For his first two seasons as offensive coordinator in Seattle, Brian Schottenheimer coaches from the sidelines during games. But ahead of the 2020 season, Schottenheimer and head coach Pete Carroll discussed the possibility of Schottenheimer moving upstairs to call games from the booth instead.
After testing it out during two mock game scrimmages at CenturyLink Field in August, Schottenheimer has called the first two games from the booth. With Seattle averaging over 400 yards of offenses and 36.5 points per game through two weeks, the move is here to stay.
“I think that Coach Schotty is doing an unbelievable job of calling plays,” quarterback Russell Wilson said after the win over the Patriots. “We’re mixing the ball up in terms of who is catching it, who is touching it, in terms of the running game and everything else.
Carroll said aspects such as being able to more quickly see where the ball is being spotted after a play, the substitution packages coming in and out of the game and the higher vantage point to view the game are some of the benefits to having Schottenheimer upstairs.
“He feels he is in great command of what’s going on,” Carroll said on Monday.
“He’s really comfortable with it and obviously it’s working out well. He and Russ are really hitting on all cylinders and so it’s a great start to that transition.”
Wilson has completed 52 of 63 passes for 610 yards with nine touchdowns and an interception through the first two starts of the season. Seattle followed up a 38-point day against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1 with 35 points against a well-regarded Patriots Defense in Week 2.
Schottenheimer said last week that he felt more comfortable being upstairs now than he would have been a few years ago. Until the 2016 season, coaches in the booth couldn’t communicate directly with the quarterback on the field. With that impediment removed, it’s made going upstairs a more appealing possibility.
“It’s something I thought about for the last couple years because you certainly see things so much better from up there,” Schottenheimer said. “You’re able to see the defensive adjustments and see the play unfold and kind of almost anticipate more what they’re doing. So something that we talked about and just with where we are with Russ and my confidence level with him and his understanding with the system it kind of became a no-brainer.”