Sports Outside the Beltway

Jim Bates- New Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive coordinator

He did his first ever press conference today-

New Bucs defensive coordinator Jim Bates plans to uphold the standard set by Monte Kiffin — if not improve upon it.

Bates, 62, held his first news conference today since being hired to replace Kiffin Jan. 22.

“I’d rather come in following Monte than come into someplace where they haven’t been passionate, they haven’t had the team feel and they haven’t played good defense,” Bates said. “I’m glad I’m coming in here. And they’re big shoes to fill. But we’ve also had some great defenses as far as over the years. We’re just looking forward to the challenge.”

Bates, who had top 10 defenses in Miami and Green Bay, outlined some of the differences and similarities to Kiffin’s Tampa Two scheme.

I remember Bates days in, but mostly for his time as head coach after Dave Wanstedt got fired. Miami began the 2004 season 1-8 before Bates was named interim coach. Miami went 3-4 the rest of the season, included in that was an upset win over New England. Bates not shy when it came to showing enthusiasm on the sideline when things went well for Miami.

Bates got some mention from the South Florida and myself before I took up blogging, when it came to the naming of the next non-interim coach of Miami. For those who have forgotten, Dolphin ownership went for Nick Saban and Bates left Miami for Green Bay. Miami’s record from 2005-07 with Saban and his successor Cam Cameron? 9-7, 6-10, 1-15. Where would Miami be now if Bates had been kept on? Would the team have missed the 2007 debacle? Anyone have an opinion?

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