Seahawks Insider

A few minutes with Hawks OC Jeremy Bates

Post by Eric Williams on Feb. 9, 2010 at 3:03 pm with 22 Comments »
February 9, 2010 3:03 pm

New Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates talked to reporters for about a half-hour today about the changes in store for his new team offensively.

And while Bates offered few specifics in terms of scheme or personnel, he did say that the Seahawks new offense will more closely resemble the Denver Broncos, where he spent three years coaching under West Coast disciple Mike Shanahan.

This change should help Matt Hasselbeck in terms of terminology because Bates will use the same language to call formations as Mike Holmgren did during his time in Seattle.

Bates also reiterated what Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll emphasized over the past month – that with the addition of zone blocking guru Alex Gibbs the Seahawks will be a zone running team.

Bates said the key to being an effective zone running team is fully committing to the offense.

“From Day 1 were going to be practicing outside/inside zone,” Bates said. “And when you believe in something like that and you’re committed to it, you’re going to make it work eventually. Players have to understand this is what we are, and this is who we’re going to be.”

And he believes Julius Jones and Justin Forsett can both be effective in that running scheme.

“I’m excited,” Bates said about the running back situation. “I think both of them can play right away, and they have been for years. But I think they both fit into the zone system.”

As far as left tackle Walter Jones impending retirement, Bates did not directly speak to that. However, he emphasized the importance of having a guy who can play at left tackle.

“We need someone we feel great about in protecting Matt’s blindside,” Bates said. “I think left tackle is an important position, just like a lot of other ones.”

Bates also said there will be some players switching positions on offense, but provided no details.

The son of longtime NFL defensive coach Jim Bates, Jeremy Bates said he first started going to two-a-days at five years old when he dad was at Texas Tech. Bates’ father had one rule: the younger Bates wasn’t allowed to talk, just hand his dad the ball. Bates said growing up he’d always go spend time with his father during training camp.

Bates said the first time he realized he was going to be a coach was when he was a sophomore in high school, when he tore his ACL playing quarterback. He asked the doctor if he was going to grow anymore, and the doctor said no.

“I said ‘Ok, there’s not many 5-8 quarterbacks,’” Bates said.

He went on to play football as a triple option quarterback for Rice, where he also played second base for legendary Rice baseball coach Wayne Graham.

Bates suffered a second ACL tear on his other knee during his junior season in football, and after college eventually got his first opportunity to coach in the league under Jon Gruden at Tampa Bay.

“He gave me my start,” Bates said about Gruden. “I can’t say enough. I was 23, 24, 25 or whatever I was. … I forget. I don’t even know how old I am now (laughs).

“He let me get into the door, and once I got my foot in the door, he just taught me how to grind. I was up to really early in the morning and working late at night learning every play known to man of football. It was special. The one thing I take from Jon is passion. You’ve got to have the passion. It’s just too hard of a job if you’re not in love with it. And he loved it. It was a fun three years.”

Bates has taken Gruden’s trademark work ethic to heart, requesting an office with no windows so he can better focus on his craft – coaching football.

Coaching, Interviews
Leave a comment Comments → 22
  1. This makes me very optimistic. I love how he talks about needing a LT to protect MATT’s blindside and he’s going to the Shanahan style WCO which has a lot of Holmgren similarities. And the return of much of the terminology that many are familiar with simply makes so much sense. Everything suits Matt to a tee. Granted, the talent level needs a major boost, but this interview makes me feel better. And our young guy, whoever that is, can learn from Matt. Of course, it could all be a smokescreen… because I don’t believe Julius Jones will be here next year, even though he said he’s very excited about working with him. Still, I like the Broco WCO connections!

    Thanks, Eric.

  2. seahawklovertoo says:

    I still feel the same about ZBS : it makes me very uncomfortable —- outright scared. What about if it doesn’t work as promised? What are we going to end up with? A bunch of small offensive lineman that we couldn’t even trade away….
    I love everything else about PC and the coaches he has brought with him. Maybe I fear what I don’t know much about…..but, one thing I know : since Elway retired ,the Donkies haven’t been worth a squat. If ZBS was the saviour system, how come it hasn’t worked for anyone else beside Elway?
    I guess it is what it is…..I am on this bus so, might as well enjoy the ride.

  3. seahawklovertoo says:

    Another point about what I just posted : if the Lambs draft Suh, how are this little (but fast) lineman going to stop him? Fast enough to run away? We all saw what happened with the Longhorns offensive line when Suh was throwing them around like rag-dolls.
    I’d feel 1000 X better if we traded up and had Suh on our side instead playing against us. I kinda like those two gimmie games every year.

  4. What do you mean the ZBS hasn’t worked? The Broncos ZBS made Tatum and Mike Bell 1000 yard rushers. When you say small offensive lineman we couldn’t even trade away realize that 4/5 starters for the Broncos weigh 300 lbs or more.

  5. Unless Mike Shanahan is involved, I don’t know of an offense that runs the ZBS who has been overly good at running the football. Gibbs spent time in Atlanta and Houston after Denver, and the Falcon and Texan rushing offense wasn’t anything to fear, just as ours isn’t going to be overly good until talent is added to the offensive front. The ZBS scares the hell out of me. I’m not saying it won’t work, I’m just scared of it. The teams that have used it in recent history haven’t run the ball very well. Gibbs improved Houston two years ago, but they took a step backwards in ’09. He improved the situation in Atlanta, but the running game wasn’t anything to fear.

  6. rgbuckl says:


    The Rams may very well take a guy like Clausen–and I hope they do. I like the chain reaction that projection makes when analyzing the draft.

    I like what Bates seems to bring, but hopefully he’ll get the ‘Hawks to buy into his system more than what happened last year. I guess if the terminology is familiar to our players, that will help tremendously.

    I can’t wait for the Combine to be over so we can see what moves our new regime makes in FA. Then the pieces should fall into place for the draft, knowing what needs we still have to fill.

  7. earther says:

    Alan Kalter (Late Show Announcer):Drew Brees is the first Super Bowl MVP named Drew since Drew Montana.

    Yeah, yeah I watched Letterman last night to see the Drew Brees interview and yes, I kind of wish that Dave and his girlfriend and Bif and the bald guy and all the rest of them would take their show on a 10 year off-planet tour or something but I gotta tell ya, that line just make me split a gut. Don’t ask me why. It caught me by surprise I guess.

    Oh yeah, right,… Jeremy Bates. Good article. Lots of good talk. However you need to show me Jeremy. Lets get together and reflect after saaaay…. week six of next season. Sound good?

  8. earther says:

    BobbyK:Unless Mike Shanahan is involved, I don’t know of an offense that runs the ZBS who has been overly good at running the football.

    You don’t think the Vikings have a good rushing attack?

  9. Dukeshire says:

    For those worried about Suh, what scheme or lineman is available to neutralize him (or what we expect him to be)? And obviously we’d all feel better with Suh as a Seahawk. But this notion that ZBS is all finesse is hogwash. It’s simply a different way to move the defense and create running lanes. Deep breath everyone.

  10. earther – when you think of the hybrid Alex Gibbs/Broncos ZBS, that’s what you get; the hybrid version. Although the Vikings have ZBS principles, it’s not strictly what you think it is. If it were, they never would have taken a mammoth statue of a RT like Phil Loadholt early in the draft last year (who, by the way, exceeded my expectations of him in the NFL). He’s more Ray Willis than overly mobile and athletic. And with what Gibbs wants, and what Ray Willis offers, I don’t see where he’s on the team next year. And if he is, there’s no way he’ll be around in ’11 after his contract expires.

  11. SharkHawk says:

    I wasn’t aware that Alex Gibbs had final say on anything. I thought that was Pete Carroll’s job… and as head coach and final say man, then he will probably be just fine running whatever line hybrid he wants. What did he run at USC? That’s probably a much better indication of what the Hawks will run as opposed to the Falcons and Texans.

  12. A man like Alex Gibbs does not come on board and run a scheme that he’s never used before, or not comfortable with. With some clown coaches, sure, but not someone like Gibbs. I know that’s not exactly what you’re saying, but you get the point.

  13. SharkHawk says:

    I missed your comment earlier Duke. Unger did an admirable job handling Brian Price out of UCLA, who was considered a better prospect by many than Suh going into this last season. I think he will do fine against Suh and any other DT’s he faces, especially as he matures.

    Price had 3 assists, 1 half of a sack and 1 half of a tackle for loss against Unger in Max’s last season. That may seem like tons… but at times Price was nearly unstoppable. Not giving him anything without having to be “helping” on the play is darn impressive.

  14. Shame to hear ANYTHING good about Jones from the new OC. I was hoping Jones would be cut.

  15. I don’t think we could completely change schemes just because a top class DT “might” be signing for a division rival!

    As good a Suh is, it’s a lot different being dominant in College ball than it is in the NFL. I’m sure Suh is the real deal, but it’s not going to be as easy for him to perform consistantly in the NFL regardless who he ends up playing for.

    We got Gibbs, so we got the ZBS – lets commit to it and get some talent to help it work!

    We need so much help that sticking to Best Player Available in both Free Agency and in Draft has never been as apparent to the Hawks. Lets not fit need with availability and just provide an influx of talent that this team sorely needs!

  16. humiliator says:

    Bobby K-“He improved the situation in Atlanta, but the running game wasn’t anything to fear.”
    With Gibbs in Atlanta they lead the league in rushing for two years with Warrick Dunn, Duckett, and Norwwod.
    I don’t care if teams fear us, if we lead the league in rushing that’ll be just fine with me.
    Don’t fight it. Ignite it!

  17. langfordhawk says:

    First time contributor, so go easy on me :);
    I’m torn on drafting an o-lineman in the first or second.
    Having a look at the 2 Superbowl teams, the highest drafted lineman was a 2nd (Stinchcomb). After that, there are three 4th rounders (Diem, Evans, Bushrod) two 5th rnd (Nicks, Goodwin), a 6th rnd (LT Charlie Johnson) and 3 undrafted free agents (Saturday, Lilja, DeVan).
    These are arguably the 2 best offences in football, keeping their QB’s clean and 9 out of 10 came in the 4th round or higher.
    Lucky? Good coaching? Great team surrounding them?
    Having said that, the Jets have a great line with 4 first round picks.
    Food for thought…

  18. Oakley,

    I think I’m with you on Suh (oh, that rhymes). I remember all the hype on Curry last year and it reminds me of things I hear about Suh. They really made it sound like Curry was supposed to be the second coming…(of LT)…and he seemed forgetable last season and outplayed by a second string fill-in (Hawthorne). I know he was a rookie, and will hopefully be used more effectively this year, but just wanted to make a comparison when it comes to the NFL.

    I’m also with you on the ZBS/Gibbs comment. Let’s get some talent and make it work. This coaching staff looks like a group of superstars, so let’s give them the tools they need to be successful.

    Not that I want a bunch of tools for players, ha ha…

  19. Good comment langfordhawk. You’re right, teams that build perennial champions rarely overspend on offensive linemen. The Saints, Colts, Steelers and Patriots all are examples of this. This is why Alex Gibbs coaching, and his coordination with Bates, will be so important to this team. Sure I’d love another Walter Jones, but someone will win the NFC West next year without having anyone like him.

    And for those who are panicking about the Rams drafting Suh, remember that the player picked by the team that drafts #1 struggles more often than not while being held back by the poor players around him and usually has a disappointing career. Suh isn’t going to turn the Rams D line into a good one overnight. He isn’t going to beat a double-team by experienced NFL offensive linemen as a rookie. And there is nothing about him or any other D lineman that makes them immune to zone blocking. Zone blocking is known for being very frustrating for D linemen to play against, even the great ones.

  20. footballscaa says:

    Note to Mr Bates: The history of the Denver ground game is very impressive, however. That success will NOT repeat itself here unless the team finds a running back who can carry the load. DRAFT A GOOD BACK! Help us….. Please!

  21. SharkHawk says:

    Denver has rarely had good backs (Terrell Davis is one… Clinton Portis was the other). Yet they have consistently put up good numbers. Was it the backs or the system? Hmmm…. do we really need to spend big bucks or a high pick on somebody “good”?

  22. agreed, SharkHawk. With the extreme needs our team has at OL, S, DL, QB, and WR, with Alex Gibbs rebuilding the OL and running game, and now with Jeremy Bates saying he likes Forsett and Jones, it would seem that spending big $ on a new RB would be way down on the list of priorities.

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