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UT article... Trotter


Well-Known Member

It's time for Schottenheimer to take the handcuffs off his QB
By Jim Trotter

October 6, 2006

Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer was asked the other day if All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates would be more involved in Sunday's game against Pittsburgh. After saying he believed that would be the case, Schottenheimer veered suddenly – and unexpectedly – back into the storm of criticism that drenched him after last weekend's 16-13 loss at Baltimore.

“I have to say this to you: I find it interesting the dialogue about the conservative nature of what we do,” he said, referring to the offense and its over-reliance on the run in two of the first three games. “My personal feeling, I think (the complaints are) more about the style. Apparently some aren't pleased with the style.

“I've coached for a long time, won a few games. And style points? I've never gotten a single style point. It's all about winning football games. That's the substance of what we do: wins, losses. That's the way I've always approached it. Winning is the key. As long as we win, the style is of no relevance.”

Of course, Schottenheimer overlooked one very important point: The Chargers didn't win at Baltimore. They should have prevailed, but it's tough to beat a quality opponent when your quarterback plays with his throwing hand tied behind his back, figuratively speaking.

I have tremendous respect for Schottenheimer. He has forgotten more football than I will ever know. But I feel comfortable saying he won't win a championship playing not-to-lose football like he did Sunday, when the Chargers ran the ball five of the nine times they had third-and-4 or longer and attempted only three passes on 17 first-down snaps in the final three quarters – and each of those was in the final 30 seconds of either half.

Edit: Click the link for the full article.