Bates Looking For A Lifeline

March 17th, 2009
Looks like Jim Bates will need to work miracles in 2009

Looks like Jim Bates will need to work miracles in 2009

Joe ponders what’s going through the mind of defensive coordinator Jim Bates.

The poor old guy must be wondering if he’s been set up. Perhaps a victim of one of those senior citizen scams that circulates through Florida every year.

Bates took over a Bucs defense that saw an epic collapse in the final month of the 2008 season. Since then he’s lost starters Jovan Haye, Derrick Brooks, Cato June and Phillip Buchanon. The lone addition was Broncos free agent linebacker Niko Koutouvides, uh, a quality special teams player.

The Bucs also ditched their 2009 second round pick for tight end Sgt. 3rd Class Kellen Winslow. And now surely the Bucs will try to trade their first round pick and more to land Jay Cutler from Denver. 

Joe feels for you, Jim.

If the Cutler deal goes through, Bates will be left with a defensive line absent the run-stuffing tackle he covets (and apparently needs for his scheme) and little chance to get him in the draft. Maybe, if he’s lucky, Auburn’s Sen’Derrick Marks is there in the third round.

And the linebacking corps remains thin and inexperienced. How much can anyone really expect from Geno Hayes and Adam Hayward, both sixth round picks in 2007. Quincy Black?  Maybe. The Bucs also are thin at cornerback.

When Bates took over the Broncos’ defense in 2007, he had a huge hand in their draft, reported the Denver Post, picking three defensive linemen in the first four rounds: Jarvis Moss (first), Tim Crowder (second) and Marcus Thomas (fourth). Moss was a major bust and the other two aren’t quality starters.

That year in Denver he also brought in aging stud tackle Sam Adams, who didn’t pan out. Simeon Rice was a flop. too.

Bottom line: In Denver Bates choked on putting together a defensive line. And this time around with the Bucs he’ll probably only get one or two low round picks to help the Bucs’ failed D-line from last year, a bunch too undersized to pull off Bates’ scheme.

Joe is surely pulling for Jay Cutler to come to Tampa. But if that happens, Bates is going to need a bailout rivaling General Motors.

A good start would be bringing back Derrick Brooks and maybe June. Bates probably would be the first guy to hug them at One Buc Palace.

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