Then the unthinkable happened. That anticipated phone call to announce your hiring never came.
Mike Tannenbaum's exhaustive search determined that Schottenheimer was not the right man for the Jets' head coaching position.
Worse yet, Schottenheimer now had to endure calls from the man who beat him for the spot, Rex Ryan. Ryan was lobbying the Jets offensive coordinator to stay in New York and come to work for him.
Though Schottenheimer and anyone else may have perceived it as a slap in the face, this situation was different. The reason being that Ryan experienced the same misfortune just one year earlier in Baltimore with John Harbaugh.
Taking the high road, Ryan put his disappointment aside and went back to work as the Ravens' defensive coordinator. One year later, he is a head coach.
Ryan and Schottenheimer's unique connection may have convinced Schottenheimer to move forward with the Jets, knowing that a head coaching opportunity is in his future.
Rex Ryan-Head Coach
Ryan won the closely contested battle for the Jets head coaching job and will attempt to turn New York into Baltimore North. His 3-4 defense even acquired some notable Raven contributors in the offseason with inside linebacker Bart Scott being the grand prize.
Groomed to coach his entire life, Rex Ryan is the son of Buddy Ryan, who is renowned as one of the greatest defensive coaches in the history of the NFL. Rex Ryan spent the last 10 years in Baltimore as he helped construct a defensive juggernaut.
Jet fans are anxious to see if the unit he assembles is as impenetrable minus Ray Lewis.
Brian Schottenheimer-Offensive Coordinator
It was a disappointing offseason for Schottenheimer as we documented earlier. His regular season could be much worse. With an inexperienced quarterback and minimal weapons to utilize, points will be at a premium for the green and white in 2009.
Not to be outdone by Ryan's lineage, Schottenheimer is the son of former NFL head coach Marty Schottenheimer. He was vital to Drew Brees' development as a quarterbacks coach in San Diego and the Jets can only dream he has the same affect on Mark Sanchez.
Schottenheimer, hired as Jets offensive coordinator in 2006, enters his fourth year on the job. The Jets' ball control offense and defense could limit the attention he receives for head coaching consideration after the season.
Mike Pettine-Defensive Coordinator
Ryan dubbed his defensive coordinator selection, Mike Pettine, as his right hand man. Pettine was an outside linebackers coach for four years prior to this, his first opportunity as a coordinator in the league.
Pettine has all the tools to build a machine on the defensive end. The expectations for the defense will be high, and he could be the immediate scapegoat if the Jets hit adversity.
Mike Westhoff-Special Teams Coach
There is not much better in the business of special teams than Mike Westhoff. His accomplished reputation made him an obvious choice to remain in charge of special teams. Westhoff, like most special teams coaches, is challenged to remain productive in the return game without the aid of the recently outlawed wedge.
If anyone is creative enough to get it done, the smart money is on Westhoff to do it. Amidst his nine-year tenure with the Jets, five different return men have returned at least one kick for a touchdown.