Would Brian Schottenheimer fit as Dolphins new offensive coordinator?

The Miami Dolphins’ search for a new offensive coordinator is underway — but as these 2020/2021 playoffs continue, the Dolphins may continue to find more experienced, enticing candidates coming into the market as teams become eliminated from playoff contention. A great example is the presence of former Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who was relieved of his duties this week in the aftermath of a Wild Card loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Schottenheimer had quarterback Russell Wilson cooking early on in the season, as the Dolphins found out the hard way. But Wilson’s play regressed in the second half of their campaign and Wilson went from a legitimate MVP candidate to a playoff flop.

Schottenheimer held the keys of the Seattle offense for three seasons — and that came on the heels of a 9 year stretch of calling plays for the New York Jets and St. Louis Rams from 2006-2014.

Could a trip to South Florida be next on Schottenheimer’s journey in pro football? There are some links that would at least somewhat support the move.

First and foremost, Schottenheimer’s approach has always been to run the football. In three years in Seattle, his teams were 2nd, 3rd and 17th in the NFL in rushing attempts. His tenure in New York saw the Jets ranked 7th, 13th, 19th, 1st, 2nd and 16th in rushing attempts. And, from a productivity standpoint, his teams have done well to capitalize on those reps — each of Schottenheimer’s three seasons in Seattle featured a top-10 rushing attack from a yards per carry basis.

The Dolphins?

They’ve been trying to get the run game figured out for two seasons under Brian Flores. And they’re well on their way from a personnel perspective — but they aren’t where they need to be. You do get the sense that Miami does want to run the football — they were 16th in the NFL with 428 rush attempts in 2020 (and 29th in productivity with 3.9 yards per carry).

The benefit to a high-volume running game in Miami? Like in Seattle, the Dolphins boast an accurate quarterback with plus intangibles but some limitations within the pocket on account of his size. Tagovailoa has been compared by some to Drew Brees, and by others to Russell Wilson. Former No. 1 overall pick and NFL Network analyst David Carr once called Tagovailoa ‘Russell Wilson but with a faster release.’ So having the play caller who helped to pen Wilson’s most productive three year stretch of play may be a venture worth exploring for the Dolphins.

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Wilson enjoyed the 1st, 3rd and 4th best career passer ratings in his three years under Schottenheimer. He threw for 106 touchdowns to just 25 interceptions and twice passed for over 4100 yards in that same three-year stretch. So while the calls for “Let Russ Cook” always seemed to want the Seahawks to put more on his plate, the balance in Seattle set the Seahawks up for plenty of offensive success.

For Miami, you have a play caller who has a prerogative to run the football — one that seemingly aligns with your own hopes and aspirations. You have a play caller who is experienced in navigating the issues of a short-statured quarterback and you have a play caller who has operated an offense that has scored 428, 405 and 459 points in the last three seasons. If Tua Tagovailoa is what the Dolphins believed he was when they drafted him at No. 5 overall, would Schottenheimer not have a fair to strong case for the gig in Miami?

This isn’t to say he’s the best man for the job. But he’s certainly qualified for it none the less. We’ll see if the Dolphins agree.

Published: 2021-01-13 11:15:44

Tags: #Brian #Schottenheimer #fit #Dolphins #offensive #coordinator

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