Why Brian Schottenheimer was the wrong hire to replace Mike Bobo
Any discussion of the disappointing 2015 Georgia offense must begin and end with the play of the quarterback position.
Nick Chubb did his Heisman best to cover up the issue, and the Bulldogs were out of serious playoff contention the moment they lost Chubb for the season, but the offensive problems really started to reveal themselves in the 38-10 loss to Alabama.
Alabama mostly bottled up Chubb — 83 of his 146 yards came on the long TD run — and dared Greyson Lambert to beat them through the air. Lambert was 10 of 24 for 86 yards. He threw one interception. His backup, Brice Ramsey, threw two.
It was a sign of struggles to come. And when a team throws 11 touchdowns passes in 10 games you have to look to the offensive coordinator for explanation.
Heading into 2015 plenty of hype surrounded Georgia’s coaching trio of HC Mark Richt, OC Brian Schottenheimer and DC Jeremy Pruitt, but after 10 weeks it might be time to find a new play caller on offense as there’s been little development at the QB position.
The flames were particularly hot after the 27-3 meltdown against Florida, when Georgia strangely started dual threat QB Faton Bauta, who ended up with more interceptions (4) than rushing attempts (3).
Richt should ax Schottenheimer tomorrow. Has completely bungled the job. UGA would be better off with Richt calling plays, handling QBs.
— David Ching (@ESPNChing) October 31, 2015
Even in the Bulldogs’ current two-game winning streak, they only passed the ball for 187 yards as special teams and an always strong run game got them through conference opponents Kentucky and Auburn.
Schottenheimer certainly has an impressive resume for an SEC offensive coordinator: nine years’ experience as an OC with the Jets and Rams. He coached under well-liked and well-respected coaches Rex Ryan and Jeff Fisher.
However, this is about who Georgia and coach Mark Richt want to be in control of No. 2 QB recruit in the nation, Jacob Eason, and Schottenheimer hasn’t looked like that guy all season.
“I think Coach Schottenheimer is a great coach,” Richt told OnlineAthens earlier in the season. “I think he knows what he’s doing. I think he knows how to coach QBs extremely well. I’ve got a lot of faith in that.”
Perhaps, but the results question why he would.
Since his days as the QB coach for a young Drew Brees in San Diego, Schottenheimer hasn’t been very successful in his development of any young quarterback, including two former top five picks, former Jets QB Mark Sanchez and former Rams QB Sam Bradford.
Not one of Schottenheimer’s offenses in the NFL finished in the top 16 in passing yards.
The Brian Schottenheiemer hire by UGA never made sense to me. It still doesn't.
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) October 31, 2015
The question in Athens will soon become: Is the coordinator’s run-heavy expertise really what’s needed with a future star at quarterback soon to walk through the door?
“We’ve had some ups and downs, but the season’s not over yet. I’m in that room most of the time and I listen to what’s being taught, what’s being coached and how it’s being coached.,” Richt said.
“I’ve got full faith in confidence that he’s doing an outstanding job. We’ve just got to continue to get better as we go and I think we will.”