Jim Bates Is In The Spotlight

April 30th, 2009

Usually coordinators on teams expected to compete are the ones being looked over with a wary eye. But former Bucs beat writer and current SI.com columnist Don Banks suggests new Bucs defensive coordinator Jim Bates will feel the klieg lights of football pundits.

The last time the Bucs featured a new defensive coordinator, they were still wearing those Creamsicle-colored uniforms and trying to snap a 13-year streak of losing seasons. But Monte Kiffin is indeed gone to the University of Tennessee after 13 years in Tampa Bay, and the task of remaking the Bucs defense falls to Bates, another savvy old hand when it comes to NFL coordinating. We won’t notice a big difference, but Bates favors a 4-3 defense that features linemen with a bit more girth than Kiffin’s lighter, faster models, and cornerbacks who are asked to play tons of bump-and-run coverage.

Joe thinks Bates will do a good job. Given the talent, or lack thereof he has to work with this year (unless Roy Miller and Kyle Moore are stud rookie linemen), if Bates has a defense in the top-10 of the NFL, he will have performed a near-miracle.

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