Jeremy Bates, we hardly knew ya
By Brock Huard
At 10:45 this morning news broke that Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks had fired first-year offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates. In the first few moments, I was taken aback, and a little surprised. After 30 minutes, I was convinced the Bates move was made to clear the way for Josh McDaniels. Hours later, McDaniels is the Rams coordinator, former Oakland Raiders head coach Tom Cable is the Hawks offensive line coach, and questions abound as to what’s next.
As for Jeremy Bates, this much is clear: Pete Carroll lost trust and faith in him.
I believe very strongly that priority one for a football team, staff and front office is “get the right people on the bus, and then figure out where to put them.” It is a core business philosophy from the book Good to Great, and it’s why John Schneider hired former 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan first, and put a title and position on him second. McCloughan has a keen eye for talent and with vast experience needed to be on the Seahawk bus. The when and where could follow. On the other end of the spectrum sits Jeremy Bates, and why ultimately he was let go.
This wasn’t about a half dozen poorly called third and fourth down plays. This wasn’t about the league’s 31st ranked rushed offense working behind 10 different offensive line configurations. This wasn’t about a 35 percent third down conversion rate with a revolving door of personnel at RB, WR, TE and even QB. These were the sum of all the parts, but the whole was the confidence the head coach had in his coordinator.
This was about Carroll evaluating the full picture and realizing Bates wasn’t the man to lead his offense. He saw glimpses at USC for a year, but Bates was constrained by an 18-year-old quarterback and young kids learning an intricate system. The NFL was to be better suited for Bates’ background and philosophy, tutored by Jon Gruden and Mike Shanahan. Bates is a grinder, prone to spend hours in his office and in the film room. By all accounts, the football acumen is there and work ethic second to none.
Yet, to make this move, to sacrifice continuity, to start over offensively, it had to be very clear to Carroll that Bates was not part of the long-term solution. Was it his personality, communication skills, body language, differences in personnel wants and wishes? It may be all the above or very little of the above, and only Carroll has that answer. More than likely he won’t shed any further light at 10:30 Wednesday morning in his final press conference of the season; however, when he hires his next offensive coordinator we will know a whole lot more and I can’t wait for the other shoe to drop.