The Rumor Mill Cranks: USC's Jeremy Bates To the Chicago Bears?

Rick McMahanSenior Writer IDecember 7, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 25:  Assistant Head Coach  Jeremy Bates of the USC Trojans on the field during the spring game on April 25, 2009 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  The cardinal team won 16-10.  (Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images)
Jeff Golden/Getty Images

For USC Trojan fans who are upset with this year's offense, news being reported on ESPN may gladden hearts in this holiday season.

On "NFL Live," Adam Schefter reported that the Chicago Bears may have targeted USC offensive "guru" Jeremy Bates as a possible candidate for the offensive coordinator position.

Bates, who until this year was the only offensive coordinator, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler had known in his professional career, has spent a disappointing year directing the Trojans' offense.

It was reported that Cutler had advised friends that if Bates would have been retained by the Denver Broncos, he (Cutler) would not have asked for the trade that eventually found him being dealt to the Bears.

With Chicago's offense struggling this year, talk had turned to the possible return to the NFL of former Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis as an offensive coordinator.

Weis, it has been reported, would welcome an offer by the Bears to run their offense.

Now Bates' name has been tossed into the ring, and there is little doubt that Cutler would welcome the return of Bates, of whom Cutler says, "is one of the best minds in football."

For many USC fans, the departure of Jeremy Bates would be a welcome event.

The Trojan offense in 2009, supposedly the strength of this year's team, has under performed, and much of the blame has been laid at Bates' feet.

Questionable play calling has left many Trojan fans scratching their collective heads all season long.

Of course, to be fair to Bates, USC has played true freshman Matt Barkley at quarterback, and he has experienced the expected growing pains, which has hampered the USC offense.

In addition, the offensive line, called the best in the nation by The Sporting News prior to the beginning of the season, has also under achieved.

Having said that, Bates has rankled the Trojan faithful by calling passing plays when the running game was clicking, and vice versa.

All of which has translated into an offense that found itself ranked between 45th and 60th at various times during the season.

Which is much better than the third-down conversion rate of roughly 100th in the nation.

So will Jeremy Bates leave after this season?

Rumors started last week that Bates would return to the NFL when his old boss, Mike Shanahan was thought to possibly be returning to the professional ranks.

USC head coach, Pete Carroll, did nothing to squelch the rumors when he talked about Bates' familiarity with the NFL and how attractive he might be to those teams looking for an offensive coordinator.

Now comes word of the Bears interest in Bates, and for many Trojan fans his departure would be welcomed.

To what extent Bates is responsible for the Trojans offensive woes is anyone's guess.

Would the loss of Bates be a Trojan addition through subtraction?

Who knows, but a lot of Trojan fans would like to find out.