1. Welcome to Los Angeles Chargers NFL Football Podcast and Forum!

    Bolt Talk is one of the largest online communities for the Los Angeles Chargers. We host a regular Chargers podcast during the season. You are currently viewing our community forums as a guest user.

    Sign Up or

    Having an account grants you additional privileges, such as creating and participating in discussions. Furthermore, we hide most of the ads once you register as a member!
    Dismiss Notice

As a playoff spectator, Schottenheimer's allegiance lies with Cowher

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2006/01/22/sports/paris/22_45_241_21_06.txt">North County Times</a>

    By Jay Paris

    <img title="Marty Schotten heimer and Bill Cower" alt="Marty Schotten heimer and Bill Cower" src="http://bolttalk.com/images/shotcower.jpg" />

    Power Guy walks into Marty Schottenheimer's office, curious about which AFC team he prefers in today's championship game.

    "The only reason you ask," the wry Chargers coach said, "is because you'll pick the team I don't pick."

    Sure enough, Schottenheimer has picked apart ---- through film study ---- today's competitors, the Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers. What Schottenheimer couldn't do in three chances this season against the AFC finalists was secure a win.
    <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" border="0" align="right">
    <td align="center" class="photo"></td>
    The Broncos swept the Chargers, 20-17 and 23-7. The Steelers brought their Terrible Towels to San Diego, and swiped a 24-22 victory.

    So Schottenheimer shrugs when pressed about his favorite. Although, he can't hide what's so visible.

    Schottenheimer, a Pennsylvania native and former All-America linebacker at the University of Pittsburgh, clearly wants the Steelers to prevail and advance to Super Bowl XL against the Seattle Seahawks-Carolina Panthers winner.

    Few things would be finer to Schottenheimer ---- who'll be sitting today in his Charlotte, N.C., home recliner ---- than watching Bill Cowher's Steelers triumph.

    "Blood is thicker than water," Schottenheimer said.

    The two don't share a last name, but their veins both reveal a passion for squads with hard-nosed defenses, stout running attacks and solid special teams.

    That was the blueprint Schottenheimer shared with then-28-year-old Cowher in 1985, after hiring him as the Cleveland Browns' special teams coach.

    When Schottenheimer left Cleveland for Kansas City in 1989, among the things with which he departed were the legacy of The Drive (that's bad) and The Chin (that's good).

    Cowher was Schottenheimer's defensive coordinator with the Chiefs before hitching his ride with the Steelers in 1992.

    Schottenheimer is quick to say he lives vicariously through his players' performances. He often jokes how he was a "pretty good practice player" when toiling in mostly backup roles for six years with the Buffalo Bills and Boston Patriots.

    If Schottenheimer can't reach the Super Bowl ---- a 5-12 postseason mark has seen to that ---- having Cowher stalk a sideline in a game boasting Roman numerals is the next-best-thing.

    Schottenheimer and Cowher spoke last week, after the Steelers survived their divisional playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts. There's little doubt Schottenheimer shared the Chargers' stellar defensive game plan, which resulted in the Colts' 13-game winning streak ending in December.

    Like the Chargers did, the Steelers pestered Indy quarterback Peyton Manning. The Chargers sacked him four times; the Steelers, using a similar 3-4 alignment, manhandled Manning with five sacks.

    But Schottenheimer doesn't pull a bag over his head, ignoring the task awaiting the Steelers. Dancing with the Broncos in Denver ---- they haven't lost at Invesco Field this season ---- isn't for the faint of heart.

    Chargers fans know all too well the devil of Denver: two Bolts wins in their last 19 visits.

    "It's very tough to win up in that stadium," Schottenheimer said. "I'm thinking if Pittsburgh can come out like they did against Indy and move the ball as they did, that sets the tone. But whether they can do that remains to be seen."

    Through Schottenheimer's eyes, among the key matchups is the interior of the Steelers' offensive line against the Broncos front seven ---- or eight, if free safety John Lynch (Torrey Pines High) creeps toward the line of scrimmage.

    The Steelers like to run as much as Cowher enjoys a good scowl. But the Broncos ---- led by All-Pro middle linebacker Al Wilson ---- were better than every team defending the run, save the Chargers.

    "I hold Al Wilson in the highest regard," Schottenheimer said. "And the two defensive tackles (Gerard Warren and Michael Myers) are a key part of it."

    Schottenheimer also mentioned the goal of keeping Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger upright. The Broncos percolate a pass rush that has the buzz of a double espresso.

    "They like to bring a guy late ---- we call it a coffee-house rush," Schottenheimer said. "It's like the guy is hanging around for a cup of coffee, then he goes for the quarterback. With that approach, it's important everyone is on the same page for protection."

    By sending extra people, Denver leaves its secondary exposed for big plays. But Schottenheimer stressed two of the Broncos' defensive backs are playing exceptionally.

    "Champ Bailey is a good player," said Schottenheimer, of the cornerback whose interception return for a touchdown derailed the Chargers in Denver. "And Lynch is having a terrific year."

    A terrific year for Schottenheimer would have him barking orders at his Chargers. But second-best is having Cowher still on the sidelines, and a TV remote by Schottenheimer's side.

Share This Page