Bears QB coach Jeremy Bates will bring explosive element to offense
BY JOE COWLEY email@example.com July 31, 2012 9:58PM
Before serving as the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator, Jeremy Bates worked with Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall in Denver. | Getty images
Updated: September 2, 2012 6:22AM
BOURBONNAIS — Of course there’s going to be fire.
How can there not be?
There’s Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and his TMZ lifestyle. There’s wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who still is trying to keep his diva persona on the field while overcoming his problems off of it. Then there’s the final part of the triad, quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates, a coach’s son who stepped into his first NFL job under Jon Gruden.
“Coach Gruden could put a play up on the board, and by the time he was done explaining it, the whole room would be convinced it’s the best play ever,’’ Bates said Tuesday.
Fire? Try the five-alarm type.
Cutler, Marshall and Bates — it would be a great reality show. But all the Bears care about is that it still works. That’s their reality.
“He’s amazing,’’ Marshall said of Bates.
Asked to expound, Marshall said, “I’ll say this: He’s like a 1940s countryman. It is [a compliment]. You’ll call him one day, he may be in the mountains with his dogs. The next day he might be water rafting. You never know with Jeremy.’’
Now he’s with the Bears, reunited with Cutler and Marshall. They spent three seasons together with the Denver Broncos. Bates was an offensive assistant in 2006, when the Broncos drafted Cutler (first round) and Marshall (fourth).
The next season, he was named the wide receivers/quarterbacks coach, and in 2008, just the quarterbacks coach. The three worked closely together, and they formed an explosive offense. They also had some explosive confrontations.
“Fiery,’’ is how Marshall described Bates.
Bates just smirked at Marshall’s assessment, and he still wasn’t sure what Marshall meant by “1940s countryman.”
“I have no idea,’’ Bates said. “I’m from Tennessee. Maybe that’s it.’’
As for the “fiery’’ comment, that’s a trait all three share. Bates wouldn’t want it any other way.
“This is what we do for a living,’’ the 35-year-old said. “It’s a great opportunity to come out, get on the grass and coach football, they get to play football and it’s a physical sport, it’s an intense sport. I don’t think you can go into it and be lackadaisical. It’s every play, and every play can change the game. It’s emotional for all three of us, but it’s fun to win on Sunday.’’
The passion might be the same, but all three have matured since their first go-around.
“Everyone changes with age, same with wine,’’ Bates said. “We kind of all have been through experiences, and you either get better or worse. I think Brandon and Jay have grown from both positive and negative experiences. The game comes easier now. You are able to see all the pressures, the game slows down. That comes from experience.’’
Bates gives first-year offensive coordinator Mike Tice a middleman, a buffer, when it comes to getting the message through to Marshall and Cutler. It’s not only about being on the same page, but being in the same book.
“If we’re calling plays the running back doesn’t like, he’s not going to run it up in there,’’ Tice said. “If we’re calling routes the receiver doesn’t like to run, he’s not going to run it with any type of authority. So I think it’s important across the board to have a great line of communication between the players and the coaches.’’
That’s Bates’ specialty.
“Jeremy, he’s a guy that knows how to communicate with coaches and players, so we’re happy to have him,’’ Marshall said.
Not bad for a “1940s countryman.” Whatever that means.