Before the Jets concluded their offseason work, Jay Fiedler stopped by a practice and watched his former QB coach — Jeremy Bates — put the Green & White's signal callers through the paces.
"Jeremy has great energy, just like his dad did down in Miami. The Bates clan can bring a lot of energy to the table," Fiedler said. "Number one, everything is going to be upbeat and fast-paced. Jeremy has some great knowledge. For the past 10 years since I was with him, he's been around a lot of great people, great offenses, quarterbacks and coordinators. He has a wealth of knowledge to pass on to those guys."
After Fiedler played for interim Dolphins head coach Jim Bates in 2004, he moved up to NY and was in Jeremy Bates' Jets QB room in 2005. Injuries forced the Jets to use five quarterbacks in '05 and Fiedler, a Long Island, NY native, injured his throwing shoulder in a Week 3 loss to Jacksonville and he would never play again.
"I haven't called a play in over 12 years, so to hear it going through a practice, you kind of remember a lot of the terminology," he said. "They use kind of the West Coast language. I was in nine different offenses throughout my 10-year career, so I've heard just about everything that you could call. Some of the language was starting to come back to me and Josh (McCown) was translating a little bit because he's been in a few offenses also. It was fun to just go back and forth, talk through it a little bit and watch the quarterbacks go through the plays."
Jets head coach Todd Bowles said the team will head to training camp with no frontrunner in its QB competition. Bates, who was mentored by the likes of Jon Gruden and Mike Shanahan, is a teacher renowned for his work ethic.
"I just saw it today in one OTA practice, talking through every single play, working through the reads and making sure the guys behind the play were staying on top of it," Fiedler said. "He makes sure guys stay focused and talk through every single play as it develops."
Under new offensive coordinator John Morton and Bates, the Jets are expected to employ a diverse attack that features some traditional West Coast concepts.
"Every single offense is about the same. You're running the same plays, it's just the terminology and how a coach is going to teach it," Fiedler said. "The West Coast offense, traditionally, is a rhythm offense, get the ball out the fast, protect the quarterback and give the quarterback a lot of different set-up points. Get him on the move, get him in different areas of the pocket to deliver the ball, but it's always a rhythm offense. One, two, three progression, find the receiver quick, get it in his hands and let him do something with it."
An outdoorsman, Fiedler has a football training business and he heads up an annual camp in Glen Spey, NY that will commence next week.
"I run the Sports Academy at Brookwood Camp. It's been a family business for over 30 years," he said. "We have a great 160 acre property in upstate New York, the Catskills region. We host campers, boys and girls, ages 6-17, throughout the summer. We run a seven week-program. Our program really brings in some of the best instructors in all different sports and activities to work with our kids."
It's a labor of love for Fiedler as he continues a family tradition at Brookwood.
"We start June 25 this year. We take sign-ups up until then. Our campers come anywhere from two to seven weeks," he said. "I've been doing it full-time for the past four or five years. My family's been in the camping business for over 50 years. My dad was a director and owner for 40-plus years. He was an administrator and head counselor before that. My brother was working with him for about the past 15 years or so and I came into the business about four or five years ago."