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tornadospotter
10-31-2008, 08:10 PM
Schottenheimer vs. Edwards: Marty Did More with Less
Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at 14:13:54 CST - Printer-friendly version (http://www.wildbillschiefs.com/content/commentary/view.php?id=482&type=printable)
By William Cloake

Schottenheimer vs. Edwards: Marty Did More with Less

Say what you want about Marty Schottenheimer, but if he were head coach of the Chiefs this season, somehow I know that Chiefs would be at least 3-2 and not 1-4 at this moment.
How can I be so sure about this? The reason stems from the fact that Marty knows how to build a football team. Granted fans and pundits can argue all day about whether or not Marty's chokes in the play-offs or whether he is just the benefactor of a wave of luck so bad that it would make the ancient Hebrews say, "Damn, that's tough." But, either way, there is no doubting that the man knows how to build a winner.
In 1984, Marty took over a Cleveland Browns team that was 1-7 and promptly led them to go 4-4 the rest of the way. This performance earned him the head coaching job in 1985. That season, the Brown managed to claw their way to an AFC Central title and a play-off birth (granted the worst record of any division title winner in the modern era at 8-8). The Browns then went on to average 11 wins per season over the next three years, taking two more division titles.
What is really interesting is the type of adversity Marty had to overcome. In 1988 – en route to a 10-6 record and a wild card birth, injuries caused Marty to start four different quarterbacks (sound familiar), yet, he managed to get it done. Maybe you can criticize Marty for a last second loss to Houston (23-24) in the wildcard game, but he was playing with Mike Pagel – his 3rd string quarterback behind and injured Bernie Kosar and an injured Don Strock.
Then, in 1989 Marty left the Browns to join the Chiefs. What became of the team Marty left behind? With a healthy Bernie Kosar, the team managed one less win in 1989 and by 1990, virtually the same team was 3-13 and out of the play-offs. The team brought in a young coach by the name of Bill Bilicheck (yes, the same one), who in five years managed only a wild-card birth while compiling a 36-44 record.
Meanwhile in Kansas City, what happened to the Chiefs? After going 4-11-1 in 1988 (and enduring their 2nd consecutive four win season) the Chiefs finished strong and went 8-7-1. Then, in 1989 the Chiefs went 11-5 and made the play-offs for only the 2nd time in 18 seasons. What followed was eight play-off appearances and nine winning records in the next 10 seasons. What has happened since? Things have reverted back to the pre-Marty era. In 10 seasons, only two play-off appearances and three winning records.
Similar things have happened in Washington and in San Diego. In one season in Washington, the Redskins finished 8-3 after a 0-5 start, only to go 7-9 the following year with Steve Spurrier at the helm. In San Diego, Marty inherited a team that had been 1-15 and 5-11 in two previous seasons and in his third season had them go 12-4.
So, what makes Marty's record so different from that of Herm Edwards? It certainly isn't talent. During Marty's 10 years with the Chiefs he managed winning seasons with five different starting quarterbacks. Many of these, frankly, were journeyman types like Dave Krieg, Steve DeBerg and Steve Bono. As a result, it is preposterous for pundits to say that the Chiefs can't win with a guy like Damon Huard or Brodie Croyle. Who can honestly say either of these guys is worse than Steve Bono? Granted, Schottenheimer did have Joe Montana for two seasons, but this was a fragile Montana – whose play-off injury quite possibly kept the Chiefs out of the Superbowl in 1993. Then there was Elvis Grbac...need I say anything more.
At runningback, Marty never had the benefit of a player like Larry Johnson. It may surprise fans to know that the Nigerian Nightmare – Christian Okoye - had only two 1,000 yard seasons and only one truly great season (1,480 yards in 1989). Otherwise, Marty muddled through finding players he could use to compete. In his 10 years with the Chiefs, Marty had only three 1,000 yard rushers and had 5 different running backs lead the team in rushing. Granted, he had Marcus Allen for four seasons, but it is to Marty's credit that he used Marcus well enough and sparingly enough to get that long out of a 35-year old runningback.
At receiver, Marty got by with names like J.J. Birden, Willie Davis, Tim Barnett, Chris Penn or Lake Dawson. Certainly none of these guys even begins to approach the quality of a Dwayne Bowe. Frankly, most of them remind you of a Devard Darling or a Chris Webb. Further, Marty had Tony Gonzales for only his first two years and in ten seasons had only two 1,000 yard receivers and the most receptions by one receiver were 71 (Andre Rison in 1997). Yet, without a number one receiver of any kind, Marty managed to make it work.
On the offensive line, again, Marty was confronted with a situation similar to the one confronting the Chiefs' current regime. A revolving door existed at right tackle. In his 10 years, the Chiefs used six different right tackles, guys like Ricky Siglar, Rich Baldinger, Glenn Parker, Derrick Graham and Victor Riley. Certainly none of which are household names and some of which – including Siglar, Graham and Riley – were awful. Still, the Chiefs managed to work around the holes in their offensive lines and have success.
What about defense? Granted the Chiefs did have big names like Neil Smith, Derrick Thomas, Dale Carter and Mark Collins. However, here in lies a big difference between Schottenheimer and Edwards. When Derrick Thomas came to the Chiefs he immediately performed. He had 10.0 sacks in his rookie season and 20.0 in his second. Neil Smith, who underachieved in his rookie season, suddenly went from 2.5 sacks to 6.5 and then to 9.5 in his 3rd. What was more impressive was how Marty knew how to get the most out of these guys. He moved them around, often placing them on the same side (an idea that went against conventional wisdom at the time) in order to attack and overwhelm opposing offenses.
Much like today, though, Marty's defensive teams were never without holes in personnel. In 1994, faced with a lack of talent in the linebacking core, Marty and the Chiefs switched their scheme from a 3-4 to a 4-3. What an idea! Actually changing your scheme to match your talent. This is something Edwards has proven incapable of doing. Instead of adapting – which should be a big part of any rebuilding process – Edwards seems to instead push his scheme while he waits for management to find players who can fit in. This isn't a recipe for success. Part of rebuilding is learning how to use your young talent, not trying to bang the same square peg into the same round hole.
Additionally, unlike Edwards, Marty managed to get team production with less than average players at key positions. At strong safety for example, the Chiefs got by with players like Kevin Porter (1 interception in four seasons as a starter), followed by four different starters in the next six seasons. Also, the Chiefs had average players in many other positions, yet somehow the defense was a success.
Much of this has to do with the idea of finding ways to get the most out of the players that you have. It is beyond my understanding why the Chiefs don't use Derrick Johnson in much the same way they used Derrick Thomas. Johnson has the speed to be this kind of player. Instead of being a difference maker, pounding quarterbacks, penetrating and generally wreaking havoc, Johnson spends most of his time dropping into coverage. On the other hand, I don't think it is a coincidence that Shawn Merriman's play reminds me of that of Thomas'. It isn't that Merriman and Johnson are different players, as much as it is that they are used differently.
And in case you were wondering, who is the coach who figured out how to use Merriman and make him the player that he has become? (prior to his recent injury, of course) That man would be Marty Schottenheimer.
Finally, Marty was the master motivator. Here is where I think a real difference between Herm and Marty exists. Marty was tough and when he talked everyone listened and respected him. Anyone remember when Derrick Thomas was held out of nearly half a game in Denver for being late to a team meeting? I wonder what Herm would have done with this? I wonder how Marty would have handled LJ's insubordination? I bet it would be different. Marty would command respect. He would demand a top level effort.
Along the same lines, Marty was known for developing a "theme" in camp every season that he would carry throughout the year. Marty is responsible for creating "Raider Week". Who can forget his impassioned speech to his players about ex-teammates that were now wearing the silver and black: "They aren't your friends, you don't go over and hug them and pat them on the butt before the game". Say what you want, but you never would have seen a Marty Schottenheimer coached Chiefs team put out the pathetic effort they did against the Raiders three weeks ago. Marty knew how to motivate and if you didn't play with passion, guess what? You didn't play for Marty.
It sure seems like the Chiefs could use a little bit of that thinking right now.


Found this on Arrowhead Pride, thought it was an intresting read.

Hayvern
11-01-2008, 12:21 AM
I was never a real fan of Marty, however I think this article is dead on. You can see it in the players on the field that Edwards just does not know how to coach a team.

My dislike for Marty was not so much about him not being a good coach, he clearly was a good coach, it just seemed that when the pressure was on and the team needed a good decision, whether that was a particular play, calling of a timeout, or just some good clock management, Marty would drop the ball. I think that is why we he got the monicker of Chokenheimer.

However, when you look at Edwards we have all the bad of Marty with all the bad of Edwards, which equals all bad. I would give anything to have at least one half on the field on a Sunday. Additionally, it is almost like Edwards is embarrassed to try something new. He was laughing about running a spread offense almost like it was embarrassing to him to try something like that. Yet, he saw success with it, either because it came as a surprise to the Jets, or because it was more comfortable for these rookies to play.

When you think about it. The young team we have has not quite learned how to play anything other than they played in college. I just don't understand the closemindedness that Edwards has. This article points out how Marty was able to find the strengths in the players. If a spread offense gives these kids some strengths they did not have before, Edwards should be open minded enough to give it a try, not chuckling under his breath about it.

Coach
11-01-2008, 01:48 AM
I loved Marty as the head coach of the Chiefs for the exact same reason that I love Bobby Knight. Either one can beat you with their players or your players. They are the masters of motivation. Getting every ounce of talent out of a player. They will "X and O" you into oblivion.

I don't think Marty has anything to prove to anyone. He has already proven it. I think his time had just run its course in KC. Even at the end, players and fans still loved the guy, but they were ready for a fresh start. I really think the death of Derrick Thomas was the beginning of the end for Marty in KC. I think Marty was ready for a fresh start as well.

Looking forward, the coach most KC fans salivate about having roam the sidelines for the Chiefs is Bill Cowher. You can include me in that group of fans. He is cut from the same cloth as Marty and grew up in that regime. Bill demands respect, as Marty did. Bill believes a good defense wins games, as Marty did. And Bill could also beat you with his players or your players. They both have the exact same coaching philosophy. Their boring offenses always consisted of a run at all costs mentality. Their defenses were intimidating and hard-hitting. The Chiefs-Steelers games back when these two were coaching were always a treat for a guy who loves defense as I do.

Bottom line, Herm Edwards shares a few of the traits of Marty and Bill. Herm loves to pound the rock between the tackles. He prefers a good defense to a good offense. Ball control, time of possession, and field position. I think these are the reasons that the Hunts and CP have stuck with him this long. But, this is where the comparisons stop. Herm tries to be a player's coach. He believes that players will play hard for him if they like him. And while you could argue that all day long, I just don't believe that Herm's players respect him. They do not play hard for him. I have seen the defensive players quit on this team time and time again. Players like LJ get away with off the field indescretions and poor on-the-field attitudes. Secondly, Herm doesn't motivate players the same way that Marty or Bill can motivate. I truly believe defense is as much about attitude and desire as it is about talent. This defense has no confidence or swagger. I think Herm is taking the step that needed to be taken by making this team younger and rebuilding. But once that rebuilding is complete, if that is even possible, I don't think Herm will be the coach that is capable of turning that talent into a Superbowl contender. That is why I wish the Chiefs would make a coaching change at the end of the season. Herm isn't the kind of coach this team deserves, these players deserve, this city deserves, and our fans deserve. To quote Andy Dufresne from my favorite movie, Shawshank Redemption.
"Get busy living or get busy dying." Herm is not the long-term answer for this team. This franchise and fan base is dying. Let's get busy living.

Chiefster
11-01-2008, 01:54 AM
Are we talking NFL Head Coaches Celeberty Death Match???

hermhater
11-01-2008, 02:19 AM
Excellent commentary Hayvern, and Coach.

You guys have summed up the frustration we've lived through for the past few decades.

There's been some really great times, and some horrible lows.

I hope by the end of this season we have a new coach that can bring out the best in the awesome talent we still have remaining on the team.

Chiefster
11-01-2008, 02:21 AM
Excellent commentary Hayvern, and Coach.

You guys have summed up the frustration we've lived through for the past few decades.

There's been some really great times, and some horrible lows.

I hope by the end of this season we have a new coach that can bring out the best in the awesome talent we still have remaining on the team.

Testify my Chiefs football brother!

hermhater
11-01-2008, 02:27 AM
I've been preaching it since Herm got here dude.

Chiefster
11-01-2008, 02:33 AM
I've been preaching it since Herm got here dude.


I know, and I never tire of reading it. :D

Hayvern
11-01-2008, 03:20 AM
My dad always said there was no such thing as a fair fight. When you are in a fight, he said there are no holds barred, you do whatever you have to to defeat the other guy.

I think this applies with football as well. You do what you have to do to win games. If I thought I could do the Old Status of Liberty play and win, I would run that in a heartbeat. Direct snaps to the halfback? You bet! Reverses, whatever it takes.

I still cannot seem to get past Herm thinking the spread offense is something to laugh at. Hey I would call one of those silly plays we used to call on the playground if I thought it would get me a score.

hermhater
11-01-2008, 03:37 AM
Herm has no imagination.

He can't see when to play the odds.

When he replied to the reporters question about why he put Jared Allen in at TE, his reply was that's what you do when you're desperate.

We were desperate before that point, and he never tried anything but running LJ, and later Kolby into a wall.

tornadospotter
11-01-2008, 04:06 AM
Excellent commentary Hayvern, and Coach.

You guys have summed up the frustration we've lived through for the past few decades.

There's been some really great times, and some horrible lows.

I hope by the end of this season we have a new coach that can bring out the best in the awesome talent we still have remaining on the team.
:11: I agree!


Testify my Chiefs football brother!
:10:

I've been preaching it since Herm got here dude.
:10:

I know, and I never tire of reading it. :D
:character00248:

My dad always said there was no such thing as a fair fight. When you are in a fight, he said there are no holds barred, you do whatever you have to to defeat the other guy.

I think this applies with football as well. You do what you have to do to win games. If I thought I could do the Old Status of Liberty play and win, I would run that in a heartbeat. Direct snaps to the halfback? You bet! Reverses, whatever it takes.

I still cannot seem to get past Herm thinking the spread offense is something to laugh at. Hey I would call one of those silly plays we used to call on the playground if I thought it would get me a score.

:11:You play to win! :director: :sign0080:

Sn@keIze
11-01-2008, 05:32 AM
why are we comparing the winningest coach of the 90s to Herm a roid?

tornadospotter
11-01-2008, 05:55 AM
why are we comparing the winningest coach of the 90s to Herm a roid?
To see how far we have fallen. :character00270:

Three7s
11-01-2008, 12:15 PM
Herm has no imagination.

He can't see when to play the odds.

When he replied to the reporters question about why he put Jared Allen in at TE, his reply was that's what you do when you're desperate.

We were desperate before that point, and he never tried anything but running LJ, and later Kolby into a wall.
That's what gets me so mad about him running it three times, last week. I don't care if we don't make it, just pass the freaking ball, ANYTHING but a run up the middle.

Sn@keIze
11-01-2008, 01:48 PM
That's what gets me so mad about him running it three times, last week. I don't care if we don't make it, just pass the freaking ball, ANYTHING but a run up the middle.Hes gutless. A coward. Scared to go out and take a win. I guess he thought it would be a good idea to give Favre another chance against out D.

hardcorechiefsfan
11-01-2008, 02:30 PM
Schottenheimer vs. Edwards: Marty Did More with Less
Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at 14:13:54 CST - Printer-friendly version (http://www.wildbillschiefs.com/content/commentary/view.php?id=482&type=printable)
By William Cloake

Schottenheimer vs. Edwards: Marty Did More with Less

Say what you want about Marty Schottenheimer, but if he were head coach of the Chiefs this season, somehow I know that Chiefs would be at least 3-2 and not 1-4 at this moment.
Marty was never a chiefs' fan, he did what he had to do to keep in good with Lamar.

When he replied to the reporters question about why he put Jared Allen in at TE, his reply was that's what you do when you're desperate.
Jred Allen prob just wanted to be a more versatile player, that is why Herme played him at te, Jared just wanted some recieving time. Don't blame Hermie for that.

why are we comparing the winningest coach of the 90s to Herm a roid?
Bored?

That's what gets me so mad about him running it three times, last week. I don't care if we don't make it, just pass the freaking ball, ANYTHING but a run up the middle.
About the running game... The chiefs have been a running play team at least since Marcus Allen or even longer so don't blame that on Hermie either!

Three7s
11-01-2008, 02:41 PM
About the running game... The chiefs have been a running play team at least since Marcus Allen or even longer so don't blame that on Hermie either!
I don't care what type of team we are or what we're supposed to be, when you see a running game that is doing NOTHING, you pass.

Sn@keIze
11-01-2008, 02:44 PM
I don't care what type of team we are or what we're supposed to be, when you see a running game that is doing NOTHING, you pass.
Especially when your QB is lighting em up.

hardcorechiefsfan
11-01-2008, 02:54 PM
I don't care what type of team we are or what we're supposed to be, when you see a running game that is doing NOTHING, you pass.
The chiefs have always relied on a inch by inch running game. I don't agree with it. As far as the passing game goes, we only have Tony, and maybe a few others that might or might not be able to catch the ball. Yes I wish we had a stronger passing game and I agree with you that we should do some passing when the running game is as slow as a snail.

tornadospotter
11-01-2008, 03:25 PM
Marty was never a chiefs' fan, he did what he had to do to keep in good with Lamar.
WHAT!!!! You have got to be joking, Marty embraced the rivalries, he built up the fader and donkey weeks!! Does hermie? Marty was more of a Chiefs fan and Coach than hermie will ever be!!!

Jred Allen prob just wanted to be a more versatile player, that is why Herme played him at te, Jared just wanted some recieving time. Don't blame Hermie for that.
:sign0153:
Bored?

About the running game... The chiefs have been a running play team at least since Marcus Allen or even longer so don't blame that on Hermie either!

But we used to play to win!!! Not play to not lose!

Chiefs 4
11-03-2008, 03:45 PM
The Chiefs offense under Al Saunders was the best in the NFL---or at least in the top 3. They had Priest Holmes. This team has had Larry Johnson. They had Trent Green. This team decided NOT to have Trent Green. They had Tony Gonzalez. This team has an older but still effective Tony G. This team has a BETTER receiving corps, or at least potentially better. There are two huge differences: Offensive line on the Al Saunders coached offense was terrific, one of the best in football. This O-Line is hideous. Difference # 2 is that Saunders was the Coordinator. With that, Vermiel was a Head Coach who supported the idea of an attacking offense that put fear in opponents, not laughter. This team has Herman Edwards, who plays offense like a High School coach whose QB has a broken arm. Keep it on the ground, keep it on the ground. No turnovers, got to be opportunistic. No mistakes. Play it conservative. Up the middle, up the middle. Protect the football. This sounds like a pep talk from a High School football coach in 1980. Instead, it's the philosophy of an NFL Head Coach in 2008. Does anyone really believe we can win games with this guy in charge and actually turn this losing attitude around? Impossible. Until there is a coaching change and possible housecleaning in Kansas City, this is at best a 5-11 team in the future. You can't hesitate to put opponents away in today's league and be successful with that mindset. This team has nothing to lose by taking risks on the field. It's a team headed for 1-15, so why not shake it up and try to win a couple games by breaking out of the conservative offensive approach FOR THE WHOLE GAME STUPID!

Darth CarlSatan
11-04-2008, 05:41 PM
Schottenheimer finds peace at home
By BILL REITER
The Kansas City Star

Schottenheimer realized later what a great owner Lamar Hunt (right) was to work for.
Chiefs’ Larry Johnson at a crossroads in his life
C HARLOTTE, N.C. | Before hitting the links, Marty Schottenheimer offers a warning.

“The coach in me always comes out,” he says, his big blue-grey eyes bearing down with a sudden intensity. “I can’t help myself.”

Then he’s out the door, shaking hands with people who call out, “Coach! Coach!” as he steps into a golf cart and zips off, past the tennis courts, toward the driving range.

This is where a man goes after 20 years as a NFL head coach, after 200 regular-season wins but none of the rings that matter. He heads to this stunning spot on the water at least twice a week, figuring things out day after day on strips of undulating green beauty so tough to play it makes you cringe to look at it.

“Golf has always been my refuge,” he says happily. “My escape.”

Everyone knows what he’s escaping — the years in Kansas City and the missed opportunities, the lack of a Super Bowl ring and the question of whether he’ll return to the NFL.

But that’s for later. Right now, the 65-year-old insists on seeing you swing the club.

It isn’t pretty.

“Oh, hold on, hold on!” he says, his voice kind and supportive but still impossible to argue with. “We need to work on some things.”

He grabs his club to demonstrate, bends his knees and talks about balance and hitting with the core and, his favorite, turning away from the hole before facing the hole, a mantra you better get used to. He explains the arms are the enemy, about clearing the head, about all the little things that can turn a bogey into a birdie.

It’s no use trying to tell him that this is one competition he can’t win — one player so bad he can’t be coached.

“Nonsense! We just need to work on a few things!”

There’s no point arguing. Because Marty Schottenheimer has latched on with all his energy to a golf reclamation project. And that project is you.

“You’ve got great natural athleticism!” Schottenheimer says enthusiastically. “We just need to correct some of these problems! Do that, and you can be a very good golfer!”

Like he said: He just can’t help himself.

• • •

The Schottenheimer era ended in Kansas City the way it often did for the emotional coach: sitting in an office with his owner, Marty’s stubbornness and pride playing a part in what was about to unfold.

Under Schottenheimer, the Chiefs went 7-9 that last season in 1998. He wasn’t happy, and he’d decided he was moving on.

“I talked to Lamar (Hunt) in Kansas City,” Schottenheimer says. “And he said, ‘Marty, I don’t want you to do this. I’d like you to at least think about it a few more days.’ I said, ‘Fine, I will, but I feel pretty strongly about it.’ ”

Schottenheimer flew to Dallas about six days later. He walked into the Hunt Thanksgiving Tower, took the elevator to Lamar’s floor and headed to the owner’s office.

“He wanted to know if I’d had any different thoughts, having reflected on it,” Schottenheimer says. “I said no. I was kind of hard-headed.”

Schottenheimer looked Lamar Hunt in the eye. Lamar thought his coach was being impulsive. No matter. Marty made it official.

Telling the story, Schottenheimer suddenly stops. He coughs loudly. There’s an awkward pause before he finally speaks again.

“And I should never have left.”

Schottenheimer’s other exits from head coaching jobs were less voluntary.

•From the Cleveland Browns after going 10-6 in 1988: “The last game’s over and (Browns owner) Art (Modell) wants to see him, and Art’s very emotional and he wants Marty to get rid of some of his coaches — including his brother,” says Chiefs president/general manager Carl Peterson. “And of course words get heated, and he says, ‘Listen, Art, if you want to get rid of me, you’ll have to fire me.’ And so, boom! He fired him.”

•From Washington after going 8-8 in 2001 in his only season on the job: Owner Dan Snyder met with him and explained he wanted more control over personnel issues. Schottenheimer said no. “He said, ‘Well, I want to do it,’ ” Schottenheimer says. “I said, ‘Well, you do what you have to do.’ And he said, ‘I’m going to have to fire you.’ ” Which he did. Right then and there.

•And, finally, from the San Diego Chargers after the team went 14-2 in 2006 before exiting the playoffs early, a common problem for Schottenheimer teams, who went 5-13 in the postseason: “The owner came into my office, closed the door and sat down and said, ‘Marty, you know, I’m going to make a change,’ ” Schottenheimer says. “ ‘I’m going to fire you. I can’t go on with this conflict that’s going on between you and the general manager.’ ”

It was during those last two coaching jobs that a sick feeling began to creep into Marty Schottenheimer’s head: Leaving Kansas City had been a terrible mistake.

“As it went along, I thought, ‘What have I done?’ ” he says.

When asked whether the Chiefs’ future would have been brighter had Marty remained as its head coach, even Peterson acknowledges, “Very probably that would have happened.”

For Schottenheimer, the second-guessing is more emotional. He says he knows now that an owner is everything to a head coach. And Lamar Hunt was one heckuva owner.

“My deep affection was for Lamar,” he says. “I … I…”

He pauses. His neck tightens. Apologizing, he begins to cry.

“I miss Lamar,” he whispers.

• • •

He’s much more emotional when the topic turns to never having won a Super Bowl.

Asked point-blank how much that failure bothers him, he says, “I take great pride in the fact, more so than the wins and losses, that for the most part I treated people the right way. That is, has been and will always be very important to Marty Schottenheimer. Because I think living life is all about relationships.”

So, again, isn’t it hard to know you haven’t, and probably won’t, ever win the whole thing?

“No. It’s not hard at all.”

The truth turns out to be more complicated.

For starters, Schottenheimer never guessed that San Diego — and the opportunity for a championship it presented — would end the way it did. He knew someone had to go. He just thought it would be the general manager, A.J. Smith.

Second, a person can’t be as competitive as Schottenheimer and not care about that hole in the résumé, no matter what he says.

Just ask those close to him.

“There have been times of disappointment over that,” says his daughter, Kristen Turner. “We all have our times when there’s a goal we’ve been after and we haven’t been able to get it and you fall short and you feel that.”

Peterson knows as well as anyone how that feels.

“It’ll always be there,” Peterson says. “It played on him. It bothered him. Certainly. I saw it more times when we played Denver — he did not like Denver. He hated (John) Elway so much. It was a longtime nemesis for Marty. I’m sure that, yeah, it’ll be there. It has to be terribly frustrating.”

So strong is the sting of never reaching the goal he chased for 20 years, the longing for it is embedded not just in him, but in his family as well.

After Schottenheimer was fired by the Chargers, his 7-year-old grandson Brandon was watching a football game on television. He turned to his mother.

“Mama,” he asked, “Why isn’t Papa coaching anymore? Doesn’t he want to win a Super Bowl?”

Kristen, Brandon’s mom, says she was speechless. So Brandon went on.

“Shouldn’t he win a Super Bowl? He works so hard to do that — doesn’t he deserve to win a Super Bowl?”

Then the little boy started to cry.

“We’d never talked with Brandon directly that that’s what you’re supposed to do (as an NFL football coach),” she says. “But that little boy felt in his heart that disappointment my family has for not having accomplished that goal.”

Not that there isn’t life — and perspective — after accepting that.

“Now he’s had a chance to step back,” Peterson says. “You hope he looks at all of his works, the breadth and depth of them, the quality and the wins of that, the rest of his life, and he has to be proud.”

Marty Schottenheimer has looked back. He has thought long and hard about these things. And, as it turns out, he found something just as important as any Super Bowl ring right here in Charlotte.

His old self.

• • •

Let’s get this out of the way: Marty Schottenheimer has always loved his family — his wife, his children, his grandchildren. Of that the family has no doubt.

But always — always — there was the NFL. And that takes something from you, those long hours and the searing stress. Something that can prevent you from giving what others can.

“It’s a year-round thing,” Kristen says. “You come home after being around that for all of those hours and it’s still (always on his) mind.”

That changed when Marty stopped chasing that trophy and moved to Charlotte with his wife, Pat. They wanted to be near Kristen, her husband and their two children.

“I don’t think I’ve seen him this happy in a long, long time,” Kristen says.

Darth CarlSatan
11-04-2008, 05:41 PM
Schottenheimer suddenly had time. Time for Brandon’s soccer games, where Papa couldn’t help but slip into coach mode. Time to sit with the grandkids and help with homework — the old coach has a real knack with teaching spelling with flashcards. Time to hang around with his 2-year-old granddaughter and enjoy every moment of her tantrums and fits.

“Even my husband has commented on how much more he’s seeing of my dad’s personality,” Kristen says. “He’s very much more how I remember him from when I was a kid. Being silly, singing songs. He’s just goofy in a way he wasn’t before.”

Today, you can’t go 30 minutes around Schottenheimer without hearing him giggle. It’s a high, silly, happy sound.

He talks constantly about family. One moment he’s lacing up his golf cleats, the next he’s explaining how much he loves his family, how great is to have time to let his life be
“What you will find out, as we all do, is that with age comes wisdom,” says Pat Schottenheimer. “You also realize what’s really, really important in life. And I think he has realized that a man is not defined by a championship alone.”

So there it is. He has found peace with his career. And has time to spend with his loved ones. And discovered the fact that football isn’t everything.

So he’s done with the NFL. Wouldn’t field a phone call about a head-coaching job from, say, the San Francisco 49ers. Would never contemplate returning to Kansas City as general manager once Peterson has moved on, a daydream Chiefs fans have begun to entertain.

Marty Schottenheimer’s days in the NFL are absolutely behind him.

Right, Coach?

• • •

Schottenheimer sits in a comfortable chair in the bar at one of the seven golf courses he belongs to across the country. He’s about to answer that very question when he’s interrupted.

“Marty!” a man yells, a developer whom the former coach talked to about the price of some six-figure land. “You need to take up coaching again to pay for all this!”

“No way,” Schottenheimer says as he stands up to visit.

“Come on, Marty,” another guy says. “Some team out there needs you. You could go to the 49ers.”

“No, thanks.”

“How about some part-time coaching down at Clemson?” another man asks.

There’s a crowd now.

“No way. It’s too much aggravation. Hell, (talking to you about it) is too much aggravation.”

Schottenheimer sits back down. He waits for the laughter to die down.

“You know,” he says, “my approach has always been I never say never and I never make a decision until I have to.”

That doesn’t exactly sound like I’m done with the NFL.

Then he tells you he fielded a call about a coaching job a year ago. And he demurred, not because he didn’t want to coach, but because his son was a candidate. As for being a general manager …

“You know, (Bill) Parcells has done it.” He pauses. “I’ve worked in professional football coaching for 30 years, six years as a player. But I’m just at peace with where I am right now.”

Pause.

“But I never say never.”

Another pause.

“Let’s play some golf.”

• • •

Schottenheimer stands on the first tee, repeating his mantra:

“Turn your back to the hole. Face the hole. Turn your back to the hole. Face the hole. Turn …”

He wants you to hit the ball from the center of your stance. Even though you hit from the front. Here goes.

The ball dribbles 3 feet in front of the tee.

“That’s OK, that’s OK!” he shouts. “We’re not here to keep score. It’s just fun. It doesn’t matter if you shoot 36 or 200.”

Speak for yourself.

“Try again!”

And, again, the ball sputters and dies a short distance from the first tee. Schottenheimer might as well be playing with his 2-year-old granddaughter.

“You’re doing great!”

This is how it goes for most of the round: This famous football coach staying positive, pumping you up, showering you with tips about facing the hole and the arms being the enemy and hitting that ball from the back of your stance no matter what happens.

Hole after hole, stroke after stroke. You’re looking at a nine-hole score much closer to 200 than 36, en route to losing 17 golf balls. But you do start to see both sides of Schottenheimer.

There’s the guy who loves people and really does enjoy the time with his family — he peppers you with stories about them, gets emotional thinking of them, beams when he brings up their names.

Then there’s the coach. And as he coaches intensely and kindly and without pause, you recall what he said earlier: “For me, the excitement of coaching was to be able to take the knowledge I had, impart it to a player or group of players … and then stand back and vicariously watch them perform, knowing my input and insight played a role in what they were doing.”

Well, this moment smacks more of coaching the kicker that shall go unnamed than Derrick Thomas, even if Schottenheimer stays chipper, happy and supportive.

Then we’re at the last hole, a par-5, a last chance.

You line up. You put the ball in the center of your stance. You know a duck-hook or a dribbler or something worse is coming, and then …

Wow.

A beautiful shot, straight and low and humming the way it hasn’t all day.

“Great job!” Schottenheimer booms. “You did it! See? I knew it would work!”

You can feel the coach’s excitement growing at the prospect that he can coach even you to victory of a sort.

Shot two. You stand over it. Again, Schottenheimer’s words come in a steady flow: “Turn your back to the hole, face the hole. Turn your back to the hole…”

Another great shot, sailing through the air, gorgeous.

“Yes!” the coach screams.

Forget the disappointments, forget the failed field goals in 1995 and Elway in 1997, forget the missed chances and today’s brutally painful first eight holes. Marty Schottenheimer’s about to coach the most helpless golfer this course has ever seen to a par.

The approach shot: 80 yards out, a huge inviting green. Except … it’s guarded by water.

“What water?” Schottenheimer purrs.

You step over your ball.

“Center it,” he breathes.

You get ready to swing as Schottenheimer whispers, “Turn your back to the hole, face the hole. Good. Good.” And then, quieter. “This is for everything. This is for all your dreams. This is to win the U.S. Open ...”

You blade that sucker right into the water.

There’s a pause before Schottenheimer says, “No problem! No problem!”

He says try again. He’s calm and positive. This shot is for everything. This shot is what Schottenheimer has invested this round in.

Right. Into. The. Water.

Another pause, and then …

“F— me!” Schottenheimer screams.

You wince. You turn toward him. You think you see a flash of real anger. Then he’s smiling, laughing, giggling and, as a man who’d know better than anyone, saying:

“Oh, don’t worry about it. It’s just a game!”