RENTON – Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates is returning to the place he cut his teeth as a play-caller in the NFL.
Former Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan gave Bates his first chance to show what he could do, and the result was one of the top offenses in the league two years ago with quarterback Jay Cutler at the helm.
With the team from 2006 to 2008, Bates served as Denver’s quarterback coach and main play-caller in his final season.
“It was a good three years,” Bates said about his time in Denver. “Pat Bowlen was a great owner, and they have a nice organization. I look forward to going back.”
That’s about as far as the pleasantries the reserved Bates extended to the team he will face Sunday.
He understands that Shanahan is no longer there, and a new regime led by current head coach Josh McDaniels is leading the team in a different direction.
Still, with Bates, quarterback coach Jedd Fisch and tight end coach Pat McPherson – all guys who coached in Denver just two years ago –the Seahawks might have an inkling of some of the personnel Seattle will face, right?
“It does if you look at their personnel,” Bates said. “Although, since I was there they’ve really changed a lot of players.
“And it’s a different system, a 3-4 system on defense. And a little different system on offense. Coach McDaniels has done a good job there and we look forward to seeing the Denver Broncos of this year.”
A man of few words, Bates, 34, keeps his comments to a minimum and lets his offense do the talking.
Even though Seattle struggled in the early stages of the San Francisco game, the Seahawks were efficient when they got into the red zone, scoring three touchdowns and a field goal from inside the 20-yard line.
And while being effective in the red zone, the team still struggled running the ball, finishing with just 77 yards on the ground. That’s something that will have to change on the road against Denver playing in front of a noisy crowd.
“We’re going to keep working at it,” Bates said. “We’re going to keep running the ball. You have to be balanced in this league. It’s tough to just be one-dimensional and I think our guys are coming together. We’re still a new operation, but the communication and all that is working out and we’re going to run the ball this weekend.”
The Seahawks made more moves on Thursday, bringing back offensive lineman Brian De la Puente and adding recently released cornerback Kennard Cox to the practice squad. To make room, Seattle released cornerback Cord Parks and linebacker Joe Pawelek. ... Offensive tackle Sean Locklear (family) and defensive end Chris Clemons (ankle) returned to practice on Thursday. Offensive guard Mike Gibson (back) was a full participant in practice. Linebacker Matt McCoy (quad) remained on the sideline on Thursday. Offensive tackle Chester Pitts (knee) and wide receiver Mike Williams (thigh) were limited participants. Offensive tackle Russell Okung (ankle) remained out and watched with his helmet from the sideline.
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 email@example.com
Seattle Seahawks at Denver Broncos, 1:05 p.m., Ch. 13, 97.3-FM
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