St. Louis Rams’ Brian Schottenheimer Not The Entire Problem


If it’s one member of the St. Louis Rams who takes more heat than anybody on the team, players and coaches, it’s offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Week in and week out, win or lose, there are a plethora of fans that call for his head.

While I’m not the biggest Schottenheimer fan myself, and do believe some of the playcalls he makes are questionable, I do not believe he is the entire problem, and for many, he is just a scapegoat of the poor performance of the offense.

The Rams offensive coordinator was praised just two weeks ago against the Washington Redskins after he began to use Tavon Austin in space, then last week against the Arizona Cardinals, he took a lot of heat for Rams’ six points against the Arizona Cardinals who lead the division and stand atop the NFC.

Despite losing their top receiver in Brian Quick, their left tackle Jake Long, and quarterback Sam Bradford, and then being forced to deal with a career backup and potential backup quarterback, the Rams are still seventeenth in the NFL in points scored.

That’s higher than Arizona, who have Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Flloyd, the Detroit Lions, who have Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, and the San Francisco 49ers who have Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis.

Nine of the top ten teams in scoring offense this season have a franchise quarterback, and the top three have a    so-called “elite” quarterback. While the offensive coordinator does input the system, it is the quarterback and the offense that has to execute.

To say the quarterback has little to no effect on the offense in a quarterback oriented league is simply arrogant, and over the past three years that Schottenheimer has been in St. Louis he has been dealing with Sam Bradford, who was in his first year in the system, Kellen Clemens, a career backup, Shaun Hill, a career backup, and Austin Davis, a third string quarterback with the potential to be a backup.

When Aaron Rodgers was out for seven games in Green Bay last year, they averaged only 21.7 points per game. Compare that to when he played, they averaged 29.4. Same offensive coordinator. Same play caller. Same supporting cast.

There are plenty of other examples of the same offensive downfall when a franchise quarterback, or simply the starting quarterback is lost, the lone exception in recent memory might be Matt Cassell with the Patriots in 2008. Cassell lead the Patriots to an 11-5 record.

Despite being without Sam Bradford, over the past two years, the Rams have gotten wins over the Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, and San Francisco 49ers, all teams that have made the playoffs.

The Rams are close on the offensive side of the ball, a lot closer than fans want to give the team credit for. They need a quarterback and they need to add muscle and toughness on the offensive line.

Watching Schottenheimer call plays can be frustrating, and Im certainly not making excuses for him, Im only laying down the facts. The fact is with Schottenheimer is that despite his circumstances, he does have some quality wins, and the fact is, with the quarterback situation, we may have not even seen the entire playbook yet.

The Rams offense is the weak spot of the team, but the sole reason is not Brian Schottenheimer.