If you wanted the Seattle Seahawks to become a pass-heavy offense by nature instead of being forced into it through a horrendous running game, then Brian Schottenheimer is not the offensive coordinator you’re looking for. I’m sure many of you cringed just reading “establishing the run” in the headline, especially given the statistical evidence to suggest NFL offenses need to be geared towards the pass. Alas, the Seahawks hired him, and it’s evident that head coach Pete Carroll desperately wants to go back to the offenses of 2012-2014, which leaned quite heavily on the running game, while Russell Wilson thrived off of efficient performances without throwing 40+ times per start.
At Wednesday’s OTAs press conference, Schottenheimer stressed how much the running game means to his offense.
“I think the biggest thing with the running game is it starts with the guys up front,” Schottenheimer said (via Seahawks.com). “That physical mindset of ‘Hey, we’re going to control the line of scrimmage.’ That’s easier said than done. It’s easy to have that mentality. I think a big part of it obviously is getting a guy like Mike Solari to come here and coach the offensive line. Lot of respect for Mike. He was with my father [Marty] for a number of years. I coached with him for a year. The stable of backs we have here is exciting. But, when you emphasize things in coaching you normally get results. That’s just something that we’ve talked about from the very beginning when I first started talking to Pete. That was something that you’ve got to have the ability to run the football when people know you are going to run the football. And when you lose that, you become one dimensional and that’s hard. We’re trying to find some different wrinkles. Find out who we are and different ways to attack people.”
“We’ve always been the best at places I’ve been when we were able to run the football when people knew we were going to run it. We could throw the football when people knew we were going to throw it. That just gives you that balance you need to be successful.”
Carroll cited Schottenheimer’s time with the New York Jets as part of his case for bringing back the “run-first, dominant defense” style of play. The Jets were led at quarterback by a young Mark Sanchez, who was conclusively not good, but New York finished 11th in rushing DVOA in 2009, and 5th in 2010, going to the AFC Championship Game both seasons. They led the league in rushing attempts and yards in ‘09, with by far the league’s #1 defense in support.
...And you wonder why they drafted Rashaad Penny in the first-round and chose a blocking TE in the fourth round.
The reaction to Schottenheimer’s quotes certainly haven’t been kind.
On one sideline you have Schottenheimer calling plays. And he’s trying to outsmart a team with Wade Phillips calling defense & Sean McVay calling offense. pic.twitter.com/xcflkKxyn1— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) May 30, 2018
anytime you have one of the best QBs of the past decade you gotta take the ball out of his hands https://t.co/gWaIX5xgXE— charles mcdonald (a guy at the airport) (@FourVerts) May 31, 2018
I mean, that’s great if you can pull it off but if not, gonna be frustrating as fuck https://t.co/5pYFsEGVhZ— Jacson A. Bevens (@JacsonBevens) May 31, 2018
Cheering for the Seahawks was fun. I'm going to miss it. https://t.co/lhQarGJUmj— Vincent Verhei (@FO_VVerhei) May 31, 2018
Watch video of the presser below: