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Ousted Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Jim Bates continues to ponder next move

TAMPA — Ousted defensive coordinator Jim Bates still was deciding Wednesday whether to remain with the Bucs in a consulting capacity.

Coach Raheem Morris relieved Bates of his duties Monday and will be responsible for calling the defense.

Bates, 63, has been extended an opportunity to remain with the team as an adviser, breaking down film and possibly assisting on game day from the coaches box. But Bates has no on-field responsibilities in practice or at games, and he is not expected to accompany the team to Atlanta for Sunday's game.

It's possible Bates may elect to leave the Bucs by next week.

"(The situation is) the same as it was (Tuesday), and we'll just leave it at that," Morris said.

OLSON EXTENSION CAME IN SEPTEMBER: Offensive coordinator Greg Olson's contract was extended by a year to run through the 2010 season. The deal was done in September, not long after he was promoted from quarterbacks coach.

After Jeff Jagodzinski's abrupt firing in late August, the Bucs moved to bring Olson's salary in line with his new duties. The team also extended his contract by a year; it had been set to expire after this season.

Most of the team's assistant coaches are under contract through next season. The revamped deal brought Olson in line with his colleagues on the staff.

"This was something that was settled months ago," Olson said. "I did sign an extension, yes."

Olson said he regretted a bit the timing of the news' disclosure, coming as the team announced that Bates was being relieved of his duties.

Though Olson's extension wasn't made solely for the benefit of QB Josh Freeman, he does stand to benefit. Quarterbacks who work under numerous coordinators early in their careers historically don't see great results.

"There's just so much to learn at that position that it helps, obviously, to have continuity," Olson said.

Morris said the continuity will help Freeman.

"Any time you're lucky enough to have a guy that's as sharp as (Olson) is, talking about quarterback development and quarterback play, and also have the kind of relationship he can have with (Josh) Freeman and all the guys," Morris said, "that's been a great move all year."

ROAD KILL: The Bucs hit the road for four of their next five games and have to hope the road doesn't hit back.

"The NFL is always tough," Morris said. "By the time you look up, you're 1-9, and you've got to figure out how to get better. That's just what I'm doing right now. You can't worry about how tough the stretch is, how tough the road is ahead of you."

INJURY UPDATE: LB Barrett Ruud (ribs) and TE Kellen Winslow were limited in practice. Both are expected to play Sunday.

Times staff writer Stephen F. Holder contributed to this report.

Ousted Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Jim Bates continues to ponder next move 11/25/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 9:40pm]
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