Bates gets chance to match up vs. Carroll

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- For quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates it's probably natural to want some comeuppance from his former employer Sunday when his Chicago Bears face the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field.

The offensive coordinator for Seattle in 2010, Bates was fired by current Seahawks coach Pete Carroll over philosophical differences, leaving Bates out of work for all of 2011.

"It was just time to move on," Carroll said Wednesday. "We made changes in what happened with our running game and the whole staff so it just fit better to do what we're doing now. We wish him the best."

With Bates leading the offense during Carroll's first year as Seattle's head coach, the Seahawks finished 7-9 and ranked in the bottom five of the NFL in five statistical categories. Seattle faced Chicago in the playoff that season with the Bears winning 35-34.

The Seahawks gained 267 yards in that NFC Divisional matchup, and converted on just 21 percent of third downs while averaging 2.8 yards per rush.

Bates and the Seahawks parted ways the following offseason.

"I think he might have liked it," joked Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who worked three seasons with Bates in Denver. "He got a little break, a little breather. It gives you a different perspective. He's such a grinder, such a hard worker. I'm sure he was dying to get back (into the NFL). But he was able to watch a lot of football, gain some knowledge, see some different plays, what was out there of some different systems guys were running.

"I've said before: I don't want to be in an offense without him. He's an unbelievable game planner and a guy that motivates not only me, but the rest of the players as well."

Carroll called Bates a "tremendous scheme guy" and "an excellent quarterback coach."

"He understands all the workings of all that," Carroll said. "He's a play caller. He's a schematic guy. He's got all of that stuff going for him. He's a fantastic football coach."

But not one deemed worth keeping on Seattle's staff, apparently.

"I'm sure deep down (this game) might mean a little more to him, but it's games. These are games," Cutler said. "You move on. Whenever we played Denver in that preseason game, it was just a game. Guys get traded. You get fired. I think as a coach coming into this business, you know ahead of time you're gonna get fired. It's just part of the gig."