Brian Schottenheimer gets defensive

Updated: December 16, 2010, 8:47 PM ET
By Ian Begley | Special to

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The Jets offensive coordinator got a bit defensive Thursday.

Four days after hearing Jets fans call for his job, Brian Schottenheimer fired back, defending his performance in the wake of back-to-back no-show outings by the Jets' offense.

"I know I'm a damn good football coach. I'm good at what I do," Schottenheimer said. "We've had a lot of success here. Are we pleased? Absolutely not. Am I disappointed? Absolutely. All I can say is that I'm going to do the best job that I can. I'm going to bust my ass. And that's the message we'll hold on to."

There's been an outcry over Schottenheimer's play calling in the wake of the Jets' two-game losing streak. They've scored a grand total of nine points in losses to the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins, and Schottenheimer's play-calling has been labeled everything from predictable to pathetic, particularly after Sunday's 10-6 loss to Miami.

Quarterback Mark Sanchez finished that day 17-for-44 for 216 yards and the Jets averaged just 2.8 yards per rush against the Dolphins. Making matters worse, both Miami scores came after Sanchez turned the ball over in Jets territory.

After the game, Jets fans outside of the postgame interview area at the New Meadowlands Arena chanted "Schotty Must Go."

"I'd be lying if I said I didn't hear it," Schottenheimer said. "It's not the first time I've ever heard it. I don't have time to worry about it."

Schottenheimer has been "on both sides" of a fan base calling for a coach's job. He said he was in the stands when fans called for the firing of his father, Marty, in Cleveland, Kansas City and San Diego.

"It's always harder on the families. I always worry about my wife, my kids," he said. "[But] it comes with the territory."

Schottenheimer also has the full support of his players, who know there's plenty of blame to pass around.

"The coach can't get out there and play," running back LaDainian Tomlinson said. "He calls the plays and it's up to us to go out there and execute it."

Just as the Jets were doing when they scored 23 or more points while winning nine of 10 games before their two-game skid.

"Earlier in the year, when we were putting up 30 points a game, everybody's like, 'Schotty's calling great plays,' and you heard that talk," Tomlinson said. "Now when we haven't scored a touchdown the last couple of games, it's Schotty's fault. It isn't Schotty's fault. It's our fault. We need to play better. We need to make more things happen when we get the ball in our hands."

On Monday morning, head coach Rex Ryan sat in on the offensive coaches meeting, offering what Schottenheimer called "a different perspective" on the team's woes with the ball in their hands.

Ryan isn't usually in on the offensive meetings. On Thursday, he downplayed the impact of his attendance. But he curiously didn't mention Schottenheimer by name when he gave support to his "offensive staff."

"I think it hasn't been our day lately and I give the opponents credit as well," Ryan said. "That doesn't mean I have lost confidence in the staff. It's a great staff."

Earlier in the week, Ryan was critical of Schottenheimer's decision to spike the ball when the Jets had a 1st-and-10 at their own 47 with a litttle more than a minute to play. Schottenheimer said he wanted the offense to gather itself before running the next play and accepted responsibility for the call.

It doesn't get any easier for Schottenheimer's unit. This week they face a Steelers defense that is tied for first in the league in sacks (39) and is allowing just 60.1 rushing yards per game.

"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," Schottenheimer said. "People were telling us how great we were. ... It doesn't take very long to go from one extreme to the other. That's why you have to take the good with the bad. You've got to keep working, be the same person week in and week out. But it's been a tough week."

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Ian Begley

ESPN New York Writer