At least the guy’s honest. That was Pete Carroll to Scott Wolf of the L.A. DAILY NEWS yesterday from San Francisco, where the Trojans will tee it up in the Nut Bowl against Boston College today.
Carroll’s 2009 nut shelled:
a) Stafon Johnson injury
b) Joe McKnight investigation / AD Mike Garrett not sticking up for Carroll
c) Charlie Weis comment about Carroll’s personal life
d) Losing to god-awful Washington and former Carroll protege Steve Sarkisian
e) Damian Williams turning pro
f) Three USC players academically ineligible for Nut Bowl
g) Ongoing Reggie Bush investigation
h) Horrific performance by USC defense this season, of which Carrroll is de facto coach
i) Worse loss in team history against Oregon / Home loss to Stanford
j) Jeremy Bates as OC
Okay you probably know all about the first nine things I listed there, but what about Bates?
On Christmas eve, Scott Wolf wrote in the L.A. DAILY NEWS:
With the season nearly over, it’s only natural to wonder whether quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates will return next season or attempt to coach in the NFL, where he spent the previous seven years.
A natural question for everyone but Bates, of course, who refused to discuss job possibilities Thursday.
“We’ve got a big game on Saturday and we’re not going to deal with anything like that,” Bates said.
USC coach Pete Carroll said he expected Bates to receive NFL offers after the season.
“I think he might be hot,” Carroll said.
Apparently, NFL teams will ignore USC’s offensive performances. The Trojans are ranked 98 th nationally in third-down conversion percentage (34.8) this season.
The same day the McKnight SUV fiasco exploded, I talked to a source inside the USC football program. Unsolicited, he told me that Bates would not be back next season, and not necessarily because it was a given that he’d be re-joining Mike Shanahan.
I was told that Carroll hadn’t taken to Bates coaching style, which is bereft of the rah-rah element that Carroll covets in his coaches. Coupled with USC’s less than savory offensive performance under Carroll-proclaimed wunderkind Matt Barkley, the head coach was going to enthusiastically nudge Bates to leave the program and return to the NFL.
Which makes Carroll calling Bates a “hot” coach prospect completely expected.
As Wolf points out, Bates’ performance at USC would hardly warrant that description, but now we know what’s really behind Carroll touting his top offensive assistant.