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Schotty takes the blame, knows 'O' must improve

New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer talks

New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer talks to the media after football practice on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010, in Florham Park, N.J. Credit: AP Photo

Brian Schottenheimer hasn't gotten much sleep lately

"You do a lot of hours at the office," Schottenheimer said today, "a lot of hours."

That's because the Jets' offense is struggling mightily, having posted just nine points in their last two games. They haven't scored a touchdown in nine quarters and have looked completely out of sync, putting the offensive coordinator on a bit of a hot seat.

"If you look back, the game where we're most disappointed is the Miami game," Schottenheimer said. "The New England game kind of got away from us a little bit, but obviously the defense played lights out against Miami and we just didn't make any plays. More than that, when we talked to the group a little bit, obviously we were frustrated because we only scored six points. That's unacceptable.

"But, to give them their 10 points basically off of turnovers is what we're really disgusted about. But, hey, this is a business of high highs and low lows. When we were 9-2, a lot of people were patting us on the back and a lot of people were telling us how great we were. Mark [Sanchez] was a great young quarterback. It doesn't take you very long to go from one extreme to the other. That's why you have to take the good with the bad, keep working and be the same person week in and week out, but it's been a tough week."

Still, players like center Nick Mangold, running back LaDainian Tomlinson and fullback Tony Richardson think the blame should be on them, not their embattled offensive coordinator.

"I appreciate the guys saying that, but overall, I'm in charge of the offense and with that, I take a lot of pride in that," Schottenheimer said. "I take a lot of pride in my job, I take a lot of pride in our unit, and we're not playing very well. It's my job to put the players in position to make plays. It's my job, along with the staff, to get them to do the fundamentals right. That's a big thing for us this week is trying to get back to fundamentals because let's
face it, we've got to get better at blocking, throwing, catching. We've got to get better at that."

"Do I think for a second that it's just the plays? No. But, they come with the territory. We as a staff are not pleased. There's a lot of things that we need to do better as a group, players and coaches alike."

Schottenheimer said the offense's struggles have nothing to do with him trying to get the ball to all of the Jets' weapons.

"I don’t think it’s a problem," he said. "I don’t think we are doing it very well for different reasons. But the packages that we have in, their solid designs, they’re core plays, we have good balance of trying to get the ball to Dustin [Keller], good balance of trying to get the ball to Santonio [Holmes]. Again, one of the main issues we are having is third down and if you don’t convert on third down – I think we were 20 something percent last week – it’s hard to get into a rhythm. And our defense did a great job of getting the ball back for us and part of that is obviously is you want to get into third down and manageable.

"Looking at the cutup last night of Pittsburgh, they’re a lot like Miami in the fact that when you turn on their third-and-2 to 3 reel in the four-game breakdown, I think there were two clips. When you turn on their third-and-7 to 10 reel, there was like 15 of them. So it just shows you that this is a defense that we are getting ready to play similar to the Miami defense that they do a good job of putting you in third-and-long situations.

"It’s not good for you because they get to unload all their third down blitzes and stuff. So one of the things that needs to be addressed is our third down package. So we’ve kind of gone back and looked at some different things, some things we can do protectionally to kind of tighten some stuff up and different formations we can use to take advantage of some matchups. But we need to get better at third down."

In a hurry, or those "Fire Schotty" chants that were prevalent during Rex Ryan's postgame press conference Sunday could grow even louder.

"All I can say is I’m going to do the best job I can," Schottenheimer said, "bust my ass and that’s the message for the whole offense."

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