Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is "50-50" to return to the New York Jets next season, head coach Rex Ryan said on Friday. That is not, however, because Ryan is dissatisfied with Schottenheimer, under fire for the Jets offensive struggles and the inconsistent play of quarterback Mark Sanchez.
Rather, Ryan is propping up Schottenheimer as a candidate to become a head coach in 2012.
"If he gets a head coaching job, then see you later. I'll be happy to see that. Do I expect him back? It's probably 50-50 on that because I think there is an opportunity for Brian to get a head coaching job this year," Ryan said. "I thought it the first two years, but it wasn't to be. He's certainly a qualified applicant to be a head coach, that's for sure."
Schottenheimer has been Jets offensive coordinator since 2006. He has been a candidate for a few head coaching jobs along the way.
If the 38-year-old Schottenheimer does not get a head-coaching job? "Then, I expect him back," said Ryan.
That will be news some Jets' fans won't want to hear.