Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

18 Jan 2011

Seattle Fires Jeremy Bates

Mike Lombardi reports that the Seahawks have let offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates go after one season at the helm.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 18 Jan 2011

34 comments, Last at 22 Jan 2011, 4:11am by An Onimous


by Peepshowmopguy (not verified) :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 2:55pm

What? Why? Sure he had a few questionable calls, but this guy who could be a genius in the making ... bummer.

by sundown (not verified) :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 8:50pm

Makes you wonder if he wasn't conveying the attitude to everybody around him that he was already a genius.

by speedegg :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 3:15pm

whoa, what happened? Coach Carroll took Bates with him from USC to Seattle. I thought Bates did well at Denver, ok at USC, and ok at Seattle considering what he had to work with.

What's Seattle going to do now? Hire Lane Kiffin, Sarkissian, promote from within, or hire an outside WCO guru?

by An Onimous (not verified) :: Sat, 01/22/2011 - 4:11am

The Seahawks hiring Lane Kiffin would be the greatest story in a long, long time. It's almost 4 years to the day since Al Davis promoted him from college QB coach to NFL head coach, and if he got the Seahawks job that would make the 4th time in the last 4 years Kiffin wound up with a job that he had absolutely no qualifications for. So far, all we know based on his resume is that he's capable of coordinating an offense that scores a bunch of points against teams with the smallest fraction of the amount of NFL talent, that he's capable of coaching an untalented NFL squad to a terrible record and getting crappy production out of a crappy QB, that he's capable of leading a mediocre college team to a mediocre college record based largely on the strength of his father's defense, and that he's able to take over a gutted college powerhouse and coach them to a season befitting a gutted college powerhouse. I mean, has Lane Kiffin ever once coached a team or unit that outperformed their talent level? The guy's like some mutant cross between Norv Turner's soul-crushing mediocrity and Bobby Petrino's complete lack of class or loyalty.

by mcheshier :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 3:18pm

I don't get it. Sure, having a game plan dependent on TE's in a playoff game sucks when they both get hurt, but that's not completely in his control, and his gameplan against New Orleans was brilliant.

by ChiJeff (not verified) :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 3:19pm

That sure is weird. I wonder was this based on Sunday's game?

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 3:25pm

I don't get it either. Yeah, they bombed against the Bears, but I don't see the need for a scapegoat here. The team exceeded expectations and should have been able to head into the offseason on a positive note.

Now what? Bring in a new OC with the offseason likely to be cancelled, or at least shortened. That doesn't sound like a recipe for success to me.

by Highland (not verified) :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 3:26pm

Even weirder... he turned down the Bears because he was worried about Lovie being one and done and took the Seahawks because he'd get more years to establish himself.


by TomC :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 3:43pm

A perfect situation that will never happen is that Bates goes to Chicago as QB coach (Cutler confidante) and heir apparent to Martz, who I don't imagine will stick around forever.

by BroncosGuyAgain (not verified) :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 9:58pm

That actually makes a lot of sense. Cutler is very loyal to Bates. That would be a nice soft landing for Jeremy.

It will be interesting to see who Carroll hires as replacement; that will go a long way in telling if this move is to improve the organization or to shore up Carroll's power base.

Meanwhile, St. Louis hires Josh McDaniels as OC. We have a potential superstar QB; let's see what we can do to derail that. Sigh.

by Andrew Potter :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 10:25pm

St. Louis hires Josh McDaniels as OC. We have a potential superstar QB; let's see what we can do to derail that. Sigh.


by Mr Shush :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 10:05am

Right - McDaniels is terrible at team-building, but he's an outstanding offensive coach. If he can't get on with Bradford, he'll get canned (as he presumably knows fine well) but I doubt that will be an issue - Bradford seems to be mature and professional in a way that Cutler, with the best will in the world, just isn't. He'll be there for two or three years, help Bradford develop and make the Rams offense play better than its talent ought to permit (which by the time Bradford's in year three or four should be pretty damn well) and leave for another head coaching job. Everybody wins.

by BroncosGuyAgain (not verified) :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 9:59pm

When McDaniels was the titular QB coach and de facto offensive coordinator of the Patriots, he went three weeks without speaking to Tom Brady. During the season. The guy with whom a strong relationship was most important. This was reported by Mike Klis, the Denver Post beat writer and general Josh McDaniels apologist. It is appropriate to question Cutler's maturity. And Brady's. And Marshall's. And Schefter's. And Hillis'. And Nolan's. Eventually, when the same phenomenon follows the same guy from place to place, from person to person, you add two and two.

McDaniels is, at this point, a known cancer. The Rams seems to be doing everything else exactly right. Risking your franchise quarterback's development with this guy is a needless risk.

Yes, Tom Brady survived. And Tom Brady was Tom Brady before he even met Josh McDaniels. Yes, Kyle Orton thrived. Kyle Orton is a very strong-willed guy. Yes, Sam Bradford seems mature is likely to survive McDaniels' inevitable shenanigans. But why take the chance? The Rams are a franchise on the upswing; why bring an obvious sociopath into the mix?

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 01/20/2011 - 8:40am

I hadn't heard the Brady story. That is . . . wow. Do you have a link? Or at any rate can you remember roughly when it was published?

by Abulurd (not verified) :: Fri, 01/21/2011 - 3:47pm


About 1/3rd of the way down the page.

by Mr Shush :: Fri, 01/21/2011 - 7:17pm

Well, that certainly does sound a touch on the crazy side - and we pretty much know McDaniels is a horrible man-manager anyway - but it obviously didn't hurt their working relationship in the long run. My view may be coloured by the fact that I'm pretty sure Bradford's going to be a great QB pretty much no matter what, so even a brief failed experiment with McDaniels won't really hurt him, but I still think it's a good hire.

by ChiJeff (not verified) :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 4:33pm

Ouch, babe!!!

by Eli (not verified) :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 3:34pm

Perhaps he refused to vote on the song of the day?

by tunesmith :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 3:35pm

I've definitely heard criticism about Bates' playcalling, a little too clever in ways, but it's also playcalling that people like when it works. I didn't think he was close to coaching for his job.

by DavidL :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 3:53pm

Even if he WAS coaching for his job, he orchestrated a playoff win over the defending Super Bowl champs with a 7-9 team led by Matt Hasselbeck and Marshawn Lynch. Does a loss to the #2 seed, which had far superior talent on defense to what Bates had on offense, really outweigh that?

by ChiJeff (not verified) :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 4:32pm

This would kind of make sense if the Hawks are going to dump Hasselbeck and go with either Whitehurst or another QB. Then I guess that would signal a complete overhual on offense.

by big_jgke :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 4:56pm

McDaniels baby. enjoy the ride!!!!

by tunesmith :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 5:07pm

Hey, McDaniels has drafted really well for the Seahawks.

by sundown (not verified) :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 8:42pm


by DenverCheeze (not verified) :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 5:17pm

Any possibility this is related to his product of the entire season rather than his playoff output? Wow, I thought people here were smarter.

by coboney :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 7:14pm

The thing is compared to talent level his year was fine. Like he's not making a great offense out of nothing but given the talent deficiencies (Weak WRs, Poor Oline, Brittle QB) it wasn't awful either.

Actually what this makes me wonder is if Bates has people issues. He's managed to now rub the wrong way and get fired by Josh McDaniels (... wait... that doesn't count given its Josh.), Raheem Morris (on the eve of the season) and Pete Carrol (after working for him for 2 years.)

by sundown (not verified) :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 8:47pm

Bingo. No way would he have been shown the door after the New Orleans win if he was in good standing. They had a good enough year overall to keep his job safe if he's getting along with the people above him.

by Southern Philly :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 3:47am

Bates wasn't canned by Morris. You're thinking of Jeff Jagodzinski, who had the hard to achieve accomplishment of being fired twice in the same calendar year.

by V. Barbarino (not verified) :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 8:02pm

This does surprise me, as he was supposed to be pretty well thought of. I don't know if anybody can look at this season as evidence that he wasn't up to snuff; christ, look at what he had to work with. A plummeting Hasselbeck, another qb in Whitehurst who makes his dad look like Dan Marino, a #1 receiver who weighs about 275 pounds...this is odd.
McD, however, was just hired by the STL Rams to be the new OC...that could be interesting if they give he and Bradford some pieces to work with.
I look forward to the hilarious jokes to come on how McDaniels will convince the Rams to trade Bradford. That stuff never gets old.

by alexbond :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 9:00pm

Seahawks hire Tom Cable as assistant head coach/offensive line coach


by Kal :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 9:58pm

I guess that's the reason they got rid of him, though I wonder if they're still looking for an OCoord. On the face of it this is a great hire; Cable is really good for Olines and running games, and that was a huge weakness for the Hawks this season. He's also considered by many to be a good coach, though I have no idea how he'll fit with the laid back whatever view that Carroll has.

by rd (not verified) :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 10:24pm

Cable and Carroll seem like an odd couple to me. Hopefully Pete doesn't make Tom too mad or there may be physical repercussions.

by Seahawk fan (not verified) :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 2:33am

Obviously it's because he looks too much like Whitehurst (Touchdown Jesus) and it was confusing when they were both standing on the sidelines with their clipboard in hand.

by speedegg :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 2:54pm

A report on PFT said Jeremy Bates clashed with Alex Gibbs resulting in Gibbs leaving, Bates wouldn't adjust his system to the players on the roster, and didn't develop Golden Tate.
Makes more sense now, but timing is still bad.