USC offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates is a candidate for the same position with the Chicago Bears, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
There was intense speculation when USC's disappointing season ended that Bates might be headed back to the NFL. Bates didn't seem comfortable with college coaching, and the Trojans offense, which had nine returning starters from 2008, underachieved most of the season.
Chicago would be a good destination for Bates because he was close to Bears quarterback Jay Cutler when they worked together in Denver.
If Bates does leave, it will be interesting to see which direction coach Pete Carroll might go to fill the vacancy. It's certain to be an appealing job based on USC's talent, and Carroll's assistants are paid well.
Carroll's typical route is to hire someone who's connected to his inner-circle, but after this year's offensive woes he might want to expand his search to include the best available candidates.
Just to inspire some discussion: What about Oregon State's Danny Langsdorf?
Carroll has always had a lot of respect for Mike Riley, and the Beavers (mostly) pro-style offensive scheme -- Riley's creation, though Langsdorf called the plays this year -- isn't that far from the Trojans. Only more creative. And Langsdorf's work with quarterbacks Matt Moore, Lyle Moevao and Sean Canfield has been outstanding.
As for why Langsdorf would leave Corvallis -- other than money -- success at USC likely would line him up more quickly for a head coaching job.
But don't get too worked up, Beavers fans. The odds are long Carroll would go in that direction.