RENTON, Wash. — The Seattle Seahawks fired offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer on Tuesday after a season in which the team set several offensive records but coach Pete Carroll had clear issues with how the offense operated.
Seattle announced the move, citing “philosophical differences.” Also, the Seahawks announced a five-year contract extension for general manager John Schneider that will keep him in Seattle through the 2027 NFL draft.
The Sea-hawks had the highest-scoring team in franchise history, Russell Wilson threw a career-high 40 touchdowns in the regular season, and receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett set team records for receiving.
Still, the Seahawks regressed offensively in the second half of the season, and Wilson and Carroll made comments after Seattle’s 30-20 playoff loss Saturday to the Los Angeles Rams that indicated concerns with the lack of adjustments by the offense late in the season.
Carroll brushed aside questions about any changes to his coaching staff during his end-of-season news conference Monday.
“I would never anticipate changes in my staff and share that with you. I wouldn’t tell you whether we’re doing it or not,” Carroll said. “We got work to do. We have a ton of evaluations to do. We have to figure things out. We have to make decisions on how we’re moving forward and all of that.”
Schottenheimer, 47, completed his third season with the Seahawks after previously serving as the offensive coordinator of the New York Jets and St. Louis Rams. Seattle’s offense was humming at a record pace through the first half of the season, but problems emerged starting with the Seahawks’ Week 10 loss to the Rams.
In the final eight games, Seattle averaged 23.1 points per game after averaging 34.3 through the first eight games. Wilson averaged under 200 yards passing and defenses figured out schemes to take away the Seahawks’ downfield passing game.
Carroll and Wilson noted after the season a concern with the lack of counters to how defenses were playing the Seahawks. Carroll said Monday that one of his top priorities going into next season was to re-establish being a run-dominant team.
“It’s really a football thing. It’s a scheme thing and I want to see if we can run the ball more effectively to focus the play of the opponents and see if we can force them to do things like we’d like them to do more, like we have been able to do that in the past,” Carroll said. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to run the ball 50 times a game, it means we need to run the ball with direction and focus and style that allows us to dictate the game.”
Clearly, what Carroll wanted didn’t fit with Schottenheimer’s view of how to move forward.
Schneider has been with Seattle since January 2010, and with Carroll they have built the Seahawks into one of the NFL’s most consistent franchises, including a 12-win season this year and the NFC West Division title, the fifth since their arrival.
An NFL Network report Jan. 3 said the Detroit Lions were interested in pursuing Schneider, and that other teams might try to lure him away by offering total control with personnel decisions, which he does not have with Seattle.
Carroll, whose title is executive vice president of football operations/head coach, has final say. Schneider’s official title is executive vice president/general manager.
The terms of Schneider’s new contract were not immediately known. Salaries for NFL coaches and GMs are not usually announced, and Seattle has not done so in the past.
Schneider turns 50 on May 25, and reports of possible interest from other teams fed the idea that Schneider might want to run a team on his own, including hiring a coach.
Instead, his new deal means he will stay with the Seahawks through the end of Carroll’s current deal and one season and two drafts beyond.