Seahawks Part Ways With OC Brian Schottenheimer

The 2020 Seattle Seahawks set a franchise record with 459 points scored, but a late-season collapse and disastrous playoff outing has cost offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer his job.

Schottenheimer joined the Seahawks in 2018. The Seahawks ranked eighth, fifth, and sixth in offensive DVOA in his three seasons, but they went just 1-3 in the playoffs.


34 comments, Last at 16 Jan 2021, 4:21pm

3 Well

They were tied with Baltimore for 8th/9th in PBWR, they just need more quick options for him to dump off to/Russ needs to get rid of it faster. But getting away from Russ cooking wasn't ideal. 

But then again Pete just said they need to run more. He might be the problem too. Yikes those quotes in 2021 are scary.

I did mention they should lure Pete Carmichael away from New Orleans the other day. Now's their chance to give him a full play calling opportunity. 

5 I don't think anyone is…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

I don't think anyone is feeling too bad for Schottenheimer tonight - he's had a way, way longer career as an OC than his track record warrants - but I can see some chatter online sympathizing how some of the more obvious fixes for the way defenses started to play Seatte to take away the deep ball are harder to implement when you have a shorter QB like Wilson who likes to hang on to the ball. Carmichael would be an intriguing option given the decade-plus he's been working with 6'0" Drew Brees, as decisive and accurate of a quick thrower as anyone (along with Brady) that I've ever seen.

But philosophically they need to have things prioritized correctly - the corrective here can't be to return to how they did things in 2018. Especially since as you mention, they actually have a decent offensive line now.

6 Exactly

He did good letting Russ cook but, like I stated below, didn't adapt when teams like the Rams were prepared for that and didn't have any baked in options for a shorter pass even though Russ is likely very capable of it. And even more so than Brady and Brees when you consider his athleticism which adds another dimension defenses have to account for which is what you want anyway, just not the way they think they can get it (by "establishing the run to stop defenses from playing cover 2", which no team would if they were any smart anyway but here we are...).  

Biggest fear for Seattle fans should probably be the re-signing of Chris Carson (and Carlos Hyde) instead of finding a Kamara in the 3rd+. And pair him with Carmichael who has hopefully learned how to coax "short" QBs into taking the checkdown when things aren't developing, instead of holding and eventually taking a sack, which is still more efficient than running. 

Pete may need to go if doesnt start to understand that. Too bad they just extended him.

9 Yes, Pete's *establish the…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Yes, Pete's *establish the run*, *establish the run*, *establish the run*, then take shots down field is a winner until someone (Rams) are built to defeat that.  Then you must adapt. about getting the ball out quickly on short crossers and come backs or some such.  Schotty may not have been prepared but I'm not giving Pete a pass on this either.

27 Minor correction: it's not…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Minor correction: it's not that Carroll has fired his OC every year they have been pass-heavy -- it's that every OC he has fired has been pass-heavy that year. 

10 Carroll/Wilson is starting…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Carroll/Wilson is starting to remind me of Reeves/Elway. Reeves was a very good coach in all respects except the way he kept holding Elway back. Carroll seems the same. I would not hesitate to let Carroll go if he's intent on hiring someone like Tom Cable as OC, just to throw a random name out there.

It now seems historically ironic that the lowest moment in Carroll's career is not giving the ball to Wilson instead of Lynch in the last play of the Super Bowl when all his career he's been giving it to anyone but Wilson.

2 I get it. From a fan's…

I get it. From a fan's perspective, the last person you want to hold accountable is your favorite players. So when things go wrong, its probably coaching.

Look, Schottenheimer has underwhelmed wherever he's gone. But I will say, this season's peculiarity is likely not a coaching issue. I mean, it's the same players and coaches that oversaw the the first half nirvana and then watched it degrade slowly into mush.


4 That may be true

But from what I saw they failed to adapt while keeping a similarly efficient approach. The Rams really messed them up when they "dared them to pass" by dropping them more into coverage on early downs. Dont think they ever added enough (RP)option plays from there on. 

13 Efficient passing and running

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

I think the Seahawks "problems" on offense might boil down to needing secondary receiving options--a short-area quickness slot receiver, a decent TE, and/or a pass catching RB. They tried to get the TE a couple of years ago w/Jimmy Graham, but that didn't work out. They don't need a Kelce, or a Kamara, or a Welker--they just need adequate. Shutting down Metcalf and Lockett is hard for any team to do. So they need guys that Wilson can trust to get 5-7 yards; not seeing SEA very much, maybe who they have are trustworthy, but Wilson doesn't trust them. 

Regarding the "establish the run" quote from Carroll, I wonder if that may be a code for "we have to be able to audible to a run if they have 6 in the box and know that we can get 5+ yards." There are some teams that have rushing attacks you actually have to worry about (MIN, TEN, CLE, BAL, among others), and others where you don't (PIT, HOU, among others). It seems like Carroll wants to have an offense like TEN & MIN--they have a really good primary RB, coupled with two good WR's, and will absolutely shred you on play action. Of course, the reason that MIN, TEN, and SEA are all not playing this weekend is that their defenses couldn't stop people, not because their offense isn't good enough.

22 Perhaps

But it might help if they didn't overdraft a LB in the 1st, etc. And/or had audibles/just regular (run pass) options already built into the offense for their athletic QB?

MIN and TEN, teams that can't even make it to the divisional round, probably aren't the teams to completely copy though. Every team can shred on play action if they do it from the right package and have the right QB and WRs, not RB. We've seen the evidence written right on this very website.  Of course a better RB is better, but the Chiefs, the team others should try to copy, just won with Damien Williams, who then opted out and they still went 14-2 with the 1 seed locked up before week 17. And like the other guy said TEN actually lost because of their offense (by being too adamant with Henry and) only mustering 13 points while their defense allowed only 20 (when they were allowing 27 in the regular season). 

BAL and CLE are still in but I dont think anyone has them over KC, let alone winning it all. BAL though is unique but that's not because they have Gus Edwards, it's because their QB has led the league in YPC the last two years. 

To have Petes direct quote: "We have to run the ball better. Not even run the ball better, run it more." 

11 I recall there being chatter…

I recall there being chatter at mid-season that 'letting Russ cook' was mistake after a couple of multi-turnover Seahawks losses (ignoring that there defense was being shredded). Through weeks 1-10 Seattle ranked 7th in the league in pass play% (63%). From week 11 onwards they ranked 23rd (55%). It's probably not entirely that simple, but it does fit. 

It seems like any OC in Seattle may be handcuffed to some extent by Carroll's retrograde offensive philosophy. But there are still ways to introduce creativity. I saw none of this from Seattle under Schottenheimer. It always looked totally reliant on the playmaking ability of Wilson and his receivers. 

Re. Carroll - is anybody else always bewildered when defensive minded head coaches appear so wedded to 'establishing the run'? Like, does he not recognize, even anecdotally, that his own defense is way less efficient whilst defending the pass? 


12 "Carroll - is anybody else…

"Carroll - is anybody else always bewildered when defensive minded head coaches appear so wedded to 'establishing the run'?"

Nope, not any more.  Reading some of the "embedded writer" books (Next Man Up, Collision Low Crossers) you get a very clear view of the type of person that goes into coaching, and introspection is not normally a part of that person's makeup

This makes sense to me in terms of things like extroversion versus introspection - a lot of successful coaching requires a very extroverted mindset and personality.  Continually working with people, particularly young people.  There isn't then a lot of cross over to the sort of person that can sit down quietly and think through problems in a more introspected way.

18 I'm bewildered when teams…

I'm bewildered when teams adopt this approach without the personnel to execute it. For example, Baltimore and Cleveland have consistently invested in the offensive line through trades, the draft, and free agency while Seattle has too often skimped in this area. When Cable was there, the goal was to procure players cheaply and rely on Cable to coach them up and Russ to use his athleticism to cover up mistakes.  These teams also don't hesitate to use high draft picks to take RBs.  As much as people want to state that RBs are somewhat fungible, there is a clear difference in ability and production between studs like Chubb/Hunt and Carson/Hyde.  If teams are really about the ground and pound life, then they should probably find the best players they can to fit the scheme.

As someone who has watched Andy Reid make a habit of allowing teams to hang around by his refusal/inability to run the ball late to control the game over the last 20 years, establishing the run is a very useful skill in terms of getting a lead, keeping one, and salting games away.  After all, there is a reason why Reid didn't win a SB until he found truly transformational players - not just great ones - for his offense.

19 "establishing the run...useful skill in terms of getting a lead"

Is it though? Seems extremely unlikely given the evidence we have. Like we just saw the Titans lose too. Even your example of the Chubb/Hunt (who play behind a great OL, many RBs would like that situation) average a yard less than Baker passing.

Very hard to run the clock out in the 1st. And im a biggest advocate of force the other team to use timeouts at the end of games. Can't think of specific time Reid lost because he refused to run in a such a late game situation. Also he didn't win because talent>coaching in a single elimination post season. 

28 The Titans didn’t lose…

The Titans didn’t lose because they ran. They jumped out to a 10-0 lead by running.

They lost because they couldn’t move the ball doing anything after the 1st quarter. They had fewer yards in quarters 2-4 combined than they had in the first. They actually lost yards in the second quarter.

30 And they couldnt move it

because they continued to run it. Which is the life of a running team. It's easy to get stuffed for -1 yard. Henry had 18 carries...for 40 yards and 0 TDs...that's dreadful. The team as a whole averaged 2.3 ypc. Beyond disgusting. Tannehill had a meh 5.9 yards per dropback.  

Actually they had a 10-0 lead due to a 28 yard AJ Brown rec after a 1 yard Henry stuff. And the TD was a 10 yarder to AJ Brown too. 

20 The easiest way to stop…

The easiest way to stop teams from hanging around is to score. You put them behind by so much that whatever they do on offense is just optics.

I have also yet to hear an argument against passing 80 percent or so. Seriously, passing on every down other than the obvious short yardage situations. 

People will say...well you are asking your offensive line to pass block and your qb might get hurt but then consider the flip side - you might also burry your opponent early in which case you don't need to play as much.

I think any team that believes they have a star at qb should be passing every chance they get(unless you are Lamar Jackson in which case its a different story). 

I agree with the poster above. The Seahawks took this route, then saw Russ cough up a bunch of interceptions and lost their stomach and went the other way. But even a more turnover prone Seahawks offense is way better than some plodding offense that doesn't put up many points. You have DK and Locket - go guns blazing.

Every time the Chiefs and Packers run the ball, its a victory. I mean that seriously. If you give up 150 yards to their running backs but make sure Mahomes has under 300 yards, you will probably not give up many points. Once the Chiefs fall behind, they throw every single time and you can lose a game by 20 when you started up by 20. 

21 Here's 1 example about Reid…

Here's 1 example about Reid's inability to eat clock costing them games .  Regarding situations in which Reid's team lost a close game or let a game they won get uncomfortably close for comfort due to an inability to control clock in the 2nd half, I can give you as many examples as you want from every season in his coaching career.  I encourage you to actually watch the games.

At some point in every game, the clock becomes the opponent.  The problem with a heavy reliance on passing is that unsuccessful pass plays often stop the clock, thereby allowing teams to hang around.  3-4 TD leads don't mean much if you punt after taking 1-2 minutes off the clock during a few 3 and outs.  There's a reason why teams like Tennessee and Baltimore are very difficult to beat once they get a lead.  They shorten the game.  I have no issue with a coach stating that they want to be able to score and control the clock.  If you're saying that such a retrograde approach doesn't work because it doesn't lead to enough scoring, then that's fine.  However, I don't think it's fair to criticize a coach for stating that he wants to be able to control the clock and maintain leads by emphasizing the running game.  The key point in that statement is that you're good enough to get a solid lead in the first place.

23 On your first part I'm not…

On your first part I'm not going to defend Reid as I have argued with a number of other posters on my views of his late game strategies.

The goal is to salt away the game because of the clock, absolute best thing you can do is pick up first downs via the run. However as has been shown for almost every team, running the ball is just not as effective for picking up first downs as passing the ball. It becomes a trade-off of killing two minutes and punting versus passing an accumulating first downs so that the other team never gets the ball back. My argument is for teams that are very good at passing they should go that route rather than deferring to the run just in the name of salting away the game for 2 minutes

24 We'll agree to disagree on…

We'll agree to disagree on Reid.

Fair enough. I don't think that we're that far apart actually, as I view a running attack that can reliably get 4 ypc even when the defense knows what's coming as an effective form of offense in late game situations.   As you stated, the key is effectiveness.  Most teams just aren't consistently effective enough on the ground to adopt a run heavy approach.  Pete is stating that he wants Seattle to be an effective running team, which I can't argue with as long as he invests the appropriate resources.   

26 "I have also yet to hear an…

"I have also yet to hear an argument against passing 80 percent or so. Seriously, passing on every down other than the obvious short yardage situations. "

80 percent would be a few runs mixed in beyond short yardage (3rd and 1) situations. I think the argument against would be that some of the best pass plays, play action, aren't going to work if you literally never run on first down, which is not a short yardage situation.

I do think that as fans we somewhat underrate the run. First of all, if you can legitimately consistently run on them, you just win. Secondly, I think a lot of times they have some pass play called, don't like the look, then audible out of the play into a run. After all, a bad run play is typically less bad than a bad pass play. 

On top of that, running as an average is misleading. Running against a two high safety look is better than average runs. Secondly, if you just passed all the time, what stops them from going with 6 DB's every down? 

For the record, I completely agree with you that teams should still pass more, and 80% seems about right. However, I once watched Belichick throw 50+ times, run 7 times versus the Jets. Next week he brought out 6 olinemen against the Colts and ran all over them for 250+ yards. So methinks it's more complicated.

32 Re. - play action: even if…

Re. - play action: even if we accept certain pass plays become less effective the more predictable passing becomes, in most cases those plays would have to become a lot less effective to become worse than running. Substituting in slightly less effective pass plays for bad run plays is still a win. 

Re. variance: this sounds like it might make sense intuitively, but is it true to any large degree? Interception rates are continually trending towards zero, and many of the best QBs hardly ever take sacks either.   

I think one of the most compelling pro-running arguments I have heard is that run plays are generally less taxing on O-Linemen, play-callers, and most obviously QBs. So whilst inefficient in a vacuum, vanilla run plays may be worthwhile in the broader sense in terms of preservation/recuperation - a time-out for the QB, if you will. 


33 I actually think its the…

I actually think its the opposite. Whatever fatigue effects are hitting your offensive linemen and qbs, they must be back breaking to defenders. Ben Muth confirmed this in one of his articles. He didn't put a percentage, but if it taxes X on the offense, its going to tax 2X or 10x. Whatever that number is, its greater than 1. 

29 No one passes 80% of the…

No one passes 80% of the time. Mike Leach teams who trail a lot don’t pass 80% of the time.

Pat Mahomes in an air raid offense in the big 12 doesn’t pass 80% of the time.

7 It's quite ironic, I think...

...that at midseason there was significant noise about getting rid of DC Ken Norton, Jr. and at least a little buzz* around Schottenheimer getting Head Coach consideration.  Now Norton is a miracle worker & Schotty is out.

*from Mike Florio & Peter King at minimum