The Seattle Seahawks fired offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer just a day after head coach Pete Carroll indicated he expected to have his assistants back for next season. The Seahawks released a statement citing “philosophical differences” as to why Schottenheimer is no longer with the team.
“Brian Schottenheimer is a fantastic person and coach and we thank him for the last three years,” the statement said. “Citing philosophical differences, we have parted ways.”
Carroll noted in his ESPN 710 Seattle radio show that the Seahawks “scored more points than any team in the history of the franchise” as the reason he expected his offensive coordinator to return. Just a day later, the Seahawks are in the market for a new offensive coordinator prompting questions as to whether there was a falling out between the two parties as to the future direction of the offense.
“Pete Carroll asked on @710ESPNSeattle if he expects Brian Schottenheimer to return as #Seahawks offensive coordinator in 2021: “Yes. We scored more points than any team in the history of the franchise,” The News Tribune’s Gregg Bell tweeted on January 11.
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Carroll on Seahawks’ Offense in 2021: ‘We Have to Run the Ball Better’
Carroll was defensive when asked in his end-of-the-year press conference if there would be coaching changes. The Seahawks coach once again indicated he expected to have both coordinators return for 2021, but this will not be the case. The move comes a day after Carroll gave a stump speech on the need to “run it more” heading into next season.
“We have to run the ball better, not even better, we have to run it more,” Carroll said, per Seattle 950 KJR. “We have to dictate what’s going on with the people that we’re playing, and that’s one of the ways to do that.”
This May Be the End of the ‘Let Russ Cook’ Movement in Seattle
Some Seahawks fans may be excited about this news given the offensive struggles to close the season, but this is likely a move that will result in the franchise moving closer to the offenses we were accustomed to seeing early in Carroll’s tenure in Seattle. Carroll made it clear in his press conference that he would not be pushing the “Let Russ Cook” movement going forward.
“I feel like we lingered in that [early season offensive success,” Carroll noted, via Seattle 950 KJR. “The kind of the glow of the first half of the season. As we needed to adjust a little bit, we didn’t do it well enough, fast enough, to feel better about it.
The Seahawks can make changes to the offensive coordinator, but it is obvious that Carroll is heavily involved in the unit’s general philosophy. Carroll wants the Seahawks to move back to an emphasis on the rushing attack, something it appears Schottenheimer was not aligned with moving forward. The Seattle head coach made it clear that he wants to use the running game to open up opportunities for Russell Wilson in the passing attack.
“I want to see if we can run the ball more effectively to focus the play of the opponents and see if we can force them to do things like we’d like them to do more, like we have been able to do that in the past,” Carroll explained. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to run the ball 50 times a game. It means we need to run the ball with direction and focus and style that allows us to dictate the game. I mean I just, frankly, I’d like to not play against two-deep looks all season long next year. And so we have to be able to get that done.