Marty Schottenheimer has 22 years of head coaching at the professional level: 315 total games, 189 wins, 125 losses and one tie. Throughout his career, the former pro linebacker has faced criticism for his brand of conservative offensive tactics, not-so-endearingly called Martyball.

Marty Schottenheimer comes into Sunday’s game at San Francisco with 189 career regular-season wins, most among active coaches and seventh-most in NFL history. He needs a win on Sunday to move into a tie with Dan Reeves (190) for sixth all-time. The Chargers have won 25 of their last 37 regular-season games under Schottenheimer.

The guy knows how to manage a game.

Early on in his career, Schottenheimer did rely on the run more often than his current stint with the Chargers. After taking over halfway through the 1984 replacing fired head coach Sam Rutigliano, Schottenheimer led the Cleveland Browns to an 8-8 record in 1985 with a young Bernie Kosar and the powerful running back duo of Earnest Byner and Kevin Mack. The two rushers played a large part in the team’s success, each running for more than 1,000 yards.

In his long tenure in Kansas City, Marty had a lot of success with running first to set up the pass. Handing the ball off to Marcus Allen always helps. Schottenheimer was raised a defensive guy, so he’s going to favor the run offense over the pass. In many ways, the coach’s first 14 years in the league were correctly encapsulated by the Martyball mentality.

Back in the day, three yards and a cloud of dust was the way football was played.

I’m going to be taking a look at Marty’s Chargers tenure, one in which he unfairly gets saddled with the Martyball legacy even though he’s learned offensive balance is the key to winning in the modern era.


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