Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Updated: January 19, 11:39 AM ET
Seahawks fire Jeremy Bates
ESPN.com news services
RENTON, Wash. -- Tom Cable is headed home. Jeremy Bates is looking for a new one.
Leave it to Pete Carroll to keep things interesting around Seattle Seahawks headquarters just two days after their season ended.
Carroll and the Seahawks fired Bates, the team's offensive coordinator, on Tuesday morning, ending a rocky one-year return to the NFL for Bates during which the Seahawks ranked among the worst offenses in the NFL.
By the afternoon, Carroll was bringing coaches on board. He hired Cable, bringing the Pacific Northwest native and former college head coach at Idaho back home after nearly three years as Raiders head coach. Cable was not retained by Al Davis at the end of the 2010 season.
The Seahawks also announced that Todd Wash would become the defensive line coach, leaving behind the same position with Tampa Bay. Wash replaces Dan Quinn, who will become the defensive coordinator at Florida.
Additionally, Seattle promoted Kris Richard to defensive backs coach/cornerbacks and Rocky Seto to assistant defensive backs coach/safeties. Both Richard and Seto were on Seattle's staff this season and jointly will help fill the spot of Jerry Gray, who left for a coaching position at Texas.
Seattle has two coaching positions that remain open: quarterbacks coach and now, offensive coordinator. Carroll is scheduled to hold a season-ending news conference on Wednesday morning.
A source with knowledge of the situation told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen that the team was giving strong consideration to hiring former Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels for the vacancy. However, McDaniels was hired by the Rams for the same position Tuesday.
Baltimore Ravens quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn also is a candidate for the Seahawks' offensive coordinator position, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Cable returns to focusing on the offensive line after spending parts of three seasons as head coach of the Raiders, where he went 17-27. Players credited Cable with helping make the team a contender in the AFC West this season after a run of seven straight years of at least 11 losses.
But Cable's relationship with Davis was not as good and the owner decided not to exercise a two-year, $5 million option to keep him. Cable filed a grievance against the Raiders to recover $120,000 in fines that Davis withheld from Cable's paychecks in his last season. The two did not always see eye to eye on who should start at quarterback and other issues.
Now Cable's focus is improving an offensive line that was a major problem for Bates to deal with all season.
Bates was let go after Seattle's offense finished the regular season ranked 28th in the league. The Seahawks finally displayed some offensive punch in their 41-36 playoff upset of New Orleans, but reverted to the same struggling unit last Sunday in their season-ending 35-24 loss at Chicago.
Bates was one of the coaches Carroll hand-picked to come along from Southern California and help in his return to the NFL. In 2008, Bates served as quarterbacks coach in Denver when Jay Cutler was a Pro Bowl selection and threw for more than 4,500 yards. Bates went to USC as Carroll's offensive coordinator for one season.
But Seattle's offense was a season-long struggle. It started in training camp when offensive line coach Alex Gibbs abruptly retired just days before the season opener. A lack of continuity was a common theme for Seattle's offensive line, which went through 10 different incarnations during the season.
It all led to a general inability to run, which was the biggest flaw. The Seahawks averaged just 89 yards per game rushing, 31st in the league, and barely avoided being the worst running team in franchise history. Bates was also criticized for some of his calls in the passing game, despite putting together an excellent game plan in the Seahawks' upset of New Orleans where quarterback Matt Hasselbeck threw for a playoff career-high four touchdowns.
If Hasselbeck returns to Seattle -- he is an unrestricted free agent -- he'll be playing for his fourth offensive coordinator in four years.
Wash comes to Seattle after spending the last four seasons with Tampa Bay, including the past three years as defensive line coach. Wash previously played and coached at North Dakota State along with current Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.
Richard was Seattle's assistant defensive backs coach this past season, while Seto was Seattle's defensive quality control coach. Richard played 38 career games for the Seahawks between 2002-04.
Bates' contract had three years remaining worth approximately $3 million.
Information from ESPN.com's Mike Sando and The Associated Press contributed to this report.