After the Virginia Destroyers hired Marty Schottenheimer as their next head coach, the UFL now features four coaches with very strong ties to the NFL. The league hopes that by hiring former, big-time NFL coaches, that will bring more fans and interest to their games. The last we saw Schottenheimer he was on the sidelines of a 14-2 San Diego Chargers team and was fired for his failure to win in the postseason. Let us not forget that this is one of a few men to take three different NFL teams to the postseason, and while his record there may not be very good, in the UFL that might doesn’t matter as much. The league is built around the regular season, with only one postseason game, so ‘Marty Ball’ might make the Virginia Destroyers, the early favorites, to dethrone the two time champion Las Vegas Locos. Schotty will inherit the roster of the two-time UFL runner-up Florida Tuskers, and adding a guy like him to the mix could put this team over the top.
Marty Schottenheimer joined ESPN 980 in DC to talk about if he has been trying to get back into coaching for some time, what is one regret he has during his NFL coaching career, and how the Virginia Destroyers are going to be as a team.
If he has been trying to get back into coaching for some time:
“No, actually it came as much as a surprise to me as anybody. I got a phone call from Michael Huyghue, the commissioner, about 10 days or two weeks ago and he asked if I had any interest in returning to the field because he had an opportunity that he thought might make sense, so he did a great job of selling the opportunity to me and I am delighted to be here. I am exciting about what the league can become so we are looking forward to it.”
Whether he had any offers from other NFL teams when he left the Chargers:
“I did not but I was not soliciting them. If somebody were to ask me six or eight weeks ago, ‘Do you think you are going to come back?’ I would have indicated to them, not likely. The one thing I have always done, I was always going to keep my options open, so I would have said, ‘Not likely’ but it just seemed like to me, and as my wife she pushed it, ‘Hey it is another life. Life is an opportunity, so we are excited about getting back…”
If his inability to win in the playoffs eats away at him:
“Well I am disappointed that we never won a championship. I think anybody who is in the arena competing, and failing to do so would feel exactly as I do, but by the same token you can’t let it compromise what you are trying to do next, whatever that might be. You put it behind you and you move on.”
What is one regret he has during his NFL coaching career:
“The answer to your question would be, No. I never really involved myself in that way. It is what it is and you move forward. Every ounce of energy and focus that you have on the past it keeps you from being able to take full energy and put it on the next task, which lies ahead of you, the only one you can control. Our axiom has always been one play at a time because any energy that you are spending on the last one you are wasting time and energy because you are not focusing on the next play and that is the only one that is meaningful.”
His thoughts on the NFL lockout:
“My hope is that they can find a key to open the lock because, and the final analysis, whatever resolution they come to was probably minuscule compared to where they are right now. In other words, they are drawing their lines in the sand, if you will, but the minute you quit talking you lose any opportunity of succeed and getting it resolved. That is just one man’s opinion.”
How the Virginia Destroyers are going to be as a team:
“Well our primary objective is to get every player that we have performing at his highest level. The process that you have to go through there is you got to make sure they understand exactly what it is to do, you got to insist it gets done the way they understand it and then as you move forward you will put yourself into positions where you are able to be successful, whatever your system on offense and defense might be, the kicking game… I have always believed that if you go ahead and look at the talent you have and found out what they do best, you are going to be in the long-term served better by going ahead and doing what your people do best. So what we will do is exactly find out who we are from a personnel standpoint, we will ultimately extend a path that accentuates strengths of our players and tries to minimize the weaknesses that they have.”