Turmoil For Schottenheimers

Father and son Schottenheimer are fighting quite a few battles this week in their respective jobs.

For Marty, the United Football League is falling apart around him, but his Virginia Destroyers will get the opportunity to play for the league championship.

For Brian, the New York Jets offense that he coordinates has fallen apart around him and going into Monday night’s game against Miami, there appears to be a mutiny within the team about the direction of the play calling.

It’s part of the calling that goes with coaching the game of football.

“A lot of people that have opinions on what we do don’t know whether the football is pumped with air or stuffed with cotton,” said Marty when asked about the controversy surrounding son Brian and the Jets offense.

But first we’ll start with Dad. The UFL will announce Monday that it’s suspending the regular season, wiping out two weekends of games. The league will instead hold its championship game this Friday evening. The Virginia Destroyers will host the Las Vegas Locomotives in Virginia Beach.

The league has played four weeks and both the Destroyers and Locos are 3-1. Virginia lost its first game over the weekend, when they lost in overtime to the Sacramento Mountain Lions. Las Vegas is the two time-UFL champions coached by Jim Fassel.

In New York with the Jets, criticism of Brian Schottenheimer’s offense has come from outside the team and from within, especially from WR Santonio Holmes.

“Santonio is very competitive,” Schottenheimer told the New York media late last week. “We need to win a game and we realize that. We’ve been through this before, a couple years back we went through hard times and it’s not a lot of fun. But there’s only one thing you can do and that’s roll up your sleeves and get back to work.”

As always, in New York the criticism is loud and frequently obnoxious, but more than most Brian is prepared for handling it because he’s his father’s son.

“I used to be the guy in school getting in fights with kids talking about my Dad and now you sit there and worry about your kids,” Brian said. “The thing I took from him, you do the best you can. You have trust in yourself and what you’re doing. You stay true to yourself and if you do that, at the end of the day you have that to fall back on.”

Brian remembered a time where he watched Marty deal with criticism. It was the morning after the Chiefs loss to Miami in the 1990 playoffs and the Schottenheimer family was out having breakfast together.

“We are at the breakfast table and some guys were talking about the game and talking about ‘Boy, Marty Schottenheimer he doesn’t know what he’s doing, that guy’s a bozo, this and that.’ My Mom and me and my sister were stewing. When we were done, my Dad walked over and introduced himself. He said, “How are you doing? I’m Marty Schottenheimer. I don’t take myself too seriously. I do the best I can.’ The guy sent him like a five-page letter in the mail, apologizing. All you can do is handle yourself with class. I think my father did that.”

Marty is not worried about Brian.

“Brian comes from pretty tough stock — his mom,” Marty said. “We lived in 26 different domiciles in 44 years of marriage because of my coaching. He’s a big boy, a grown man. He knows what he’s doing.”

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