Back in February when Kirk Cousins was making his rounds around the interview circuit as he was preparing for free agency, the quarterback spoke quite highly of a coach that he had never even worked with in the past.
That guy was Bates, who was the offensive coordinator for the New York Jets at the time. Technically he still is the offensive coordinator for the Jets, but New York just fired head coach Todd Bowles and one would believe that whoever they bring in as a replacement is going to want to bring in his own guy to run the offense.
So if Bates ends up becoming available, it’s possible that he could land with Cousins and the Vikings as the team’s new offensive coordinator.
The intrigue that the Minnesota quarterback has with the coach is the fact that Bates comes from the Mike Shanahan coaching tree. During his NFL career, Cousins has played under a number of coaches from the Shanahan coaching tree and he’s probably assuming that working with Bates would be similar.
With Bates calling the plays in 2018, the Jets had the 16th-most rushing attempts per game in the league. It didn’t always translate to success, but his willingness to keep up with it should intrigue someone who loves a run-focused scheme like Mike Zimmer.