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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have announced that they have named Jim Bates defensive coordinator.
Bates, who has 39 years of overall coaching experience, spent eight years as a defensive coordinator in the NFL. He served in that role with the Atlanta Falcons (1994), Miami Dolphins (2000-04), Green Bay Packers (2005) and most recently with the Denver Broncos (2007). He was also the Dolphins interim head coach for the final seven games of the 2004 season.
Bates’ defenses have ranked in the NFL’s top 10 in yards allowed in six of his eight seasons as defensive coordinator. A total of 12 players have earned 23 Pro Bowl honors under Bates during his 16 years as a coach in the NFL.
Bates’ impact was immediately felt in Green Bay, as he transformed the 25th-ranked defense in 2004 to the seventh-ranked defense in 2005.
During Bates’ five seasons with the Dolphins, Miami ranked sixth in the NFL in total defense in 2000, fifth in 2001, third in 2002, 10th in 2003 and eighth in 2004. After his departure, the Dolphins dropped to 18th in total defense in 2005.
Miami DE Jason Taylor flourished in Bates’ scheme, ranking second in the NFL in sacks (64) from 2000-04 and earning three Pro Bowl selections. CB Patrick Surtain enjoyed similar success under Bates, posting the third-most interceptions (25) in the NFL from 2000-04 and earning a selection to three Pro Bowls. LB Zach Thomas was named to four consecutive Pro Bowls (2000-03) with Bates coordinating Miami’s defense and averaged 181 tackles per season.
Prior to coming to the NFL, Bates spent 14 years in the collegiate ranks, three seasons in the USFL and one season in the AFL.