Schottenheimer: Favre has plenty left
NEW YORK -- Brian Schottenheimer believes Brett Favre still has plenty left in that rocket right arm.
"I would welcome the opportunity to coach Brett again," the New York Jets' offensive coordinator said Tuesday.
Schottenheimer, retained by new coach Rex Ryan, hasn't spoken to the 39-year-old quarterback since a late-season slump contributed to the Jets missing the playoffs. Favre is contemplating whether to retire or come back for a 19th NFL season, and second with New York. He's expected to make a decision in the next few weeks.
"He's probably in a tree stand right now as we speak doing some hunting," Schottenheimer said with a chuckle.
Favre is also healing from a torn biceps tendon in his throwing arm that might have contributed to a stretch in which he threw nine interceptions in the Jets' last five games.
New York went 1-4 and missed the playoffs -- costing coach Eric Mangini his job -- but Schottenheimer believes Favre could still help the Jets reach the playoffs.
"If he chooses to come back, he's still performing at a winning level," he said.
It was widely speculated that Schottenheimer wasn't pleased with having to restructure the offense after Favre joined the team late in training camp in a trade with Green Bay. Schottenheimer said that wasn't the case.
"I really enjoyed coaching Brett, I really did," he said. "So, when I said I'd welcome the chance to coach him again, I really, really enjoyed being around him, I enjoyed working with him. We had a heck of a relationship and I don't think anything would change if he does decide to come back again this season."
The team, along with Favre, went downhill after consecutive wins at New England and Tennessee put them atop the AFC East at 8-3.
"We weren't clicking on all cylinders," Schottenheimer said. "Some of them were design flaws on my part. Some of them were bad reads or bad decisions and some of them were core protection.
"It's unfair to put it all on Brett."
While Favre and his receivers were slow to click at first, the offense ended up putting up 405 points -- the third-highest total in franchise history. Schottenheimer said ball security, struggles on third down and failure to be consistent were the team's downfall.
"Midway through the season at 8-3, we did find our groove," he said. "Unfortunately, our groove dried up a little bit."
The 35-year-old Schottenheimer was one of the top candidates for the head coaching job and has been recognized as one of the top young offensive coordinators in the league. Ryan recognized that and said when he was hired that he would sit down with Schottenheimer, who had a year remaining on his contract, and discuss how he felt when he was passed over for the Baltimore job last year.
"When I finally got a chance to sit down and visit with Rex, it really was something that felt right. It felt really good," said Schottenheimer, who acknowledged being disappointed at first with the team's decision.
Schottenheimer's name was linked to a handful of other jobs around the league, but he said there was nothing substantial.
"The most important thing for me was to figure out, did I want to be a part of the Jets?" he said. "I was still under contract and at the end of the day after the smoke cleared, I really did feel like this was the best place for me."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
MORE NFL HEADLINES
- Rodgers still not ready to return for Packers
- Welker likely out until playoffs, sources say
- Vikes' Peterson 'ready to roll' vs. Bengals
- Bears' Briggs medically cleared to return
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
- Nike Men's New York Jets Classic Team Issue Grey Hoodie