- The Washington Times - Friday, May 4, 2001

Believe it or not, 27-year-old Brian Schottenheimer had a bigger impediment than his youth when he pursued the Washington Redskins' quarterbacks coach job his mother.
Schottenheimer considered the perception of nepotism while evaluating the job offer from his father, Redskins coach Marty Schottenheimer. Urging particular caution was his mom, Pat.
"[Nepotism] was something that was debated and talked about a lot in my family," Brian said. "My mother was the biggest opponent of [me taking the job]. She didn't want me to be perceived as a guy who was given a job because [I'm] the head coach's son. And I've always wanted to be perceived as my own person, because growing up people always referred to [me] as 'Marty's son.'
"I always used to laugh at some point in my life I hope people go up to him in a grocery store and say, 'Hey, aren't you Brian Schottenheimer's father?' "
That day isn't quite here, not with the father in such a high-profile role and the son a first-time NFL position coach. But if Brian's demeanor is any indication, the old man just might be bragging one day.
Despite being six years younger than Jeff George, the Redskins' starting quarterback, Brian doesn't hesitate to bark instructions in practice. And when he talks about goals, he speaks earnestly of becoming a head coach.
"The thing that gives me confidence is my desire to work and my thirst for knowledge," Schottenheimer said. "I love football… . When you feel a passion for something you do, and you don't mind putting in the hours, that's when you know you have a chance to be successful."
With brother Kurt Schottenheimer as the Redskins' defensive coordinator, the charge of nepotism has been heard in some football circles. Marty Schottenheimer even acknowledged it after hiring Brian, saying the move would have happened more quickly if Kurt hadn't been his sibling.
Brian remains wary of perceptions. At Redskin Park, he calls his father "Coach" when speaking to him and "Marty" in conversation with others even though others often say, "Your dad." Of course, when he has dinner with his mother and father, it's simply "Dad."
"Actually, I slip up from time to time," Brian Schottenheimer said with a laugh. "We'll be at the house having dinner, and I'll be talking to my mom, and I'll say, 'Well, Marty and I …' "
The younger Schottenheimer was coming off two seasons in the college ranks when his father took over the Redskins. He spent last season coaching tight ends at Southern California and 1999 overseeing wide receivers at Syracuse; before that, he was an NFL quality control assistant for the Kansas City Chiefs (in 1998, under his father) and the St. Louis Rams (1997).
After Paul Hackett's USC staff was fired during the winter, Schottenheimer could have returned to the NFL as a quality control coach or remained in the college ranks. He got a call about the New York Jets' quarterbacks position the day he accepted the Redskins' post. He declined an interview.
"I would [have been] doing the same thing, not under Marty, and the naysayers who say, 'He's just [in Washington] because of who he is,' wouldn't be there," Schottenheimer said. "It came down to and not to take anything away from [Jets coach] Herman Edwards the opportunity to work for a successful person, a guy who's as goal-oriented and as driven as Marty, and the fact that I gave him my word."
Schottenheimer's coaching career began after a redshirt freshman year at Kansas. The quarterback gauged his playing potential and decided to walk on at Florida, where he spent four years learning from Steve Spurrier one of the best offensive minds in the college game.
"It was kind of what I called getting my undergraduate degree more in football than in college," Schottenheimer said.
In that manner, Schottenheimer's career path has been a series of conscious decisions. He has worked in five different systems in five years as a coach, hoping to see a variety of styles that will help him construct his own.
The football life has led Schottenheimer to live in 16 states, and it now has him working 10- to 14-hour days even though it's still the offseason. But growing up around his father's Cleveland Browns and Chiefs teams made football an inevitable career choice.
"When you're young and impressionable I guess you could still say [I'm] young and impressionable you're initially in awe," Schottenheimer said. "And it's such an exciting sport. You go throughout the course of the week, and then on Sunday or Monday, when you put your head down to rest, you know how you've done."
That last fact makes Schottenheimer believe the questions about age and worthiness will fade. People are going to prejudge him, just like his mother said, but they won't be able to argue with the team's bottom line.
"That's what it's all about: wins and losses," Schottenheimer said. "As long as we keep working together, as long as we have the same vision, the same drive and the same goals, we'll get this thing going in the right direction. So far, I think we've got a good head start."
Notes The Redskins are talking to the agent of former Chiefs fullback Donnell Bennett following the seven-year veteran's visit to Redskin Park yesterday. The workout came one day after that of fullback Tony Carter, lately of the New England Patriots. Said Bennett's agent, Drew Rosenhaus: "Hopefully we'll get something done. I'm very confident we will." …
Running back Adrian Murrell signed with the Carolina Panthers. Murrell, 30, was the Redskins' third-string running back last season, rushing for 50 yards.


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