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With Brian Schottenheimer, Pete Carroll made least exciting hire possible for Seahawks OC

Brian Schottenheimer should get the Seahawks back to a run-based offense. (AP)

In many respects, the Seahawks’ Pete Carroll is one of the league’s most forward-thinking coaches.

He doesn’t coach through anger or intimidation. He’s open to new approaches and ideas in everything from motivation to nutrition and sports science, and he’s willing to take risks and chances when it comes to managing a football game.

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But he’s pretty old-fashioned when it comes to the template and style he wants his team to play. His defenses are not blitz-happy. His offense needs to be based on the run game, and not just any kind of run game – a physical run game. He wants to be the hammer when his team has the ball.

So maybe it shouldn’t surprise anyone that his hire as Seahawks offensive coordinator isn’t exactly considered New Age. That’s first among the list of things we learned this weekend:

Stuff we learned

1. Pete Carroll made the least exciting hire possible at offensive coordinator.

Brian Schottenheimer comes from a football lineage known for relatively antiquated ideas about offense. His father was Marty, a long-time NFL head coach whose idea of an innovative offense was play-action pass. Brian’s most success as an offensive coordinator came with the Jets, who made back-to-back AFC Championship Game appearances with an offense that preferred to hand the ball off to running backs, or in lieu of that throw passes to the running backs. The fact that ProFootballTalk had posted a “maybe-could thumbsucker” of an article [1] that the Seahawks would be hiring a college guru made all this even funnier. For all the options out there, Seattle made perhaps the least exciting hire possible, which doesn’t mean it’s bad. In fact, it’s probably a pretty good sign because Pete Carroll doesn’t want an exciting, new-fangled offense. He wants a physical, run-based offense.

2. Mark Sanchez isn’t the quarterback you should most associate with Brian Schottenheimer.

Drew Brees is. Schottenheimer was the Chargers’ quarterbacks coach from 2002 to 2005, which were Brees’ first four years as a starter in the NFL. And in that time, Brees went from a second-round pick in 2001 who sat behind Doug Flutie to someone the Chargers stuck with for two seasons ahead of Philip Rivers, who was drafted No. 4 overall in 2004. Schottenheimer became the Jets’ offensive coordinator at age 33, a position he held through two different head coaches. Now getting his third crack at running an NFL offense, Schottenheimer is going to have the best quarterback he’s had since those four years with Brees back in San Diego.

3. Marshawn Lynch once almost took the field in a bath towel.

OK. So this doesn’t really have anything to do with anything other than the fact that it is enormously entertaining. It was 2012 during the Seahawks’ Monday night victory over Green Bay when Russell Wilson threw a game-winning interception touchdown pass to Golden Tate. After a replay review and a collective freakout, the Seahawks had to be summoned back to the field for the extra-point try – much like the Minnesota Vikings did Sunday after their touchdown on the final play of that bonkers finish against New Orleans. Well in that game against the Packers, Marshawn Lynch had already removed his uniform but was ready to return to the field with little more than a fig leaf for coverage, according to Evan Moore, who was a tight end with the Seahawks for the first half of that season.

For the record, Moore indicated the possibility was quickly extinguished. Just one more component of Marshawn’s legend here in Seattle.

Footnote

[1] The “maybe-could thumbsucker” is my own personal nickname for stories with two specific traits:

• They present an unexpected, eye-catching possibility;
• The news is then couched in terms that make it impossible for the story to be wrong.

In this case, the unexpected possibility was that the Seahawks were going to dip into the college football ranks to hire a coordinator and implement a college-style offense that catered to Russell Wilson’s mobility.

This was attributed to “talk in league circles.” Note that the story did not state the Seahawks were actually considering it. That is something that could be factually wrong. But talk in league circles? Well, depending on your sourcing standards, Mike Florio talking into his bellybutton could constitute “talk in league circles.” These stories are essentially parlor tricks, attracting an audience because of the possibility that is outlined without providing any real indication of how likely this possibility is to occur. And if – or in most cases when – the possibility fails to materialize, there’s no downside for the “reporter,” who can just indicate that’s what people in league circles were saying.

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