The Jets have officially announced the hiring of Jeremy Bates as offensive coordinator/QB Coach, and announced the hirings of Rick Dennison as offensive line coac/run game coordinator and Steve Jackson as assistant defensive backs coach.
"Jeremy is a talented coach who has a sound understanding of what it takes to build a successful offense," head coach Todd Bowles said in a press release. "Having spent last season with us, he offers continuity and has a good sense of what we need to do to improve. I look forward to him working together with our offensive coaches."
Dennison, who was most recently the OC for the Bills, coached with Bates while both were with the Broncos.
Jackson spent the last two seasons as the assistant secondary coach for the Titans.
When Todd Bowles decided to fire offensive coordinator John Morton, he always had quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates in mind as a replacement.
And now it has become official.
In hiring Bates, Bowles has replaced the unpopular Morton with a coach who seems to have the respect of most of the offensive players in the Jets' locker room.
The 41-year-old Bates joined the Jets last season after four seasons out of football. He's only served one season as an offensive coordinator - with Seattle in 2010, after which he was fired by Pete Carroll - but throughout his 10 NFL seasons, he's gained a reputation as being something of a quarterback whisperer, especially for his work with Jay Cutler in both Denver and Chicago.
That's obviously something the Jets need given their uncertain quarterback situation. They head into this offseason searching for their Quarterback of the Future, which could be a free agent like Kirk Cousins or a rookie from the top of the NFL draft (the Jets pick sixth). There is also unfinished business with quarterback Christian Hackenberg, their slow-developing second-round pick from 2016.
Promoting Bates does remove him a bit from the development of the quarterbacks, but his understanding of them will certainly help the offense. And the Jets' offense definitely can use help. Despite a career year from journeyman quarterback Josh McCown, the Jets finished with the 28th-ranked offense in the NFL (305.2 yards per game) and 24th in scoring (18.6).
Worse, Morton's play-calling became very unpopular -- both with his players and other coaches. They privately grumbled, according to sources, about the lack of creativity with the way he used his weapons, his penchant for abandoning the run game, and some odd red-zone sequences. The unhappiness led to several clashes between Morton and players and other coaches, a source said.
It appears that Bates stayed out of that fray, and grew the trust of players, especially the quarterbacks. That was a major factor in why Bowles decided to fire Morton, a source said, and why he hoped Bates would take the job.
There were other interesting candidates available, though, including fired Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley, former Chargers coach Mike McCoy, and Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo. It's unclear if Bowles seriously considered any of them, though, before he targeted Bates for the job.