The Seattle Seahawks hired Brian Schottenheimer in January as their new offensive coordinator in part to continue manifesting Pete Carroll’s devotion to rushing the football, as demonstrated by Schottenheimer’s stead piloting the New York Jets offense when it led the NFL in rushing yards in 2009. But another angle for adding Schottenheimer includes his experience as quarterbacks coach with the San Diego Chargers from 2002-2005, when Drew Brees first made his mark in the league.
Because of his height, Brees is often compared with Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson—and although Wilson is more established already than Brees was when Schottenheimer worked with him, that familiarity with a similar style passer could help guide Wilson to a still higher level like Brees did after his sixth or seventh year as a professional. In any case it probably wouldn’t hurt for Schottenheimer to spend some time watching tape of Brees’s later success with the New Orleans Saints to look for new ways to develop offense to likewise take advantage of their shared strengths.
Brees himself this week admitted he was once so keen to reciprocate that opposition research that he attended his first ever Super Bowl as a spectator specifically to scout the Seattle defense, after the Seahawks won their second straight NFC championship back in 2014. Brees was also at Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis over the weekend as part of the NFL’s Man of the Year celebration, and told the New Orleans Times-Picayune he usually doesn’t like to go the the title game when his own team’s not involved but he made an exception that year just to study Seattle’s defensive scheme one more time. At that date, the Seahawks had defeated the Saints three times in a row including two playoff wins, but after getting a good look at the way the New England Patriots attacked Carroll’s secondary Brees was able to come away with a win in his only chance since, in 2016 in New Orleans.
It’s an illuminating tidbit, as a reminder how desperate Seattle’s foes were during that period to find an edge going up against what was regarded the top unit in the NFC. Opposite Schottenheimer, the Seahawks brought back Ken Norton, Jr., as defensive coordinator with a notion to reestablish that same kind of awe and admiration that might inspire all-star players to break their routines just to get a glimpse of their brand of execution.