The New York Jets finally made it official, announcing Wednesday that Jeremy Bates will be their new offensive coordinator.
Bates, who served as the quarterbacks coach in 2017, will replace John Morton, who was fired after one season. Bates will continue to coach the quarterbacks.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on January 22 that Bates was expected to get the job, but there was a curious delay in the process. A source said it was simply a matter of logistics, and that Bates’ promotion never was in doubt.
“Jeremy is a talented coach who has a sound understanding of what it takes to build a successful offense,” coach Todd Bowles said. “Having spent last season with us, he offers continuity and has a good sense of what we need to do to improve. I look forward to him working together with our offensive coaches.”
The Jets are hoping Bates can help them sign prospective free agent Kirk Cousins. Their connection is Mike Shanahan. Bates worked under Shanahan in Denver, and Shanahan later became Cousins’ first coach with the Washington Redskins.
In interviews at the Super Bowl, Cousins said he would be excited to work under Bates.
“With the Jets, the first thing that stands out is Jeremy Bates has a connection to coach Shanahan,” he told ESPN’s NFL Live. “Both Mike, Kyle (Shanahan), that whole system I played in. Sean McVay comes from that tree. I just think so highly of them as playcallers, as offensive gurus if you will. Because Jeremy comes from that tree, it would be exciting to think about working with someone like that.”
Bates will be the Jets’ sixth offensive coordinator in the last eight seasons, the third in four years under Bowles.
This will be Bates’ second job as an offensive coordinator. He held the post for the Seattle Seahawks in 2010, but he was fired by coach Pete Carroll after only one season. Before that, he called plays for the Denver Broncos while serving as the quarterbacks coach in 2008.
Bates inherits a unit that ranked 28th in total offense and has no proven quarterback under contract. The Jets have Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty, neither of whom is considered the heir apparent. Josh McCown, 38, who enjoyed a career year in 2017, said he’d like to return to the Jets. He’s a prospective free agent.
The Jets also announced the hirings of Rick Dennison (offensive line/run game coordinator) and Steven Jackson (assistant secondary coach).