The Jets have added four coaches to their staff for the 2017 season, hiring Jeremy Bates (quarterbacks coach), Mick Lombardi (assistant quarterbacks coach), Jason Vrable (offensive assistant) and Joe Giacobbe (strength and conditioning assistant), the team announced on Wednedsay.
Bates held the same position with the Jets in 2005 under then-head coach Herm Edwards. He was the Chicago Bears QBs coach in 2012 but was not retained and has been out of the NFL since.
Lombardi was an offesnive quaity control coach with the San Francisco 49ers this past season while Vrable was the assistant QBs coach for the Buffalo Bills. Giacobbe was the director of player performance at Rutgers from 2012-2015.
This hire amounts to a leap of faith that's hard to analyze until the Jets make head coach Todd Bowles and new offensive coordinator John Morton available to the press to explain. The 40-year-old Bates has a strange resume that includes six stops in 10 seasons, including four in just one year.
And on top of that he's been out of football since 2012.
That doesn't mean he's not qualified, and maybe Morton knows his qualifications better than anyone (or at least anyone on the Jets) since they worked together at USC in 2009 (Morton was the offensive coordinator and Bates was the quarterbacks coach). Bates then went with head coach Pete Carroll for one year, but was fired due to philosophical differences.
He was the Jets' quarterbacks coach in 2005 when the position was an injury-plagued mess and he was forced to play five different quarterbacks, including Brooks Bollinger who started nine games. Bates did have success in 2007-08 in Denver, though, where he helped Jay Cutler to a Pro Bowl season and, as quarterbacks coach, called the plays for the NFL's second-best offense.
Clearly Morton likes him, and clearly Bowles has given his new offensive coordinator the latitude to hire his own quarterbacks coach. Whether it works out may depend on what he has to work with. Right now, his biggest job figures to be developing Christian Hackenberg, the second-round pick who didn't play at all his rookie year.
But he's also going to be involved in analyzing the quarterbacks in free agency and the draft. And whoever the Jets decide to make their next franchise quarterback, he will be in Bates' hands.
Brandon Marshall was on the Bears when Bates was there in 2012. "I think he's an excellent coach from my experience with him," Marshall told NJ.com. "I love him to death. He knows the game. He knows football. He doesn't just know Xs and Os. He knows football."