USC's Jeremy Bates May Leave for the NFL...Welcome Back Norm Chow?

Rick McMahan@@RickMcMahanSenior Writer IDecember 3, 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

The Los Angeles Times ran a story today that Trojan offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates may return to the NFL if his former boss Mike Shanahan returns to coach another professional team.

That crescendo of silence you just witnessed was a collective yawn from Trojan nation.

Bates, who has been roundly criticized for his unimaginative offense by USC fans, would not address the issue when asked by reporters.

Bates did say this, "Were focused on Arizona, this is a big PAC-10 game. We are not going to be distracted."

Too late for that Jeremy.

Bates, in his first season with the Trojans, has led an anemic offense that has featured spotty play from true freshman quarterback Matt Barkley and an offensive line that was supposed to be among the best in the nation but has fallen far short of that.

Now, I understand that Jeremy Bates has obstacles with this offense that have prevented him from implementing the sort of game plan that he may have imagined when he signed on with the Trojans.

Matt Barkley, for all of his enormous potential, has regressed as the season wore on.

The aforementioned offensive line has struggled mightily in the running game which has prevented Bates from utilizing play action to its best effect.

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Still, Bates play calling has left many scratching their heads.

When the Trojans have found success with the running game, which admittedly has been intermittent, Bates has gone to the pass.

When Barkley has found his groove, Bates switches to the running game.

Meanwhile, the Trojans third down efficiency has been...well...inefficient.

And that is being charitable.

In actuality, both the Trojans third down and red zone offense (scoring touchdowns) has been awful.

Bates must accept some responsibility for this and Trojan fans have not been shy about laying the blame directly at his feet.

Is it fair? Probably not but this was to be expected at USC.

Before the season started, I wrote an article that described exactly what Jeremy Bates could expect and much like a sports writing Nostradamus, I was right.

Not that it took much of a genius to realize that the USC microscope can be overwhelming but nonetheless, the disappointment of the Trojan fans with Bates could be seen a mile away if the offense failed to perform.

Which brings me to Norm Chow.

Will the wily, old ex-Trojan offensive coordinator come back to USC?

Not a chance in hell.

There is too much water under the bridge and the only thing less likely than Pete Carroll offering Chow his old job back is Chow accepting it.

This is a prototypical "non-story."

Despite a longing by Trojan nation to return the salad days of Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush and the 2005 crew, those days are long gone.

If Bates leaves, expect John Morton, the passing game coordinator, to be given the job, and along with it, the magnified glare of scrutiny that comes with the title.

Given the criticism of Jeremy Bates this year, John Morton can expect more of the same if he fails to bring the offense back up to the high expectations of Trojan fans.

Those are lofty standards and difficult to live up to.

Good luck coach Morton.


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