more involved in the offense when the Hawks started turning it over more. Since that time, the offense has stunk. I like Pete Carroll, but I think he is part of the problem. He wanted to go back to smash mouth running, but they don’t have the O-line or RB’s to do that

    • Technically correct

      Yeah, but Pete told me Penny was almost back. Probably another week…

    • paddyo875

      Carroll has a great defensive mind and should stay away from the offense. Speaking in offensive terms, it seems Carroll would have been a politician in another life.

  2. king beas

    Maybe blame Russ for becoming a turnover machine? A lot of blame going to coaches that didn’t give the ball to the players in the wrong jersey

    • martevious

      There is plenty of blame to go around, that’s for sure. Russ and his wife have a baby, so he’s probably not getting enough sleep. He certainly has looked like it!

  3. GoLandCrabs

    Using a Rams photo sure is fitting. He sure was helping the Rams last Saturday.

    • qbert1996

      Didnt know the OC threw those interceptions. Why does Russ escape blame when his play fell off after week 9?

      • Phil253

        When you don’t have competent play calling you have a qb who tries to do too much. There’s a difference in games were Russ is “turned loose” vs games where he’s confined to a failing scheme. Bad decisions happen and turnovers are a result. We do have a SB win which more than Donovan McNabb ever had, but I’m starting to see similarities into wasted opportunities and talents. Next OC should build the playbook with Russ.

  4. Yep it is

    The only reason he is even in the league is because of his last name. Marty was a heck of a defensive coach but couldn’t spell offense more less coach it. How this kid lasted this long int he league is amazing. 3rd down and 8 let’s throw a 4 yard pass. Typical Marty Ball. Like father like son.

  5. crosseyedlemon

    I’ve long been convinced that the lateral pass to the sidelines is the most worthless play any team could have in their playbook. Hopefully Schottenheimer’s firing will convince other OC’s to stop using it.

    • Those sideline screen passes work great if you have the backs (great open field runners with some tacklebreaking ability as usually someone gets a hand on them), agile linemen to get out there and lead the blocking and WR capable and willing to throw blocks.

      Most teams don’t have all three of those elements. In which case, sideline screen passes are indeed a waste of time. With all three elements, sideline screens often turn into twenty or thirty yard gains with very low chance of a turnover. Noticed quite a few high profile robber pick sixes on them this year though.

  6. larkraxm

    The problem is the failure to adjust. After week 8 our offense was stopped cold by two deep safety defensive looks. No slants, no screens, no plan except to hope that this is the play that the pass protection holds up. Play calling aside, the offense not being ready to play football for a home playoff game is a bigger issue. Delay of game penalties or wasted time outs as the play clock expired, missed assignments, and sloppy play make the play selection seem worse than it is. Why is it that even though every person on the planet knows Rodgers wants to throw the ball to Adams he is open anyway?? Not scheming our wideouts open is why he is gone.

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