The Bears have hired Jeremy Bates as their new quarterbacks coach. The last time Bates and Jay Cutler worked together Cutty was voted into the Pro Bowl. There was no mention of the title 'passing game coordinator' from the Bears official statement on the hire. That's not to say he isn't going to take on that task, but so far all we know is that he'll coach the QBs.
He definitely has the chops to coordinate the passing game, if that is the Bears intention. In 2010 he was the offensive coordinator of the NFC West champion Seattle Seahawks. In 2009 he worked closely with the USC offense, and he spent time in Denver working with Mike Shanahan from 2006-2008. He also spent time as an offensive assistant in Tampa Bay (2002-04) and in New York with the Jets (2005).
Bates was the first speculated, and most popular, candidate when the position opened up. But it was just a few weeks ago when the Bears announced that Bates wasn't in the mix. My how things change with a new GM in place. His friendship with Cutler was reported as being overblown, then that report was rebuffed by Cutler.
This hiring makes the most sense, and I think it's telling that Bates has absolutely zero history with the Bears.
Chicago head coach Lovie Smith had this to say about Bates:
"The one year he was a coordinator, he led their team to a division title and he just ran up against a juggernaut in the Chicago Bears," Smith said with a smile. "We can’t hold that against him."
Lovie's got jokes!