Marty Schottenheimer’s NFL teaching profession was as exceptional because it was flummoxing.
There have been 200 regular-season wins, the eighth most in NFL historical past. There have been a mystifying variety of playoff losses, some so epic that they had nicknames: “The Drive” and “The Fumble.”
All the time there was “Martyball,” the conservative, smash-mouth strategy that featured a robust working recreation and hard-nosed protection.
Schottenheimer died Monday evening in Charlotte, North Carolina, his household stated by former Kansas Metropolis Chiefs publicist Bob Moore. He was 77. Schottenheimer was recognized with Alzheimer’s in 2014 and moved to a hospice Jan. 30.
Schottenheimer coached Cleveland, Kansas Metropolis, Washington and San Diego and went 200-126-1 in 21 seasons.
“The most effective coach I ever had,” Corridor of Fame working again LaDainian Tomlinson stated in a press release. “I by no means went right into a recreation with Marty as coach feeling like I wasn’t totally ready to win. … I thought of him a real All-American man.”
Former coach Invoice Cowher remembered his former coach and mentor as an “wonderful coach, instructor and chief. Marty, you say, “There’s a gleam, males,” there’s and it was all the time “YOU.”
Schottenheimer was a grasp at getting his gamers’ rapt consideration. He would collect them within the pre-game huddle and holler, “One play at a time!” Amongst his different favorites: “That is us!” and “We have got our individuals!” Or, “Gents, it is the 6 inches between your breastbone and your again — your coronary heart!”
Then there was “Raider Week,” when he’d warn his gamers in no unsure phrases what nastiness awaited them in the event that they did not play properly in opposition to their archrival. Below his “Midnight Rule,” gamers and coaches might rejoice victories till midnight on Sundays, after which begin specializing in the subsequent week’s opponent.
Successful within the common season was by no means an issue. Schottenheimer’s groups received 10 or extra video games 11 instances, together with a glistening 14-2 document with the Chargers in 2006 that earned them the AFC’s No. 1 seed within the playoffs.
It’s what occurred in January that haunted Schottenheimer, who was simply 5-13 within the postseason.
″Effectively, we haven’t been actual profitable once we bought there. We have to repair that,” Schottenheimer stated in 2006 after San Diego clinched the AFC West.
His playoff demons adopted him to the top of his profession.
In his remaining recreation, on Jan. 14, 2007, Schottenheimer’s Chargers, that includes NFL MVP Tomlinson and a supporting solid of Professional Bowlers, imploded with mind-numbing errors and misplaced a house divisional playoff recreation to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, 24-21.
A month later, proprietor Dean Spanos surprised the NFL when he fired Schottenheimer due to a character conflict between the coach and strong-willed normal supervisor A.J. Smith. Schottenheimer and Smith hadn’t spoken for about two years.
A breaking level for Spanos — head of the family-owned group — got here when Schottenheimer wished to rent brother Kurt as defensive coordinator after Wade Phillips was employed away as Dallas’ head coach. Kurt Schottenheimer had been on his brother’s earlier staffs, and Marty Schottenheimer’s son, Brian, had been Chargers quarterbacks coach from 2002-05.
Schottenheimer then moved to North Carolina to spend time together with his household and golf.
Spanos on Tuesday recalled Schottenheimer as a ”great chief of males and a person of nice precept. … You couldn’t outwork him. You couldn’t outprepare him. And also you actually all the time knew precisely the place you stood with him.”
Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt referred to as Schottenheimer a “passionate chief who cared deeply for his gamers and coaches, and his affect on the sport can nonetheless be seen at present on a lot of teaching staffs across the league.”
Schottenheimer was 44-27 with Cleveland from 1984-88; 101-58-1 with Kansas Metropolis from 1989-98; 8-8 with Washington in 2001; and 47-33 with San Diego from 2002-06.
He turned across the Browns, Chiefs and Chargers.
The Browns on Tuesday recalled the coach’s “powerful, hard-nosed, by no means quit the battle perspective the group embodied that endeared him to Browns followers.”
When Schottenheimer was employed by the Chiefs in 1989, the Raiders had received 21 of the earlier 30 video games between the groups. Through the subsequent 10 seasons, Schottenheimer emphasised “Raider Week” and his Chiefs went 18-3 in opposition to the Silver and Black, together with a win within the 1991 wild-card spherical, the primary postseason recreation ever performed at Arrowhead Stadium.
Tomlinson remembered how a lot Schottenheimer liked the working recreation.
“Energy soccer. That is ‘Martyball,’ “ Tomlinson as soon as stated. ”You run it, then run it, after which run it once more, after which OK, OK, we will throw a cross. However after that cross, let’s run it, then run it, and run it once more. That is Martyball. Put on you down.”
Schottenheimer by no means made it to the Tremendous Bowl, both as a participant or coach. He was a backup linebacker for the Buffalo Payments after they misplaced the 1966 AFL title recreation to Kansas Metropolis, which then performed the Inexperienced Bay Packers within the first Tremendous Bowl.
As a coach, his playoff losses had been epic and mystifying.
His Browns twice got here tantalizingly near incomes Tremendous Bowl berths, solely to have them ripped away by “The Drive” and “The Fumble” in consecutive AFC title video games in opposition to nemesis John Elway and the Broncos.
Within the 1986 AFC championship recreation at Cleveland, Elway led the Broncos 98 yards in 15 performs to tie the sport on a 5-yard cross to Mark Jackson with 37 seconds left in regulation. Denver received in time beyond regulation on Wealthy Karlis’ 33-yard subject purpose.
A yr later, with the Browns trailing the Broncos 38-31 with 1:12 left at Denver, Earnest Byner fumbled on the Broncos’ 1-yard line. The Broncos received 38–33 after taking an intentional security.
Schottenheimer’s Chiefs reached the AFC title recreation in 1993 however misplaced at Buffalo. Two of his Chiefs groups went 13-3 and locked up home-field benefit all through the playoffs earlier than shockingly flaming out within the divisional spherical.
The Chargers thought that they had a Tremendous Bowl-caliber group in 2006, however Schottenheimer’s profession ended with a brutal playoff loss to the Patriots. Within the first quarter, Schottenheimer insisted on going for it on fourth-and-11 from the Patriots’ 30-yard line. Mike Vrabel strip-sacked Philip Rivers and New England recovered.
The largest pratfall, although, and one that also haunts Chargers followers, got here with San Diego main 21-13 with simply greater than six minutes to play. Marlon McCree intercepted Tom Brady and as an alternative of going to the bottom, tried to run and was hit and fumbled, with the Patriots recovering. New England rallied for the win.
Schottenheimer seemingly survived one other playoff failure, solely to be fired a month later.
After successful simply 12 video games in Schottenheimer’s first two seasons, the Chargers went 12-4 in 2004 behind Tomlinson and a rejuvenated Drew Brees to finish an eight-year playoff drought.
However they misplaced a house divisional recreation to the New York Jets in time beyond regulation. Schottenheimer, named The Related Press Coach of the 12 months earlier that day, was whistled for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for working onto the sphere to argue with the referees within the second quarter.
In time beyond regulation, the Chargers had a primary down on the Jets’ 22, however Schottenheimer went conservative and referred to as three straight runs up the center by Tomlinson to arrange a 40-yard subject purpose try by Nate Kaeding, who missed. The Jets then moved down the sphere for the successful subject purpose.
Schottenheimer was born on Sept. 23, 1943, in Canonsburg, a small city outdoors Pittsburgh. He performed at Pitt earlier than a six-year professional profession as a linebacker with the Payments and Patriots.
He’s survived by his spouse, Pat, and youngsters Brian and Kristin. Brian Schottenheimer was fired as Seattle’s offensive coordinator final month after which employed by new Jacksonville coach City Meyer as passing recreation coordinator-quarterbacks coach.
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