Jets hire Schottenheimer as offensive coordinator

Updated: January 30, 2006, 3:30 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

The New York Jets' search for an offensive coordinator has ended, as ESPN.com has learned that the team has hired San Diego quarterbacks coach Brian Schottenheimer, the son of Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer.

Schottenheimer, 32, interviewed last week for the key position on first-year coach Eric Mangini's staff, and was said by league insiders to have been extremely impressive in his presentation. The addition of Schottenheimer certainly continues a trend of sorts toward youth on the Jets staff, as Mangini is just 35 years old.

The younger Schottenheimer essentially replaces Mike Heimerdinger, who was released by the Jets from the final two years of his contract, so that he could rejoin the staff of the Denver Broncos, for whom he previously worked.

The Jets had interviewed several candidates for the coordinator post and it is believed that Schottenheimer won out over Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach Pat Shurmur. The Jets also spoke with former Cleveland Browns head coach Chris Palmer, who on Monday accepted a position on the Dallas Cowboys' staff.

The offensive coordinator job is critical for any franchise of course, but it figures to be especially crucial for the Jets. There is uncertainty involving the quarterback position, as Chad Pennington continues his rehabilitation from a second shoulder surgery, and might not be ready for training camp. Star tailback Curtis Martin will turn 33 in May and his productivity was dramatically diminished in 2005. And the offensive line unit showed too much age last season and needs to be revamped.

A former college quarterback at Kansas and the University of Florida, Schottenheimer has been in the league for seven seasons. He joined the St. Louis Rams' staff for the 1997 season, coached at Kansas City in 1998, then went to the college level for two years at Syracuse (1999) and Southern California (2000).

After spending the 2001 season on his father's staff with the Washington Redskins, he followed the elder Schottenheimer to San Diego in 2002. Schottenheimer is said to have a very keen feel for the passing game, is good in mentoring quarterbacks, and was key to the development of Chargers' quarterback Drew Brees the last two seasons.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here Insider.

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