Bears hire Jeremy Bates as QB coach

Updated: February 7, 2012, 2:16 PM ET
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bears have hired former Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates to be the team's quarterbacks coach, the club announced on Tuesday.

The team was searching for a new quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator after the organization severed ties with veteran offensive coordinator Mike Martz and assistant coach Shane Day immediately following the conclusion of the regular season. But the Bears have decided not to hire a passing game coordinator, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Bates previously worked with Bears quarterback Jay Cutler in Denver. While Bates served as the Broncos' quarterbacks coach (2007-208), Cutler made his lone trip to Pro Bowl after throwing for a franchise record 4,526 yards in 2008.

"I'm very excited to be working with Jeremy Bates again," Cutler said via the Bears' website. "We got the right guy for the job."

Besides his stops in Denver and Seattle, Bates spent time with Tampa, the New York Jets and USC, where Bates had the title of assistant head coach/quarterbacks in 2009.

"His history with Jay was a big thing," coach Lovie Smith told the team's website. "And not just history with Jay but a good history, a productive history with him helping Jay as a quarterback.

"I did a lot of research, and I think Jeremy is a perfect fit. Did we look at other guys? Yes, we did. Every time we have an opening, I look at everybody available. I even waited to see who would be available so I could see what the pool really looked like. Even though we had only brought in one guy (former Buccaneers offensive coordinator Greg Olson), I had been talking to a lot of guys. But in the end, it was Jeremy by a landslide."

Smith interviewed Bates last week in Tampa, and Bates then flew to Chicago to meet with recently hired offensive coordinator Mike Tice, according to the website.

Bates was a collegiate quarterback at Rice and Tennessee.

Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000. ESPNChicago.com's Michael C. Wright contributed to this report.

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.