NFL: Could Dana Holgorsen replace Brian Schottenheimer as St Louis Rams’ OC?
St Louis Rams’ offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has been named the new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Georgia Bulldogs, according to an announcement by head coach Mark Richt on the university’s athletics website Wednesday.
Schottenheimer, who’s been a long-time assistant for a number of college and NFL teams over his near two decade coaching career, has spent the last three seasons in his previous position with St Louis, where his side of the ball finished no higher than 18th in total offense in that time.
To the disappointment of those who witnessed their record-breaking careers with West Virginia University, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey have been nothing more than role players in St Louis since being drafted two years ago, catching a combined 118 passes for just over 1300 yards and five touchdowns for the once Mountaineers.
With Schottenheimer heading for Athens, what could St Louis look like in 2015 if the team were to reunite Austin and Bailey with Dana Holgorsen that made them one of, if not the best, receiver duo to put on the Old Gold and Blue?
The Turf Show Times, SB Nation’s official blog for the Rams, quickly noted their desire for Holgorsen making the jump from Morgantown to the Show Me State on Twitter after the Schottenheimer departure:
It has 0% chance of happening, but my dream OC hire? West Virginia HC Dana Holgorsen.
— TurfShowTimes (@TurfShowTimes) January 7, 2015
The likelihood of this scenario, as mentioned in the above tweet from Turf Show Times, should be treated as slim to none and nothing more than at this time. It would be such a stretch to see Holgorsen leave his post as head coach in Morgantown to fill the position vacated by Schottenheimer, especially with three years remaining on his contract extension signed after West Virginia routed Clemson in the 2011 Orange Bowl.
With it being the off-season for West Virginia and the NFL’s coaching carousel spinning at full RPM after the first week of the playoffs, it doesn’t hurt to have a little fun with the whole situation since there are some in the Mountaineer fan base that would love to see Holgorsen move on to his next coaching stop.
Entering the final year of his contract after being signed as the No. 1 pick of the 2010 NFL Draft, injury-prone Sam Bradford, unless his health again becomes an issue next season, could be aided by Holgorsen’s skill with developing quarterbacks at Houston and Oklahoma State before arriving at West Virginia. The former Oklahoma star would flourish in Holgorsen’s pass-heavy offense as long as St Louis’ offensive improved this off-season, which allowed 47 quarterback sacks (8th most in the NFL) in 2014.
Second-year quarterback Austin Davis showed potential in nine games for St Louis with 2001 yards and 12 touchdowns with nine interceptions this season, if the franchise wanted to go in a different direction from Bradford.
As for Austin and Bailey, who both are under contract through the 2016 season, they would certainly see more playing time under Holgorsen, especially if St Louis doesn’t bring back veteran receiver Kenny Britt in the off-season. The duo along with Brian Quick and Chris Givens could stretch the field like West Virginia has done with their passing game since Holgorsen arrived four years ago.
Despite a decision of leaving West Virginia not occurring any time soon, the lure of an NFL coaching job will, at some point, grab Holgorsen’s attention to take a step up to professional football whether it be before the end of his current contract or at some time in the future.