Brian Schottenheimer

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.

AFC Coaching Rumors: Bengals, Titans, Colts

Recently fired Dolphins coordinators Bill Lazor and Kevin Coyle will reunite with the Bengals, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

Although the two former Miami game-planners will head to Cincinnati, they will do so with lesser responsibility. Lazor will coach the Bengals’ quarterbacks, while Coyle will preside over Cincinnati’s secondary.

The Bengals also hired Jacob Burney to coach their defensive line, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports (on Twitter).

Lazor’s first coordinator work lasted barely 1 1/2 seasons, with the Dolphins firing the 43-year-old offensive coach Nov. 30. He previously coached quarterbacks for Washington, the Seahawks and the Eagles before ascending to the top offensive perch in Miami.

Coyle returns to his longest-tenured position. He coached the Bengals’ DBs from 2003-11 before leaving to become the Dolphins’ DC under Joe Philbin. The Dolphins fired Coyle in October.

Burney’s coached defensive lines with the Broncos, Browns, Panthers, Ravens and Washington, with his most recent stint coming as Washington’s defensive line coach from 2010-14. Washington did not retain him after the 2014 season.

  • Brian Schottenheimer will replace Clyde Christensen as the Colts’ quarterbacks coach, according to a release on the team’s website. Schottenheimer served as an offensive coordinator for the Jets and Rams from 2006-14 before the Rams fired him prior to the 2015 slate. A longtime Colts QBs coach, Christensen accepted the Dolphins’ OC job on Saturday.
  • Bob Bolstad will be looking for work after the Titans, per Jenna Laine of Sports Talk 1040 The Team (on Twitter), don’t have intentions of offering their defensive line coach another contract. Russ Grimm and Pat Flaherty are finalists for the job, according to Alex Marvez of Fox Sports (Twitter link). Grimm had lengthy stints as the offensive line coach in three places — Washington, Pittsburgh and Arizona — from 1997-2012. Flaherty served on Tom Coughlin’s staff since 2004, signing on to be the Giants’ offensive line coach after Coughlin took over. Big Blue will not retain his services, however, according to James Kratch of NJ.com.

Coaching Rumors: Chiefs, Eagles, Colts, Rams

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid told reporters, including Randy Covitz of the Kansas City Star (Twitter links), that offensive coordinator Doug Pederson‘s replacement is already on Kansas City’s coaching staff, and also stated that he doesn’t expect Pederson to take any Chiefs assistants with him to Philadelphia.

A report earlier today indicated that Pederson would like to add Chiefs spread game analyst Brad Childress to his staff in some capacity, but Reid’s statements make it seem like that isn’t likely. This is just my speculation, but given Reid’s comments, I’d guess that Childress would be the leading to candidate to succeed Pederson as Kansas City OC.

Here’s more from the coaching circuit:

  • Former Jets/Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is a likely candidate for the Colts‘ vacant quarterbacks coach job, a source tells Adam Caplan of ESPN (Twitter link). Schottenheimer, who boasts nine years of NFL coordinating experience, spent this past season as Georgia’s OC.
  • It doesn’t sound like Mike Mularkey will retain Titans offensive coordinator Jason Michael, as Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com (Twitter link) reports that Michael is in line to join the Rams‘ coaching staff. Per Kuharsky, Michael would serve as either tight ends coach or passing game coordinator.
  • Longtime secondary coach — and former UNLV defensive coordinator — Tim Hauck will head to the Eagles to work as assistant defensive backs coach, according to Alex Marvez of FOX Sports (Twitter link).

Brian Schottenheimer Leaves Rams For UGA

Brian Schottenheimer is no longer the offensive coordinator for the Rams, according to an announcement from the University of Georgia, which reveals that Schottenheimer will join the school as its offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach (Twitter link via Seth Emerson of the Macon Telegraph).

With Sam Bradford sidelined for the season in St. Louis, an offense led by the likes of Austin Davis and Shaun Hill struggled to get much going this year under Schottenheimer, finishing 27th in DVOA, according to Football Outsiders. It was the worst season for Schottenheimer’s unit is his three years with the Rams, with his offense never finishing inside the league’s top 20 in terms of DVOA.

With Schottenheimer headed back to college for the first time since he was USC’s tight ends coach in 2000, the Rams are the latest team to have an opening at the offensive coordinator position. I’d expect the team to begin its search for Schottenheimer’s replacement immediately.