Seattle Seahawks  

 

'Hawks seek new OC after firing Bates, add Cable to coach O-line

  • By Associated Press
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Tom Cable is headed home. Jeremy Bates is looking for a new one.

Jeremy Bates lasted only one season as the Seahawks' offensive coordinator.
Jeremy Bates lasted only one season as the Seahawks' offensive coordinator. (Kevin Terrell/Associated Press)

Leave it to Pete Carroll to keep things interesting around Seattle Seahawks headquarters just two days after their season ended.

Carroll fired Bates, the Seahawks' offensive coordinator, on Tuesday morning, ending his rocky one-year return to the NFL during which his unit was among the league's worst. NFL Network insider Michael Lombardi first reported Bates' dismissal, which later was confirmed by the team.

By the afternoon, Carroll was adding coaches. He hired Cable, bringing the Pacific Northwest native and former Idaho coach back home after nearly three years as the Oakland Raiders' head coach. Cable wasn't retained by Raiders owner 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 the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Wash replaces Dan Quinn, who will become the defensive coordinator at the University of Florida.

Additionally, the Seahawks promoted Kris Richard to defensive backs coach/cornerbacks and Rocky Seto to assistant defensive backs coach/safeties. 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 the University of Texas.

The Seahawks have two coaching positions open: quarterbacks coach and, now, offensive coordinator. Carroll is scheduled to hold a season-ending news conference Wednesday morning.

The Seahawks are interviewing Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell for the quarterbacks coach post, a league source told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora.

Cable, who went to high school in Snohomish, just northwest of Seattle, returns to focusing on the offensive line after spending parts of three seasons as head coach of the Raiders, with whom he went 17-27. Players praised Cable for helping turn the team into a contender in the AFC West this season after seven consecutive years of at least 11 losses.

But Cable's relationship with Davis wasn't 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 the coach's paychecks in his last season. The two didn't always see eye to eye on who should start at quarterback and other issues.

Now Cable, who also will be the Seahawks' assistant head coach, will focus on 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 the New Orleans Saints but reverted to the same struggling unit last Sunday in their season-ending 35-24 loss at Chicago.

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Bates was one of the coaches Carroll hand-picked to come along from USC and help him in his return to the NFL. Bates served as quarterbacks coach in Denver in 2008 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 the Seahawks' offense had season-long struggles. They 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 rushing yards per game, 31st in the league, and barely avoided being the worst running team in franchise history. Bates also was criticized for some of his calls in the passing game, despite putting together an excellent game plan in the Seahawks' upset of the Saints in which quarterback Matt Hasselbeck threw a playoff career-high four touchdown passes.

If Hasselbeck returns to Seattle -- he is an unrestricted free agent -- he'll play for his fourth offensive coordinator in a four-year span.

Wash comes to Seattle after spending the past four seasons with Tampa Bay, the past three as defensive line coach. Wash previously played and coached at North Dakota State along with current Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.

Richard was the Seahawks' assistant defensive backs coach this past season, and Seto was their defensive quality control coach. Richard played 38 career games for the Seahawks from 2002 to 2004.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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