Bears contact USC's Bates

Updated: January 6, 2010, 10:51 AM ET
ESPNChicago.com

The Chicago Bears have contacted Southern California offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates about their vacant offensive coordinator position, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Bates worked with Bears quarterback Jay Cutler in Denver, and they were very close. In fact, when Mike Shanahan was fired, Cutler lobbied for Bates to stay, even saying he would ask for a trade if Bates were let go. Of course, both happened, and Cutler ended up in Chicago.

Bates, 33, the son of longtime NFL assistant coach Jim Bates, was the quarterbacks coach with Denver in 2008.

The Bears also could reach out to another Denver assistant, Jedd Fisch, now the University of Minnesota offensive coordinator, according to Schefter. Fisch, 33, is in his first season with the Gophers, who ranked 100th in the nation in total offense. He spent eight seasons coaching in the NFL prior to Minnesota.