Report: Bates headed with Carroll to Seattle

Jeremy Bates will hitch his wagon to Pete Carroll and head to Seattle, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.

The offensive coordinator at USC is expected to have the same role with the Seahawks, and turn down a scheduled Tuesday interview with the Chicago Bears to discuss an opportunity to join Lovie Smith’s staff and reunite with quarterback Jay Cutler.

It puts the Bears’ search for an offensive coordinator back at square one. Bates was the first person the team was exploring because he’s the one the organization knew the least about. Smith has contacted Mike Martz, but it’s not known if any other calls have been made at this point.

The Bears were not necessarily going to offer Bates a job as their offensive coordinator. They have a quarterbacks coach position open also. But they were interested in him based on the success Cutler had working with him in Denver. By going with Carroll, Bates heads to a more secure situation working for the wealthiest owner in the NFL. Smith is under a win-or-else mandate after missing the postseason for the third consecutive year.

Martz remains in play for the Bears and has openly spoke about his desire to land the job. The Bears could consider seeking permission from their rival Green Bay Packers to speak with quarterbacks coach Tom Clements. Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter could become a candidate, as could University of Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney.

It’s believed the Bears are zeroing in on a defensive coordinator today. Perry Fewell, who worked for Smith in St. Louis and was the Bears’ secondary coach in 2005, will interview for the job today. He’s considered a good fit for the role, and securing him would allow Smith and general manager Jerry Angelo to focus their energies on hiring on offensive staff.

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