In their roles, Bates and Slowik will both be integrally involved in putting the Broncos’ defense together.
Bates, a veteran of 15 seasons as a coach in the National Football League, has six seasons of experience as defensive coordinator at the NFL level. He most recently served as Green Bay’s defensive coordinator in 2005. Prior to joining the Packers, he was defensive coordinator for Miami from 2000-04, which included a seven-game stint as interim head coach in ‘04.
As the Dolphins’ interim head coach Bates, 60, guided the Dolphins to a 3-4 finish, including a 29-28 win over eventual Super Bowl champion New England on Monday Night Football.
Under Bates’ tutelage, Miami’s defense finished no lower than 10th in the league in total yards allowed, led the league in passing yards allowed in 2001 (176.8) and was second in the league in ‘04, allowing only 162.0 passing yards per game in Bates’ five seasons as defensive coordinator. During his tenure in Miami (2000-04), Bates’ defenses ranked fifth in yards allowed (294.8). The defensive unit did not allow an individual 100-yard rusher over the last four games of 2002 and the entire 2003 campaign.
On an individual level, Bates has produced 18 Pro Bowl selections in five seasons.
Before joining the Dolphins, Bates was assistant head coach/defensive line (1998-99) and linebackers coach (1996-97) in Dallas. He started his NFL coaching career as linebackers coach (1991) for Cleveland. He moved to coach the defensive ends for the Browns from 1992-93 before ascending to the defensive coordinator position in Atlanta in 1994. Bates returned to Cleveland as secondary coach in 1995 before joining the Cowboys.
Prior to his NFL coaching career, Bates coached 19 seasons in either college football (15), the USFL (3) or the Arena Football League (1).
Bates’ coaching career began as a graduate assistant at Tennessee in 1968. He spent the next three seasons as head coach at Sevier County (Tenn.) High School before coaching the freshman team at Southern Mississippi in 1972. In 1973, he led the offensive line for Villanova before switching to linebackers coach the next season. Bates spent the next two seasons as Kansas State’s linebackers coach before becoming secondary coach at West Virginia in 1977. He held the same position at Texas Tech the next two seasons before being promoted to defensive coordinator/secondary (1980-83). Bates joined the professional ranks as defensive coordinator for the USFL’s San Antonio Gunslingers in 1984 before being named head coach the following year. He served one year in that position before becoming defensive coordinator for the USFL’s Arizona Outlaws in 1986. After spending the 1987 season out of football, Bates served as an assistant coach for the Detroit Drive (Arena Football League). He returned to the collegiate ranks as linebackers coach at Tennessee. He remained in the Southeastern Conference and was defensive coordinator/secondary at Florida in 1990.
Bates was born on May 31, 1946 in Pontiac, Mich.
Slowik, 52, has been a defensive coordinator for three teams previously in his NFL coaching career, with Green Bay (2004), Cleveland (1999) and Chicago (1993-98). He also was the Packers’ assistant head coach from 2002-03, has 15 years of NFL coaching experience – eight as a defensive coordinator – and brings 30 years of coaching experience to his new position. He coached the Broncos’ defensive backs for the past two seasons, during which time the team posted its best two-year interception total (37) since 2000-01 (49).
Denver’s pass defense was particularly stingy in the red zone last season, allowing just 13 touchdown passes, the fewest by a Broncos team since 1991 (12), and tied for the fourth-fewest in franchise history for a 16-game season.
Under Slowik’s guidance Champ Bailey has set back-to-back career highs for interceptions, with eight in 2005 and 10 in ’06, which tied for the NFL lead. Bailey has earned first-team All-Pro honors in both seasons with Slowik, and he and safety John Lynch have each been named to the past two AFC Pro Bowl squads. Six of Bailey’s interceptions came inside the Denver 4-yard line, thwarting scoring threats.
In 2004, Slowik’s Green Bay defense ranked ninth in the NFL in third-down conversions allowed (35.0%), the Packers’ best percentage in seven years, and led the league in red zone third-down defense (23.8%) while producing five defensive touchdowns. He coached a secondary that helped Green Bay post the highest takeaway total (116) in the NFL from 2001-03, including 45 in 2002 for the league’s best mark. During Slowik’s five seasons in Green Bay, safety Darren Sharper recorded 31 interceptions for the NFL’s highest total during that period while earning two Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections.
Before working one year as Cleveland’s defensive coordinator during its 1999 expansion season when he directed the league’s No. 11 pass defense, he spent six years (1993-98) as Chicago’s defensive coordinator. Under Slowik’s guidance, Chicago’s defense ranked in the top half of the NFL in five of his six seasons and surrendered the NFL’s eighth-lowest average yardage output (312.8). He began his NFL career as a defensive assistant with the 1992 Super Bowl Champion Dallas Cowboys, helping produce the NFL’s No. 1-ranked defense.
Slowik spent 15 years as a college assistant coach at East Carolina (outside linebackers, 1990-91), Rutgers (secondary, 1984-89), Drake (secondary, 1983), Florida (defensive assistant, 1979-82) and Delaware (graduate assistant, 1977-78). He helped the 1991 East Carolina team to its highest final ranking in school history (No. 9) and worked on Florida’s staff with Broncos Head Coach Mike Shanahan from 1980-82 when Shanahan was its offensive coordinator.
A two-year starting cornerback at Delaware, Slowik was born May 16, 1954, in Pittsburgh.
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