The New York Jets may have to replace offensive coordinator John Morton. Fortunately, they have an in-house candidate who’d be a perfect fit: Jeremy Bates.
Wait a second. Where is New York Jets offensive coordinator John Morton going? Do you remember ESPN personality Jon Gruden giving a ringing endorsement for the New York Jets OC back in April? Well, multiple reports indicate that Gruden is ditching the booth to once again coach the Oakland Raiders. According to the New York Daily News‘ Manish Mehta, Gruden has his eyes set on Morton to join his ranks:
BREAKING: Sources: Jon Gruden interested in hiring Jets OC John Morton if he gets Raiders job. NYJ will let Morton go if he wants. Story: https://t.co/8HCUmc9sOF pic.twitter.com/r736mTyF4r
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) January 1, 2018
Morton and Gruden have previously worked with one another and, according to Mehta’s report, the Jets wouldn’t block the move.
While the one-and-done nature of Morton’s time with the Jets would be a bit of a bummer, it’s the nature of the beast in the NFL.
Since 2011 the Jets have had five different offensive coordinators, so they’re used to change:
- 2011: Brian Schottenheimer
- 2012: Tony Sparano
- 2013-14: Marty Mornhinweg
- 2015-16: Chan Gailey
- 2017: John Morton
A different OC can be a nightmare for a young, developing quarterback. But that’s where the Jets are fortunate as they already have their man. Quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates would be my choice to replace Morton if he jets off to Oakland.
He’s been coaching in the pros since 2002 with stops in Tampa Bay, with the Jets (back in 2005), Denver, Seattle, and Chicago. He’s also dipped his toes back in the college ranks, spending a year at USC.
While he’s only had one year as an offensive coordinator (in Seattle), he has a wealth of experience and would have no problem sliding into Morton’s role.
This would also send a good message to the rest of the staff and team that if you do well, you’ll be rewarded. Bates is responsible for Josh McCown’s career year at the age of 38. Speaking of McCown, if Bates gets the OC job why not offer McCown the vacant QBs coach role? He had the chance to take a similar job with Cleveland before the season.
With head coach Todd Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan locked in through 2020, it’s important to build a strong support staff around Bowles. Bates—and McCown, if he retires—would give Bowles just that.