Why Rams Shouldn't Fire Schottenheimer
By Joe Vastola
Whenever a team doesn’t perform at a high level, coaches are often blamed. It may not be entirely their fault, but someone is forced to be the scapegoat. Through the first five games of the 2013 season, St. Louis is 2-3 and hasn’t come close to reaching its full potential on offense. One might argue that Brian Schottenheimer needs to be fired, but I believe he isn’t entirely to blame.
Below are the reasons why Brian Schottenheimer doesn’t deserve to be fired.
1. The Rams Defense has handcuffed his play calling » The Rams have trailed in four of their five games by at least 10 points. The defense has played very poorly throughout the season and has put Sam Bradford and the offense behind the eight-ball. Playing from behind is never easy to do, but when you find yourself losing by two scores and playing catch-up, it becomes hard to run the ball and have balance on offense.
2. The Rams have gotten very little production the ground » Brian Schottenheimer may not be the best play-caller in the league, but his players aren’t executing for him. Daryl Richardson has been a major disappointment and is yet to score a touchdown. In addition, this season he is averaging less than 3.0 yards a carry. This ineffectiveness led to Zac Stacy starting in Week 5 against the Jaguars. Watch out, Stacy has potential to be a difference-maker.
3. The Rams are scoring points » Through the first five weeks of the season, the Rams are ranked 19th in the NFL in points per game. While this is nothing to be proud of, the offense could be a lot worse. Last week, they scored 34 points against Jacksonville and they scored 27 and 24 points in their first two games.
4. Small sample size » I will admit the Rams' offense has been disappointing. However, I don’t think you can make a judgment with so much football remaining this season. The Rams have been competitive in three of their games in 2013 and have been blown out in two. The two games that they were beaten big were in Dallas and at home against the loaded 49ers. I think Schottenheimer and the Rams deserve a few more weeks before we can make any snap decisions.
5. They are in the playoff race » Despite an underachieving offense, Schottenheimer has helped guide the Rams to within one game of a playoff spot. They have had a better start to the season than the Vikings, Giants, Falcons and Redskins, all of whom qualified for the playoffs last season. If the Rams can get the offense clicking, they could be a very scary team.