Schottenheimer owns up to Jets mess
Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer hears the noise. He has become accustomed to being the lightning rod when the team is not playing well.
The Jets, mired in a three-game losing streak entering Monday night's game against the Dolphins at MetLife Stadium, are not playing well — particularly on offense, where they are ranked 25th overall and 30th in rushing.
So, in a repeat of the Jets' poor offensive stretch last season, the voices of disgruntled fans has been growing louder in their criticism of Schottenheimer.
"The people [who] say they don't hear it are lying; you're aware of it," Schottenheimer said Friday of the criticism. "It comes with the territory. I do the best I can. This staff works our tails off. We have to be more consistent. When you're not winning games, you're going to take heat in the position I'm in."
With some exceptions, most notably receiver Santonio Holmes, Jets players have rushed to Schottenheimer's defense.
"It is not Schotty's fault, it's the players' fault," running back LaDainian Tomlinson said. "We've got to get the job done. [The criticism] is unfair, because Schotty is not the one who's out there throwing the ball, catching it, running it, blocking. He can't do any of that. All he can do is game plan for us and put us in the right positions and hopefully we execute."
Asked if his feelings are shared by other players in the locker room, Tomlinson said, "I hope that's the feeling. It should be. If we want to be champions like we say we want to be, we've got to hold each other accountable as players and stop blaming it on coaches all the time. We've got to get the job done. Collectively, we've got to feel like it's up to us to make the plays and get the job done."
Right guard Brandon Moore said "fans don't understand" what goes on behind the scenes when they call out Schottenheimer.
"They don't get it, they don't know how hard this man works and the hours he puts in, what it takes to call plays in this league. He knows what he's doing," Moore said.
"I appreciate players saying that, but ultimately I'm always going to take the responsibility," Schottenheimer said. "There's plenty of blame to go around, but ultimately sit in my chair you take the responsibility. That's the way I was brought up in my family."