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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Why the Bucs chose Jim Bates



Jim Bates, 62, brings a ton of experience as the Bucs' new defensive coordinator.

Considering head coach Raheem Morris is the NFL's youngest at age 32, it was important for the Bucs to find someone that could off-set his relative inexperience.

Remember, Morris has never been a head coach at any level and his only experience as defensive coordinator was in 2006 at Kansas State.

Morris has some fimiliarity with Bates. He is the father of former Broncos quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates, who entered the league with Morris and the Bucs as a quality control coach in 2002.

Jeremy Bates, 32, recently took over the offensive coordinator at Southern Cal after calling plays for Mike Shanahan and the Broncos last season.

Bates primarily runs a 4-3 scheme, using fast undersized linebackers. He plays a good deal more bump-and-run on receivers, so that will be an obvious difference next season.

Bates was the assistant head coach/defense for Denver in 2007, when the Broncos finished 19th overall. But his record of success more closely resembles Monte Kiffin's. His defense has finished in the top 10 in six of his eight seasons.    

Bates went 3-4 as an interim head coach of the Miami Dolphins following the resignation of Dave Waanstedt.

Under Bates' direction, the Dolphins defense finished no lower than 10th in the NFL in yards allowed from 2000-04.  During that stretch, they were fifth in yards allowed. The Dolphins didn't allow a 100-yard rusher the last four games of 2002 and all of '03.

Bates interviewed for the Dolphins head coaching job but lost out to Nick Saban.

Bates was the Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator in 2005, but opted to leave when the team passed him over to hire Mike McCarthy. He took the Packers from 25th in 2004 to seventh in 2005.

Perhaps the most important thing is that Bates is a passionate coach and a great communicator. That seems to be the buzzword used at One Buc Place after the firing of coach Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen.

"Bates is a great motivator,'' linebacker Zach Thomas has said. "He coaches from the heart.''

Bates reportedly got so caught up in a pep talk as a Texas Tech assistant that he broke his hand on a slate board.

Hard to argue with the logic here. An experienced teacher, who believes in the 4-3 defense, a guy who is passionate and can relate and motivate players. Jim Bates would seem to be a good fit. 

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:23pm]


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