St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is a candidate for the head coaching job at Vanderbilt, as reported by several outlets on Wednesday morning. He's one of three candidates, which includes Indianapolis Colts OC Pep Hamilton and Stanford DC Derek Mason.
Interviewing for a job and getting one are two different things. So, the Rams don't really need to start searching for a new OC just yet.
However, it does signal that he's interested in college coaching jobs, head coaching jobs. That begs the question: if he doesn't get the Vandy job, will he interview for other vacancies around the NCAA? Again, no way to know.
Reaction to Schottenheimer as a potential replacement for James Franklin (who left to take the Penn State job), is mostly like this:
James Franklin made Vandy players believe in Vandy. Do Vandy administrators not believe? Interviewing Brian Schottenheimer is a joke.— Gregg Doyel (@GreggDoyelCBS) January 15, 2014
Or this, from EDSBS.com:
Before you get too excited/terrified about Vandy really deciding to nuke their program into the Stone Age--mmm, just imagine him saying "our offense will be multiple" at the press conference---remember that Vandy is also interviewing Pep Hamilton and Derek Mason for the same job, two names straight off the Stanford coaching tree. This makes Vandy's coaching search approximately 33% dumb, which is a pretty healthy ratio given the usual stupidity surrounding coaching searches.
Hmm, he seems to be well thought of in the college football world.
Schottenheimer's been underwhelming in St. Louis, who hired him not long after the Jets handed him a pink slip. The 2013 version of the offense went through an identity crisis, starting out in some bastardized version of the spread that had Sam Bradford throwing the ball 50 times a game before switching over to a classic ground and pound style his father would be proud of.
Fisher said the day after the season ended that he had no plans to make changes to his coaching staff. However, Schottenheimer's name has come up in the mix for jobs before, usually around the NFL. Could Fisher have helped him get this interview to boost his OC's stock a little bit? Or could he even be trying to engineer a friendly exit?
And what happens if the Rams do lose Schottenheimer? Could Fisher turn to acquaintances like Kyle Shanahan or Gary Kubiak? Heaven forbid they try to find someone more innovative.
What about the offense? Could an OC change signal a new direction? Offense has clearly been the team's biggest hurdle over the last two years. They spent big on a speedy tight end in Jared Cook and a multi-tool weapon in Tavon Austin ... both players seemed to befuddle Schottenheimer this year. It would also raise an interesting question about the quarterback position. A fourth offensive coordinator in five years would seem to be less than ideal for Sam Bradford and a team that spent the better part of last year hammering the importance of continuity. A change in offensive systems could allow the Rams to find a new quarterback. On the other hand, it could also signal that they feel like the current OC and his system isn't getting results out of the team's most expensive player, Bradford.