Brian Schottenheimer has yet to sign anything officially making him the St. Louis Rams next offensive coordinator, the third person to hold that job in three years. He is, however, expected to take the job. Where they are in the process is a matter details. Schefter says no official offer; Lombardi says all he has to do is sign.
Right now, the reaction from Rams fans on the Schottenheimer news is mixed, colored in large part by the happenings during his time with the New York Jets. It's a strange reaction from fans who use to watch the Greatest Show on Turf, and even did some low-level lobbying for Mike Martz as OC.
After the jump, we try to make a little more sense of the Schottenheimer hire.
Much of the criticism of Schottenheimer asked whether or not he tried to do too much with Mark Sanchez, undercutting the Jets' offense? Or whether he just never developed a fifth overall pick to the point where they expected him to be? Lots of people in the greater New York City area believe that.
On the other hand, the subject of Mark Sanchez and his limitations is always up for debate. Even inside the Jets' locker room, Sanchez has his detractors. Mark Sanchez is not an elite quarterback, nor has he reached his ceiling. Over at SB Nation St. Louis, Dan Moore points out that Schottenheimer oversaw Sanchez' indoctrination, starting out by sheltering him with a run-heavy offense and gradually putting more on the quarterback in his third season.
It is true that the Rams will need to improve their offensive personnel. Danny Amendola returns this season; Brandon Lloyd might. They have to have a more competent group of receivers than they did in Bradford's first two seasons. The offensive line is the other big concern. Outside of Harvey Dahl, there's little indication that they have the personnel to protect their quarterback.
The Rams drafted Bradford because he had big time abilities. His accuracy was off the charts. His arm strength wasn't going to confuse anyone with a battleship gun, but he could make his deep throws with very little effort. Bradford is smart, possessing an understanding for the game, even if that didn't show this season, one marked more by setbacks than highlights.
If Schottenheimer's offense fails to get off the ground, we'll also have to ask if Bradford is part of the problem.
Hiring Schottenheimer this quickly bodes well for the Rams. It means that he and Bradford can start hitting the books right away, getting up to speed even before OTAs. Hopefully, Schottenheimer's past is a good indication that he understands the need for intensive coaching directly with his quarterback. We thought the same with McDaniels, but circumstances, i.e. the lockout and power struggles, conspired against that.
For now, you have to take it for what it is, a new start. Considering where the Rams have been, that's progress.