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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

September 23, 2010 at 4:00 PM

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Coordinator Q&A: Jeremy Bates

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Q: There was some improvement on the ground. Why was that a little better last week?
Bates: I think the guys came off the ball together, the offensive line. They worked together in concert, very physical, and the running backs hit the hole. It was exciting to see it, and watch it get better every week.

Q: Is that one of those things where you've actually got a line you've been able to stick with?

Bates: A lot of people don't understand how much communication goes on up front. You've got defensive lines that move from a three-down to a four-down (alignment). Guys plugging up there so they have to have that communication. It's a challenge to get all five -- or six when you count the tight end -- to work together. So when it does work, it's a beautiful thing, and it was exciting to see that.

Q: What challenges does San Diego present up front?

Bates: It's another 3-4 front, and it's another challenge. Three-4 fronts, they're physical and they make it hard to run so it's going to be a challenging week also, and we look forward to it on Sunday.

Q: Do the Chargers try to do anything differently from the other 3-4 fronts you've played this season?

Bates: You know, San Francisco came from the San Diego family so definitely, each 3-4 is different. San Francisco and San Diego are a lot alike, and there's the New England (style), kind of a mind of their own. You've got the Jets and you've got Baltimore, and they're unique. Then you've got Pittsburgh. A lot of people outside of football say, 'Hey, you're playing a 3-4 team,' but everyone has their own identity, their own style. And it's a challenge that each week you play a 3-4 team, you've just got to crack the code.

Q: What's unique about San Diego's version of the 3-4?

Bates: You know, they've been together for a long time. They've drafted for their defense. They played together, the experience, they're always in the right gaps. They're very sound, and they've played a lot of games together. There's not many times that they mess up.

Q: The first week, you used a lot of two and three tight-end sets. Last week, more three-wide type formations. Are you still looking for an identity or is more of a matchup deal?

Bates: We're just trying to go into a game and get some first downs and score some points. It's going to be based on week-to-week.

Q: Do you make an effort to try and change it up from week to week to maybe make your team more difficult to plan for. Is that something you like to do?

Bates: You've got two days to figure out how we're going to attack the defense, and that's what we do on coaches Monday and Tuesday. We come up with the best way we think we give our players a chance to move the ball.

Q: In terms of Deon Butler's development over the offseason, what were the biggest strides you saw him take, the biggest improvement he made?

Bates: I just think he's playing with confidence right now. When you believe in yourself, you can do anything you want. He's playing extremely fast, and he's playing with confidence, and he's an exciting player right now to watch. Throwing the ball up, he went up and made some great plays last weekend. I think he's going to continue to get better. He believes in himself. He understands that he can play in this league, and I look forward to watching him on Sunday.

Q: Did you see better things in the zone-blocking system with another week together, are you seeing progress?

Bates: Yeah, I think we're going to continue to grow, and we've got to keep getting better.

Q: The Chargers caused six turnovers last week as a team. What are they effective at, and why are they so tough to play against?

Bates: They made some really good plays last week. They had a post route where he ran it down, and made a good play. Had some fumble recoveries. It's an aggressive team. They got the lead, and they started attacking the football. Don't want to get behind on this team because then they kind of put you in a position where they know what you're trying to do.

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