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Schottenheimer simply deserves recognition

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/6325270?CMP=OTC-K9B140813162&ATT=5">Fox Sports</a>

    By Adam Schein

    <img width="178" height="266" align="left" alt="Coach Marty Schottenheimer waves to the Qualcomm crowd after winning his 200th regular season game and getting home field advantage throughout the playoffs." title="Coach Marty Schottenheimer waves to the Qualcomm crowd after winning his 200th regular season game and getting home field advantage throughout the playoffs." src="http://photos.signonsandiego.com/gallery1.5/albums/061231cardinals/JM_cards265908x4x0660.jpg" />I was watching the NFL all weekend, and one television game crew put up a graphic for potential coach-of-the-year candidates. Five gentlemen were listed, but Marty Schottenheimer was not one of them.

    Raise your hand if you had the Chargers winning 14 games during the preseason.

    Not many of you thought they would be that good, right? That's what I thought.

    Look, Sean Payton will win the award for everything that he had to do on and off the field in New Orleans. And he deserves it. But after Payton, there was simply no better coaching job and team effort than what Schottenheimer did with the Chargers.

    After the Chargers lost early in the season to the Baltimore Ravens, in a game where Marty-ball reared its conservative and ugly head, Schottenheimer scraped his approach. He opted to let young Philip Rivers take responsibility in winning games when needed, and that's exactly what the quarterback did against the defending world champion Steelers on national television.

    And that's what great coaches do. That's what Pat Riley has done. And Tony La Russa. And Coach K. They change their philosophies to fit their current talent. And Schottenheimer's decision to take the training wheels off of Rivers changed the season for the Chargers.

    It also eliminated the burden off of super star running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who goes on to have his finest season ever. It's also worth jogging the mental Rolodex in remembering that Tomlinson had some poor games in big spots for the Charges last year. Schottenheimer deserves a big hand in Tomlinson's record-setting season.

    And Schottenheimer told us in training camp that the Chargers needed to play better this year on the offensive line. And when other teams shied away from Marcus McNeil due to medical reports, Schottenheimer says that he fell in love with the stud tackle the minute he walked into his office.

    Plus, this team has had to deal with major adversity - the suspension of perhaps the best and highest impact defensive player in the NFL, Shawne Merriman. Terrence Kiel got arrested. Luis Castillo, who scouts tell you is the best and most consistent defensive player on the team, missed significant time due to injury. And early on, there was an unhappy Donnie Edwards and the preseason drama. And Schottenheimer still got this team to focus every week.

    Let's not pooh-pooh the amazing 14-2 record. Let's not have it get lost in the shuffle. I know everyone has Schottenheimer under the microscope for the postseason, and understandably so with how his clubs have historically performed in the playoffs. And it's no guarantee that the Chargers will end up playing in the Super Bowl with the teams in the AFC.

    But the Chargers are the team to beat heading into the tournament ... and Schottenheimer deserves the credit for that.

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