Brian Schottenheimer

Jaguars To Hold QB Competition

Trevor Lawrence is the Jaguars’ quarterback of the future, but that doesn’t mean he’s their starter of the present. On Wednesday, Jags passing game coordinator Brian Schottenheimer stressed that the team has yet to name its QB1. 

It’s still too early to say how this thing’s going to play out,” Schottenheimer said (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Michael DiRocco).

Gardner Minshew was the Jaguars’ rookie sensation not too long ago and he’s still on the roster as Lawrence’s expected QB2. At the same time, there’s been months of trade speculation around him. In 2019, Minshew set franchise records in yards (3,271) and touchdowns (21) for rookie QBs. Last year, he flip-flopped with Mike Glennon amidst the Jags’ 15-game losing streak. All in all, he was 1-7 in his starts with 2,259 yards and 16 touchdowns against five interceptions. Needless to say, it was assumed that the No. 1 overall pick would start immediately.

For his part, Lawrence says he’s still getting to know the playbook. So, presumably, he’s okay with competing for his spot alongside Minshew and the rest of the camp QBs, including Tim Tebow.

I want to just master the offense,” Lawrence said. “I want to have complete control, know everything and be comfortable. You can’t really play free and play really well if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s the goal, to master the offense by the time training camp comes around so in training camp we can focus everything forward on being the best team we can come August 14 and then going on into the regular season as well.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars Add Brian Schottenheimer To Coaching Staff

Urban Meyer is making some final touches to his coaching staff. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that the Jaguars are hiring Brian Schottenheimer as their new passing game coordinator.

In Jacksonville, the 47-year-old will likely be in charge of a new-look passing attack. It seems like a foregone conclusion that the Jaguars will select Trevor Lawrence with the first-overall pick, and the organization is still rostering Gardner Minshew and Jake Luton. Schottenheimer will be working under new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.

We learned last week that Meyer was eyeing a number of candidates for the role of quarterbacks coach, including Mark Brunell (who has since joined the Lions), former Chargers HC Mike McCoy, and former Buccaneers and Giants OC Mike Sullivan. It’s uncertain if Schottenheimer will inherit the responsibilities of that role, or perhaps the Jaguars will look to add yet another offensive mind to their coaching staff.

Schottenheimer has been coaching for more than two decades. He got his first crack at being an offensive coordinator with the Jets in 2006, and he proceeded to spend six years in New York. He later served as offensive coordinator for the Rams and at Georgia. Following his brief collegiate stint, he returned to the NFL as the Colts quarterbacks coach. In 2018, he was hired as the Seahawks offensive coordinator, where he replaced (coincidentally) Bevell. He spent three seasons in Seattle, and despite the Seahawks setting a franchise record for points scored in a season, he was let go following the 2020 campaign.

NFC West Notes: Seahawks, Golden, 49ers

For the second time in three years, K.J. Wright is a free agent. The longest-tenured Seahawks player has already signed three contracts with the franchise that drafted him. He is eager to ink a fourth.

I’m having fun; I love this city. I love this team, so let’s make it happen,” Wright said of a return to Seattle, via ESPN.com’s Brady Henderson. “… (A return is) up to Pete (Carroll) and John (Schneider). They know how much I mean to this team. They know I’m a great teammate, a great leader and it would be a great investment — in my opinion — if they invest in K.J. and to bring him back into the building. You get what you pay for, and I bring a lot to the table still.”

Wright, 31, does not sound interested in a hometown discount, per veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson (on Twitter). The Seahawks have paired Wright and Bobby Wagner for nine seasons and used both as sub-package linebackers for most of the 2020 slate. But Seattle drafting Jordyn Brooks in last year’s first round could complicate a Wright return. Pro Football Focus rated Wright as its No. 8 overall ‘backer this past season.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • The Seahawks were not planning to part ways with OC Brian Schottenheimer, but Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes an end-of-season meeting — in which Carroll reinforced his preference to focus on the run game — helped lead to the team changing play-callers. The Seahawks deviated in the season’s first half from Carroll’s run-centric vision but reverted more toward their usual setup down the stretch. It will be interesting to see how Seattle’s offense looks under new OC Shane Waldron, who spent five years in Washington and Los Angeles working under Sean McVay.
  • Markus Golden‘s sack total dropped from 10 in 2019 to 4.5 in 2020, and the Cardinals saw Haason Reddick complete a contract-year breakout. Still, the older Arizona edge rusher would like to return. “It gave me another shock of energy just being back home,” Golden said of the trade that sent him from the Giants to the Cards, via Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. “Being here where I know my heart is, it really matters to me to be in Arizona on the Cardinals.” Golden, who signed with the Giants in 2019 and stayed in New York via the rare UFA tender last year, is set for free agency for a third straight year.
  • Big expenses at the top of the Rams‘ payroll have forced the team to let several role players walk in recent offseasons. This year may be no exception. The Rams are unlikely to re-sign Josh Reynolds, Malcolm Brown or Gerald Everett, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic notes (subscription required). The Rams having drafted contributors at these positions in 2020, and having two wideouts (Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods) and a tight end (Tyler Higbee) signed long-term already, pointed this trio to free agency.
  • Jeff Wilson‘s one-year 49ers extension can max out at $3.6MM, according to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco. Wilson will receive $2.05MM fully guaranteed, with another possible $1.55MM available via incentives. The incentives would give Wilson a chance to out-earn the low-end RFA tender price, which OverTheCap projects at $2.24MM for running backs. He is still due to be a 2022 UFA.
  • Nick Mullens underwent elbow surgery last month, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. This, however, was not a Tommy John operation, with Garafolo adding the 49ers backup’s injury was not as severe as initially feared. He is expected to be ready by training camp.

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.

GM/Staff Notes: Staley, Schoen, Jets, Eagles

The Falcons have secured an interview with Bills assistant GM Joe Schoen, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (on Twitter). This will be Schoen’s second GM interview this offseason. He met with the Panthers earlier this week. Schoen has been on the rise for a bit now, moving from Dolphins player personnel director (2014-17) to the assistant GM of a Bills franchise that has raised its profile considerably during his tenure under Brandon Beane. Under Beane, Schoen and Sean McDermott, the Bills have made three playoff berths in four years. They were 0-for-17 in the 21st century previously.

Here is the latest from the GM and coaching carousels:

  • Brandon Staley‘s Rams defense ranked first in scoring defense this season, and that could allow him to continue a meteoric NFL rise. In addition to the Jets requesting an interview with Staley, the Chargers are interested in speaking with the first-year coordinator, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic tweets. Staley spent the 2018 season as the Bears’ outside linebackers coach before following Vic Fangio to Denver and working in the same capacity there. But he has become a hot coaching commodity who could end up in a leading role soon.
  • The assistant leading the charge against Staley’s defense Saturday may be competing with him for the Jets‘ top coaching job. Seahawks OC Brian Schottenheimer is expected to be on the Jets’ radar to replace Adam Gase, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Schottenheimer has been Seattle’s OC for three seasons but served in that role in New York longer, working as offensive coordinator under Eric Mangini and Rex Ryan from 2006-11.
  • While the Eagles are retaining Doug Pederson, they will lose DC Jim Schwartz and part ways with two offensive assistants. Marty Mornhinweg and Rich Scangarello will not be back in Philly next season, Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com tweets. Despite both joining the Eagles last season, each was on an expiring contract. This marks another offseason of shakeups to Pederson’s offensive staff. Both Frank Reich and John DeFilippo departed in 2018, while the Eagles fired OC Mike Groh last year. Both Mornhinweg and Scangarello held non-position-coaching titles; the former worked as a senior consultant and the latter functioned as a senior assistant. Mornhinweg is a veteran NFL OC who served as Lions HC from 2001-02, while Scangarello was the Broncos’ OC last season.
  • The Washington GM search is beginning to take shape. In addition to ex-GMs Marty Hurney, Martin Mayhew and Rick Smith, Washington is expected to show interest in ex-Panthers exec Ryan Cowden, per La Canfora. While Cowden worked with Ron Rivera in Carolina, he has been with the Titans since 2016. He currently works as their VP of player personnel.

Texans To Consider Brian Schottenheimer For HC Job?

An offensive coordinator with three franchises dating back to the 2006 season, Brian Schottenheimer has not received a chance to become a head coach. The Texans may be considering changing that.

One of the members of the Texans’ search committee, Jed Hughes, made a strong recommendation for the current Seahawks OC to receive serious consideration to succeed Bill O’Brien as Houston’s next head coach, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Schottenheimer has not been connected to a head coaching search since the Seahawks hired him to run their offense in 2018.

The second-generation NFL coach developed a reputation as a conservative play-caller, with the Seahawks finishing with the second- and third-most rushing attempts in 2018 and ’19, respectively. In Schottenheimer’s 11 full seasons as a coordinator, his offenses have never ranked in the top 10 in passing yards.

This season, Schottenheimer has backed off that a bit. Russell Wilson has already surpassed his single-season high for touchdown passes (36) and is on pace to end this season with far more pass attempts than he logged in 2019 (516). Wilson is also completing passes at a career-high rate (70.4%) while maintaining the 8.0 yards-per-attempt figure around which he has hovered under Schottenheimer.

A former Jets and Rams OC, Schottenheimer may trail a now-higher-profile coordinator in this search. Eric Bieniemy may be the favorite to land the job, with Schefter adding that many believe the Chiefs OC is a strong candidate. Deshaun Watson has advocated for Bieniemy, and the Texans are definitely interested in the third-year Chiefs OC. However, Bieniemy stands to attract interest outside of Houston as well. He is on the Falcons’ radar.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Broncos, Seahawks, 49ers

The Broncos have fallen quite a ways from their Super Bowl 50 win about two years ago. The team’s biggest question mark is obviously at quarterback, but there are a number of questions that John Elway and company will have to answer over the course of the offseason, explains Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post.

Jhabvala mentions that the Broncos wide receiver position could really change over the next few months depending on how the front office approaches some of the playmakers that could enter free agency. The big name she mentions is Demaryius Thomas who could test the open market should Denver decline his $4MM option. He’s controllable for non-guaranteed salaries for the next two seasons, but the team could save some money or re-negotiate a new contract before a decision has to be made about that option. In addition to Thomas, Cody Latimer is an unrestricted free agent, Bennie Fowler is a restricted free agent and Emmanuel Sanders is a controllable veteran that could hit the trade block if the team rather invest in Thomas long-term.

Jhabvala also focuses on veteran cornerback Aqib Talib. She notes how he’ll turn 32 in February and is set to make $11MM in 2018. Although, the Broncos would only be responsible for $1MM if he were to be released. With Chris Harris and Bradley Roby under contract as well, it’s unlikely the team would hold onto all three for next season.

The article finally keys in on Denver’s starting running back, C.J. Anderson. Anderson is paid well for his position as he’ll make $4.4MM next season. However, his last two years of his original four-year deal that he signed in 2016 are non-guaranteed, so there is definitely significant money to be saved should the team move onto the likes of Devontae Booker, De’Angelo Henderson or potentially a another running back that they draft in April.

Here’s more from the NFL’s West divisions:

  • Denver has to deal with an off-the-field problem at receiver as well. Their 2017 third-round draft pick, Carlos Henderson, was arrested this afternoon for possession of marijuana, per Brad Cesak of NBC6News (Twitter link). The 23-year-old was placed on the injured reserve with a thumb injury in the preseason, but could face league discipline for his most recent incident. This would be his first offense, but it’s not encouraging for a Broncos team potentially looking for steady contributors on that side of the ball.
  • The news that Pete Carroll would be replacing Darrell Bevell with Brian Schottenheimer as Seattle’s next offensive coordinator was met with some skepticism across the football world. However, Seahawks backup quarterback Austin Davis thinks that the change will bring some positivity to the team’s offense in 2018, reports Brady Henderson of ESPN.com. Schottenheimer coached Davis for three seasons while the two were in St. Louis. “We were very creative in St. Louis,” Davis told 710 ESPN Seattle. “We threw a lot of things at the defense, whether it was drop-back, whether it was play-action, whether it was quarterback movement, we had it all. And we were a really good screen team. If there was one thing I could pick out from last year, we couldn’t run screens.” The Seahawks offense was carried by Russell Wilson last season and is in need of a new identity as the team looks to get back into the postseason.
  • 49ers promising rookie linebacker Reuben Foster recently got in trouble with the law for having possession of marijuana, which is likely to effect his paycheck in the years to come. The 2017 first-round pick had about $2.5MM in guaranteed money from 2018-2020, but that will probably be voided because of specific wording in his contract, according to Joel Corry of CBS Sports (Twitter link). Corry explained that Foster had a clause in his contract that if he were to be fined for a violation of the NFL’s drug policy, that money would lose its guaranteed status. The former Alabama defender fell down the draft board a bit last year because of some personality issues, and his immaturity has now clearly cost him in terms of his wallet.
  • Current 49ers starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo made some extra cash after the Patriots beat the Titans to advance to the AFC Championship, according to Corry in another tweet. Corry reports that Garoppolo received an extra $51k in playoff money for the victory because he was with New England for at least eight games this past regular season.

Seahawks To Name Brian Schottenheimer OC

It doesn’t look like the Seahawks will not be waiting for the divisional round to conclude to identify their next offensive coordinator.

The Seahawks intend to hire Colts quarterbacks coach Brian Schottenheimer for the role, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. This coming to fruition would represent the third coordinator role for Schottenheimer, who spent nine seasons (2006-14) guiding the Jets’ and Rams’ offenses.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter) Pete Carroll called Schottenheimer and the parties are working on a deal, noting the Seahawks identified the veteran OC as the leader for this job and wanted to pounce before other teams jumped into the mix.

Schottenheimer was mentioned as a candidate along with Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo. The 44-year-old Schottenheimer was part of Chuck Pagano‘s final two staffs in Indianapolis, and in 2015 served as Georgia’s OC.

Seattle would have needed to wait for Philadelphia to lose in order to interview DeFilippo for this job. The team expressed interest in Schottenheimer, but no interview was reported. Schottenheimer will succeed Darrell Bevell, who was fired after seven seasons at the helm.

Three of Schottenheimer’s teams made the playoffs — the 2006, ’09 and ’10 Jets — but just one (the ’08 Jets) ranked in the top 10 in total or scoring offense. None of Schottenheimer’s Rams attacks ranked in the top 20 in either category during his three seasons running the St. Louis offense. The Seahawks ranked 15th in total offense in 2017.

Andrew Luck did complete a career-high 63.5 percent of his passes under Schottenheimer in 2016, however, and Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets some in the Seahawks organization were impressed with how he tailored an offense around Jacoby Brissett‘s mobility.

Seahawks GM John Schneider has a connection with the Schottenheimer family. He was with the Chiefs and Redskins during the end of Marty Schottenheimer‘s run in Kansas City and during his short stay in Washington in the early 2000s. Brian Schottenheimer worked with the ’98 Chiefs and ’01 Redskins. The latter position — as Redskins QBs coach — represented the second-generation coach’s first NFL coaching gig.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Interested In Brian Schottenheimer

The Seahawks will look to speak with Colts quarterbacks coach Brian Schottenheimer about their offensive coordinator vacancy, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweetsBrian Schottenheimer (vertical)

[RELATED: PFR’s 2018 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Tracker]

Schottenheimer previously served as the OC of the Rams and Jets. In 2016, he become the Colts’ QBs coach and guided Andrew Luck to one of his best career seasons. Despite dealing with multiple injuries in that season, Luck finished out with a career-high 63.5% completion percentage 7.8 yards per throw.

If hired by the Seahawks, Schottenheimer will be tasked with getting better production out of the team’s Swiss cheese offensive line finding a way to re-ignite the running game. Last year, the Seahawks placed 15th in total offense but were just 23rd in total rushing yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Colts, Bills, Jets, Jones

While the Colts are set for a front-office transition, they are set to return most of their offensive coaching staff, with one exception. The Bills’ previous wide receivers coach, Sanjay Lal, will make the move to Indianapolis to work in the same capacity, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). Lal coached Buffalo’s wideouts for two seasons. Between 2009-14, he worked with the Raiders’ and Jets’ receiving corps. Lal replaces Lee Hull, whom the team dismissed.

Aside from that switch, the Colts will return OC Rob Chudzinski‘s staff. Former Dolphins HC Joe Philbin will remain in charge of Indianapolis’ offensive line, Quarterbacks coach Brian Schottenheimer will return as well. Although, no such assurances are made to this staff beyond the 2017 season, and per Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star, the assistants are exhibiting a sense of relief at the Senior Bowl that Ryan Grigson‘s firing did not come with a sizable staff shakeup.

Here’s more from the AFC.

  • Jim Irsay continues to consult with former Colts GM Bill Polian, per Holder, about the search to replace Grigson. Holder isn’t certain the Hall of Fame executive will sit in on the interviews, but it’s clear he’s functioning as a sounding board for his former boss.
  • When Doug Whaley listed some of the Bills‘ free agents, he categorized three players (Stephon Gilmore, Robert Woods and RFA punter Colton Schmidt) as starters before pointing to the other 25 players in that grouping as performers brought in for depth purposes. “The rest of those guys, we brought in for backup depth purposes and they’ve played extremely well, and that’s a compliment to our pro personnel department,” Whaley said, via Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News. “But we feel we have confidence that we can get a lot of those guys back on extended contracts.” Mike Rodak of ESPN.com points out UFAs like Lorenzo Alexander, right tackle Jordan Mills and Zach Brown enhanced their value this season (Twitter links) and won’t likely be regarded as depth players once they hit free agency. Rodak (via Twitter) also doesn’t see Alexander, used as an outside linebacker in Rex Ryan‘s 3-4 scheme, as a fit in Doug McDermott‘s 4-3.
  • The Jets are almost certainly set for some type of negotiation with Darrelle Revis about reducing his contract, but should he return in 2017, a transition to safety is in play. New Jets secondary coach Dennard Wilson said he “wouldn’t think it would be a problem” for Revis to take up playing on the back line, per Connor Hughes of NJ.com. Wilson demurred when asked whether he wants Revis on the 2017 team. The Jets can save $9MM by cutting Revis before the second day of the new league year but will incur a $6MM dead-money hit — one that would be alleviated, due to offset language, if Revis lands elsewhere.
  • Gang Green has done “extensive homework” on former Texans OC George Godsey, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Rapoport views Godsey, who mutually parted ways with the Texans after the team’s divisional-round loss to the Patriots, as a strong candidate to succeed Chan Gailey.
  • One of the Jets’ considerations with their No. 6 overall pick will be North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky, Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com notes. However, Pauline said upon discussions at the Senior Bowl that labeling the Jets as being infatuated with the early-entry Tar Heels talent may be a bit overblown, noting the Jets are part of a “pack of teams” at the top of the draft considering Trubisky.
  • Adam Jones could face a suspension next season after his profanity-laced tirade against police officers was captured on video. The Bengals cornerback issued an apology statement, via the Associated Press, following the franchise’s apology. Jones will be set for his age-34 season next year, which doubles as the second year of his latest Bengals contract.