Bates a possibility in Chicago 

December, 7, 2009

If Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has any say about the Bears' next offensive coordinator -- and with the investment that Chicago has made in him, he will -- then it very well could be USC's offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates. Cutler and Bates worked together in Denver and were so close that, after the Broncos fired Mike Shanahan, the quarterback told the team that he only would stay if Bates stayed. But Bates went off to USC, Cutler went off to Chicago and each has struggled this season.

USC scored 30 or more points in only two of its nine Pac-10 games and Cutler is tied with Matthew Stafford for the NFL lead in interceptions with 20. Now multiple sources around the league believe that the two men are destined to work together again. For starters, USC is expected to allow Bates to leave for Chicago if the Bears will hire him. Cutler would vouch for Bates the second the Bears asked. Some have speculated that either Charlie Weis or Mike Martz could be the Bears' next offensive coordinator. But the more informed opinion is that it will be Bates.