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Thread: Schottenheimer vs. Edwards

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    Default Schottenheimer vs. Edwards


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    Schottenheimer vs. Edwards: Marty Did More with Less
    Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at 14:13:54 CST - Printer-friendly version
    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.

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    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.
    Last edited by Hayvern; 10-31-2008 at 11:26 PM.

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    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.
    Last edited by Coach; 11-01-2008 at 12:52 AM.


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    Are we talking NFL Head Coaches Celeberty Death Match???


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    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.
    http://arrowheadjunkies.com/pictures/PhotoShop/sig_pics/NFL_Players/kansas_city_chiefs/tyson.jackson/062009/tyson.jackson.500.png

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    Quote Originally Posted by hermhater View Post
    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!


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    I've been preaching it since Herm got here dude.
    http://arrowheadjunkies.com/pictures/PhotoShop/sig_pics/NFL_Players/kansas_city_chiefs/tyson.jackson/062009/tyson.jackson.500.png

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    Quote Originally Posted by hermhater View Post
    I've been preaching it since Herm got here dude.

    I know, and I never tire of reading it.


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    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.

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    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.
    http://arrowheadjunkies.com/pictures/PhotoShop/sig_pics/NFL_Players/kansas_city_chiefs/tyson.jackson/062009/tyson.jackson.500.png

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