Funny how one evasive answer can turn into a tempest in a tea pot.
USC quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates offers little insight during the best situations, so it was not surprising he offered a vague response Wednesday when asked if he might return to the NFL next season should former Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan get another job.
Bates spent three years with Shanahan and never coached college football before coming to USC last winter.
"We're focused on Arizona," Bates said, referring to the Trojans' opponent Saturday. "This is a big Pac-10 game. We're not going to be distracted."
However, USC coach Pete Carroll said he would not be surprised if Bates is contacted by an NFL team.
"He's highly regarded and done enough work in the league that guys know (about him)," Carrollsaid.
Of course, the message boards lit up like a Christmas tree.
I am pretty ambivalent on whether he stays or goes so it would not surprise me if he did leave. Bates is an NFL OC...he doesn't have a track record in the college ranks and because he has strong NFL ties this would help him get a head coaching gig in a few years.
I know many will be happy if Bates goes but one does have to be concerned because it will be another change in the coaching staff. That takes its toll after a while...a team has a hard time getting in a groove with constant change.
I am not really going to worry about this until after the season is over...