Throughout his time in Washington, Coach Rivera has made one thing clear and that is no player is above the team. We saw this with the trades of Trent Williams and Quinton Dunbar, and the release of Derrius Guice and Dwayne Haskins.
Rivera had interviewed Bates one-on-one and had asked him if he thought he should have gotten the ball more in college.
Bates’ answer showed Rivera all he needed to know about the character of the player he decided to draft.
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"He said, ‘Coach, I just did what they asked me to do because it’s important and that’s what the team needed me to do.’ I thought, ‘What a great answer that is.’ This is a very unselfish football player, the kind that you want on your football team."
The humbleness and ability to understand his role will quickly make Bates a fan favorite in Washington. Even before being drafted, in interviews, he would talk about the importance of blocking and being utilized in whatever ways the coaching staff decides.
"I thought I showed my ability to get open and stretch the field. I made plays whenever the ball came my way. Being a tight end, it’s important that you’re able to both run block and catch passes. You may not run a route on every single play so it’s important for you to hold your own as a run blocker too. But when you get an opportunity to make plays in the passing game, you have to be able to do so."