Mike Shanahan’s future will affect USC
Norm Chow begat Lane Kiffin, who begat Steve Sarkisian. It was a coaching tree of offensive coordinators that led to many years of USC football success. With Sarkesian’s departure to Washington, Pete Carroll broke continuity, searching the other side of the forest for a replacement, and eventually finding and hiring Jeremy Bates.
Since his arrival in Southern California, after being one of many assistants ousted by the new Denver Broncos regime, Bates has endured more criticism than those preceding him. The 2009 Trojans offense may be the least productive of Carroll’s teams, but it is also the only unit to start a true freshman quarterback.
Higher expectations are set for 2010, when Matt Barkley will have a year of experience and better understanding of the system. But as we approach the period of coaching exchange, it is highly probable that Bates will not be here to lead him.
Mike Shanahan’s name has emerged several times as a coaching probable for NFL teams. CFT reports Dallas, Washington, and Houston as three top choices on Shanny’s list, though neither of their current coaches has been terminated. Buffalo is another possible destination, and already has a coaching vacancy.
If, and when, Shanahan makes his choice, it is likely that Jeremy Bates will reunite with his old boss, leaving the amateurs of USC for a professional return. And as for Pete Carroll, the loss of another offensive coordinator would hardly be shocking or new.
“That certainly could happen” Carroll said of Bates returning to the NFL. “He’s highly regarded and he’s done enough work in the league that guys know.”
The Bates exit would make him the fourth offensive coordinator to leave USC in the past 5 years.