Bates to USC; who's the next OC?
According to The National Football Post, Broncos quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates will be the next offensive coordinator at USC. Bates, who called plays for the Broncos last year, was believed to be the leading candidate to join Schwartz's staff as offensive coordinator.
There also are conflicting reports on whether Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, another reported candidate to be Detroit's OC, will remain in New York now that he's been passed over the head-coaching job there. Schottenheimer has one year left on his contract.
If Schottenheimer stays - or if he goes elsewhere as coordinator - Schwartz will have to explore other options during his time at the Senior Bowl this week. One name that hasn't been linked to the Lions but would make sense, especially if they decide to keep Daunte Culpepper at quarterback, is former Rams coach Scott Linehan.
It might be tough to lure Linehan to Detroit - he turned down an opportunity to join his favorite team growing up the 49ers last week, telling the San Jose Mercury News "the timing is just not right" - but he spent three seasons as offensive coordinator in Minnesota, including Culpepper's most successful season of 2004 (when he threw for 4,717 yards and 39 touchdowns). He might be persuaded to re-establish his reputation with a quarterback he's familiar with.
The Lions have to decide before free agency whether to keep Culpepper and pay him a $2.5 million roster bonus.