It was announced Monday that the New York Jets will be hiring Jeremy Bates as their new offensive coordinator, replacing John Morton. Bates was the Jets in-house option to be Morton’s replacement, being the Jets quarterbacks coach prior to this promotion.
I have said before that I had what can be described as mixed feelings at best towards the decision by the front office to get rid of Morton. I do, however, think that Bates was probably the best replacement that the Jets could have realistically gotten (my favorite candidate, Eagles QB coach John DeFilippo, has probably earned himself a head coaching job elsewhere considering what he’s done not only with Carson Wentz, but with Nick Foles this past Sunday).
Bates is reportedly highly thought of by many in the Jets organization. Before you roll your eyes at that, you should know that many other teams in the league regard him in the same light. Bates is credited with getting the best year out of Jay Cutler on the Denver Broncos in 2008. Being a hot commodity, he was recruited by Pete Carroll to join him as an assistant coach for USC the next year. Carroll had enough confidence in Bates as to name him his offensive coordinator for Seattle the year after.
That’s not to say that Bates’ career doesn’t have its rough patches. The Seahawks were pretty miserable on offense in 2010 (although they did make the playoffs at 7-9) and Bates was fired after only one year. He was also brought in to Chicago in 2012 to help Jay Cutler’s career. While the Bears did go 10-6, Cutler didn’t have all that great of a season and Bates was fired again.
Personally, I’m not entirely sure why, based on his overall achievements so far, Bates is highly regarded around the league. I suppose it’s a good thing, but it’s not the reason why I don’t dislike this hire (in case you can’t tell, I’m a bit lukewarm on this entire OC business).
One positive aspect of this hire is that it provides some sort of continuity within the Jets organization (probably not as much as if Morton had been retained, but whatever). Bates was certainly involved in how the offense worked last year so I don’t think the game plan will be completely alien to players.
On the other hand, something that smart fans probably don’t want to hear is that Bates might want the Jets to target Josh Allen in the draft, as he has a similar skill set to Jay Cutler. I don’t care what Mel Kiper says, Josh Allen is TERRIBLE. Look at the stats, look at the film, look at the mediocre teams he played against. Allen might be the most overrated prospect I’ve ever seen enter the NFL draft and the Jets will rue the day if they draft him (God forbid they trade up for him). But that’s a story for another article.
And all this Josh Allen talk is pure conjecture… I really hope that it is, at least.
In the end, this is a safe and sensible hire, if not one I can get excited about. We’ll see how this plays out in the end, but the Jets really have nowhere to go but up on an offense that’s due for an infusion of draft and free agency talent in the coming months.
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