Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Schottenheimer a Victim of Own Success?

I’ll be honest with you. I’m not a big fan of Martyball and I was more than relieved to learn that he would not be a candidate for the Miami Dolphins head coaching job. That said I also have to say this, Marty Schottenheimer was jobbed by the San Diego Chargers on Monday. They found just about every way to hose him over and did it. Why? That’s a great question and apparently the answer is that he was too successful.

Under Schottenheimer’s leadership the Chargers finished the NFL’s regular season with a league best 14-2 record. Following a play-off loss to New England both Schottenheimer’s offensive and defensive coordinators were hired as NFL head coaches, tight ends coach Rob Chudzinski became Cleveland's offensive coordinator, and linebackers coach Greg Manusky was hired as San Francisco's defensive coordinator.

All of those promotions are what caused Marty to get the boot from the Chargers. It now appears that if you are successful in the NFL and flood other organizations in the league with head coaches and coordinators then you get to wear the “dysfunctional” label.

"Events of the last month have now convinced me that it is not possible for our organization to function at a championship level under the current structure," team president Dean Spanos said in a statement. "On the contrary, and in the plainest possible language, we have a dysfunctional situation here. Today I am resolving that situation once and for all."

Assistants taking a promotion with another organization isn’t a new concept in the NFL and I guarantee that 14-2 is as close as the Chargers are going to get to a championship level for a long time.

If Spanos needs an example of dysfunctional then he should look no further than General Manager A.J. Smith. This is the guy who thought Drew Brees was done and watched him walk off to New Orleans. He’s the guy who refused to speak with the coach about personnel moves. In spite of all that Schottenheimer still put a winner on the field. No, that’s not dysfunctional that’s commendable. Spanos would have saved so much face if he would have just come out and states the truth. “We don’t like Marty because he is smarter than us so we are firing him.”

To make things worse not only did the Chargers fire Schottenheimer for an unjust reason, they waited until all the NFL head coaching jobs had been filled so that he has absolutely no chance of landing somewhere else. Now that’s a classy organization!