Rex Ryan backs Brian Schottenheimer

Updated: January 25, 2011, 12:43 PM ET
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Brian Schottenheimer, a frequent target of second-guessing fans, will return for his sixth season as the offensive coordinator of the New York Jets.

"Yes, absolutely," coach Rex Ryan said Monday.

Schottenheimer is under contract for the 2011 season, according to a league source.

Statistically, the Jets improved in most offensive categories in 2010, including total offense, passing offense and scoring offense. Schottenheimer came under fire last month, when the Jets went 11 consecutive quarters without an offensive touchdown. The lowpoint came after the 10-6 home loss to the Miami Dolphins, when VIP fans watching Ryan's postgame news conference started chanting, "Schotty must go!"

Schottenheimer admitted that he heard the fans, telling reporters a few days later, "I know I'm a damn good football coach."

His ever-fluctuating popularity plummeted Sunday night in Pittsburgh, where the Jets failed to score on four plays inside the Steelers' 3 in the fourth quarter. Mark Sanchez threw incomplete passes on second and third down and LaDainian Tomlinson was stuffed for no gain on fourth down from the 1. The botched sequence loomed large in the Jets' 24-19 defeat, their second straight loss in the AFC Championship Game.

Ryan said Monday if he had to do it all over again, he would have had his offense try to pound the ball in from the one-yard-line instead.

"If we had the benefit of hindsight, we should have probably just ran Shonn Greene or L.T. four straight times," Ryan said. "That's easy to look back on it. We clearly thought that we had some good plays designed and it just never worked out."

Ryan praised Schottenheimer last week, calling him a future head-coaching star in the league. In past years, Schottenheimer interviewed for head-coaching jobs with the Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens. He turned down an opportunity last year to interview with the Buffalo Bills.

This year, no teams expressed interest in Schottenheimer, who has said many times he enjoys working for Ryan and the Jets.

Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com. Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Ohm Youngmisuk was used in this report.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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