Darrell Bevell

Lions Hire Darrell Bevell As OC

The Lions have hired Darrell Bevell as their new offensive coordinator, the team announced on Wednesday. Bevell guided the Seahawks’ offense for seven seasons and oversaw the Vikings’ attack from 2006-10. 

[RELATED: PFR’s Offensive Coordinator Search Tracker]

Bevell did not coach in 2018, but took part in some interviews during the last cycle, which included his Seattle ouster. It has been Bevell’s plan to coach in 2019, and he’s accomplished that by joining the Lions.

Bevell wasn’t necessarily known to be a leading candidate for the Lions’ job, but he either outshined other candidates or simply hung around long enough to watch the other ones sign elsewhere. Nathaniel Hackett and Todd Monken were both in the running for the job, but they’ve since hooked on with the Packers and Browns, respectively.

With Jim Bob Cooter at the helm in 2017, Matthew Stafford played some of his best football and the Lions finished out with the No. 7 scoring offense in the NFL. Last year, however, Stafford regressed hard. The Lions are hoping that Bevell will be the answer after the QB managed just 3,777 passing yards in 2018.

The Falcons and Jaguars also spoke with Bevell about their respective OC vacancies.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC North Notes: Ravens, Bengals, Browns

In announcing Greg Roman as their new offensive coordinator, the Ravens also disclosed previous OC Marty Mornhinweg will not be returning to Baltimore in 2019. Mornhinweg, who’d been with the Ravens since 2015 and calling plays since 2016, rejected the opportunity to take another position on Baltimore’s staff. “We tried to keep Marty, but he has decided to move on, and I respect that,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s a really good coach and helped us win the AFC North last season and get close to the playoffs the previous two years.” Roman had reportedly drawn OC interest from the Dolphins, which could have played a factor in his promotion from assistant head coach/tight ends.

Here’s more from the AFC North:

  • Hue Jackson will not return to the Bengals‘ staff under presumptive new head coach Zac Taylor, Elise Jesse of WLWT was the first to report (via Twitter). Jackson, who is close friends with former Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, was hired by Cincinnati at midseason, shortly after being fired as Cleveland’s head coach. Although he interviewed to succeed Lewis, Jackson was considered likely to leave the Bengals’ staff if he didn’t land the top job. While he could be in contention for offensive coordinator jobs, Jackson might have to spend 2019 as a position coach.
  • Former Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is in consideration for the same role with the Bengals, according to Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link). Bevell is reportedly “high on [Taylor’s] list” of possible OCs, as the rookie head coach is looking for someone with plenty of experience. The 49-year-old Bevell has interviewed for play-calling openings in both Jacksonville and Atlanta this year, but thus far hasn’t landed a job after being out of the NFL in 2018. Meanwhile, ex-Giants head coach Ben McAdoo — who recently met with the Cardinals — is a “name to watch” in Cincinnati, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link).
  • The Browns have interviewed Utah offensive line coach Jim Harding for the same position, tweets Tom Pelissero of NFL.com. Harding, who was previously Utah’s co-offensive coordinator from 2015-15, is considered one of the best OL coaches at the collegiate level, per Pelissero. He interviewed with the Bengals in 2018 before Cincinnati hired Frank Pollack.

South Notes: Jaguars, Bevell, Panthers, Texans

Former Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will interview with Jaguars for their vacant OC job on Tuesday, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Bevell did not coach this year but took part in some interviews during the 2018 hiring period, which featured his Seattle ouster. It’s been Bevell’s plan to coach in 2019 and he could realize that goal if he is hired by Jacksonville.

Bevell previously interviewed for the Falcons job, but that position has already been filled by ex-Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter.

Here’s more from the South divisions:

  • Panthers head coach Ron Rivera called plays during the final month of the season and he’ll continue to do so in 2019, a source tells Joseph Person of The Athletic. Speculatively, Person wonders if that will prevent Rivera from luring a seasoned defensive coach such as Steve Wilks, who has obvious ties to the team.
  • Texans defensive star Jadeveon Clowney earned a payment of $1.005MM to resolve a dispute over the position designation for his fifth-year option, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. In the event of a franchise tag, the Texans have been planning to designate him as a linebacker, which would pay him roughly $16.3MM in 2019. However, he was pushing to be tagged as a defensive end, which pays at least $18MM. The settlement more or less splits things down the middle, which may remove one complication in tagging him or ultimately signing him to a long-term extension.

NFC South Rumors: Bucs, Falcons, Panthers

Former Jets head coach Todd Bowles has already been drawing interest as a potential defensive coordinator, and — perhaps unsurprisingly — Bowles’ most likely destination could the Buccaneers, provided that Bruce Arians (currently viewed as the favorite) lands the head coaching job in Tampa Bay, according to Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com (Twitter link). If Arians is hired by the Bucs, he’s expected to “get the band back together” by hiring a number of his ex-Cardinals assistants. Bowles served as Arians’ DC in Arizona from 2013-14, leading units which each ranked top-seven in defensive DVOA.

Here’s more on NFC South coaching jobs:

  • If Arians does end up with the Buccaneers, former Falcons special teams coach Keith Armstrong could take the same role in Tampa Bay, tweets Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. Armstrong, who had been Atlanta’s ST coach since 2008, was fired last week as the Falcons cleared out each of their coordinator roles. Based purely on performance, Armstrong posted a strong effort in 2018, as Atlanta ranked 10th in special teams DVOA. The 55-year-old Armstrong took two interviews for the Cardinals’ head coaching job last season, and was one of two candidates Arians personally recommended as a successor (the other being incumbent DC James Bettcher).
  • Speaking of the Falcons, they have officially completed an interview with Darrell Bevell, whom they are considering for their offensive coordinator vacancy, per Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). Bevell, who was out of the NFL in 2018 after being fired by the Seahawks, is one of three candidates known to have interviewed to replace Steve Sarkisian, joining former Titans head coach Mike Mularkey and former Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter. Ex-Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak was also on Atlanta’s list of candidates, but the Broncos reportedly denied permission for an interview.
  • Panthers wide receivers coach Lance Taylor will not return in 2019, reports Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter links). Taylor had been leading Carolina’s wideouts since 2017, and was in his second stint with the Panthers’ franchise. Changes had been expected to the Panthers’ staff: although head coach Ron Rivera will be back next season, Taylor may not be the final Carolina assistant to move on. Taylor, for his part, may join the University of Alabama staff if he doesn’t land another NFL gig, per Marvez.

Falcons, Jaguars To Conduct OC Interviews With Darrell Bevell

Darrell Bevell will meet with two teams about returning to an offensive coordinator position. The former Seahawks OC has interviews lined up with the Falcons and Jaguars, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports (on Twitter).

Bevell did not coach this year but took part in some interviews during the 2018 hiring period, which featured his Seattle ouster. It’s been Bevell’s plan to coach in 2019, and he’s moving toward that target date with these planned summits.

The Falcons are communicating with Dirk Koetter about a return to the Atlanta OC post, but Bevell surfaced on New Year’s Eve as a part of this search as well. The Falcons fired Steve Sarkisian after two underwhelming seasons, at least compared to the bar Kyle Shanahan set.

Jacksonville axed Nathaniel Hackett during the season but kept HC Doug Marrone. With Marrone having an offensive background, the Jags’ OC job would not appear to bring the same level of responsibility the Falcons’ gig — under defensive-minded leader Dan Quinn — would. The Jaguars are also about to be involved in the quarterback market, while Matt Ryan is signed well into the 2020s.

Bevell led the Seahawks’ offense for seven seasons and oversaw the Vikings’ attack from 2006-10.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons, Dirk Koetter Discussing Reunion?

Dirk Koetter may land on his feet soon. The recently fired Buccaneers head coach is the leading candidate to replace Steve Sarkisian as the Falcons’ offensive coordinator, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Koetter preceded Kyle Shanahan in this role, working as Atlanta’s OC from 2012-14, before Mike Smith‘s ouster led Koetter to Tampa. Former Seahawks OC Darrell Bevell will interview for the role, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter).

While Bevell was out of the league this year, Koetter oversaw one of the NFL’s most explosive offenses. His head coaching tenure in Tampa did not end the Bucs’ now-11-season playoff drought, but Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick were able to consistently put up yards. Tampa Bay finished third in total offense this season. Two of Koetter’s three Falcons attacks ranked in the top 10; the 2012 team voyaged to the NFC’s No. 1 seed but blew a 17-point lead in the conference title game.

Bevell is expected to interview with the Falcons within the next two days, per Rapoport. The Seahawks fired him after the 2017 season, and other interviews did not lead to a Bevell 2018 landing spot. Whether it’s Koetter, Bevell or another coach, this process should be settled quickly, Ledbetter adds.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

South Coaching Rumors: Koetter, Quinn, Marrone, Rivera

It has been assumed that the Buccaneers and head coach Dirk Koetter would be parting ways at the end of the season, but Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (video link) does not necessarily believe that assumption is a safe one. Rapoport says Koetter could certainly be fired — which would then make him a very appealing OC candidate for rival clubs — but the Glazer family has not ruled out keeping Koetter and the entire “upper structure” of the team. After all, Tampa Bay’s offense is the most prolific in franchise history, and the club’s defense has become a league-average unit since former DC Mike Smith was fired in October.

Now for more rumors on head coaches in the league’s south divisions:

  • Rapoport also says Falcons head coach Dan Quinn is expected to be back for 2019. There has not been much national chatter about Quinn’s job security anyway, so that does not come as much of a surprise. but Rapoport does expect “significant changes” at the coordinator spots. We already learned that offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian is likely on his way out, and Rapoport confirms that Darrell Bevell will be on the short list to replace him. Defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel also appears in danger of losing his job [SOURCE LINK].
  • At the end of November, Rapoport said that Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone is in no danger of losing his job, and he doubled down on that report today, saying that Jacksonville owner Shad Khan and executive VP of football operations Tom Coughlin believe in Marrone. The team will seek a new QB and a new offensive coordinator, but it currently sounds as if Marrone will get another shot in 2019. Of course, there have been rumblings that Coughlin himself will consider taking over the head coaching reins, but Rapoport’s sources seem to refute to notion.
  • Despite rumors of a potential shakeup, Rapoport says the Panthers are expected to retain head coach Ron Rivera. New owner David Tepper reportedly believes in Rivera, who recently took over defensive play-calling duties and who would become one of the top head coaching candidates on the market if he were let go. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, though, suggests that Tepper could indeed go in another direction at season’s end, but if he does, it will be difficult to find someone who would represent a clear improvement over Rivera [SOURCE LINK].

Falcons Likely To Fire Steve Sarkisian

There’s a “strong possibility” of significant changes to the Falcons’ coaching staff this offseason, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). This includes potential changes at offensive and defensive coordinator, which could put Steve Sarkisian and Marquand Manuel out of work. 

As Pelissero notes, head coach Dan Quinn‘s background is in defense and he exercises a great degree control on that side of the ball. The team’s hire at offensive coordinator will likely have a larger impact on the squad, which renders the OC choice as a more crucial decision than DC.

The next OC of the Falcons could be an old friend of Quinn’s. Former Seahawks OC Darrell Bevell could be a strong candidate for the job, Pelissero hears, particularly since Bevell spent time with Atlanta coaches in the spring.

Under Bevell’s command, the 2017 Seahawks finished roughly league-average on offense, ranking 15th in yards, 11th in points, and 14th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, which measures efficiency. Bevell had been an offensive coordinator since 2006, spending five seasons with the Vikings before joining Seattle in 2011.

During his dozen seasons as an OC, Bevell’s units have finished as a top-10 DVOA offense five times. Despite his success, he’s widely blamed for Seattle’s controversial call at the end of Super Bowl XLIX, even though he might not have been the one who dialed up the play.

Despite a bevy of offensive weapons, the Falcons are 5-9 and will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2015. The dismissal of Sarkisian feels like an inevitability and Bevell could wind up as the man to replace him, even if Falcons fans are largely opposed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Darrell Bevell Intends To Coach In 2019

Longtime NFL play-caller Darrell Bevell was linked to a number of offensive coordinator vacancies during the offseason, but was ultimately left out in the cold after each job was filled. Still only 48 years old, Bevell intends to re-join the coaching carousel in 2019, as he explains to Tom Oates of the Wisconsin State Journal.

“It’s always hard,” Bevell said. “But we’ve done a lot of good things in the places I’ve been, so it was just one of those weird years. The next hiring cycle I’m going to be back in.”

While he didn’t land an offensive coordinator job earlier this year, Bevell was certainly in high demand. Both the Cardinals and Vikings interviewed him for their respective OC positions, but the clubs went in separate directions by hiring Mike McCoy and John DeFillipo, respectively. At one time, Bevell was also considered the “top target” for the Colts’ play-calling job (at least, when Josh McDaniels was still expected to end up in Indianapolis), and was on the Giants’ radar, too.

Under Bevell’s command, the 2017 Seahawks finished roughly league-average on offense, ranking 15th in yards, 11th in points, and 14th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, which measures efficiency. Bevell had been an offensive coordinator since 2006, spending five seasons with the Vikings before joining Seattle in 2011. During his dozen seasons as an OC, Bevell’s units have finished as a top-10 DVOA offense five times.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

New York Notes: Staley, Jets, Anderson, Bills

Aside from facing off in three playoff games in a seven-season stretch from 1993-2000, the Giants and Vikings can’t exactly be classified as rivals. Well, the teams may have some animosity for a bit. The Vikings denied Kevin Stefanski a chance to interview for the Giants’ OC position, and Minnesota’s QBs coach being the previous favorite for that job could make matters difficult for Pat Shurmur.

The Vikings complicated this search further by hiring Eagles QBs coach John DeFilippo to succeed Shurmur as Minnesota’s OC, bypassing Stefanski and poaching a coach off Philadelphia’s staff.

This is relevant because Duce Staley remains under contract with the Eagles, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com reports. Staley, Philly’s RBs coach, is said to be viewed as the Giants’ next choice for the OC role. But with Frank Reich in contention to become the Colts’ head coach, the Eagles could well deny their NFC East rivals permission to speak with Staley. This would keep the 42-year-old assistant in Philly in an attempt to foster some continuity in the event Reich leaves. This chain of events unfolding would make Staley a logical candidate to be the next Eagles OC.

The Giants have not yet requested permission to speak with Staley, but if the Eagles were to block the move, Darrell Bevell and Harold Goodwin may be the next coaches in line. Both are coaching free agents. Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv gives an edge to Bevell in the event Staley stays in Pennsylvania. Complicating this further, Bevell has been mentioned as a possible Colts OC.

Here’s the latest out of the Big Apple:

  • The Jets not landing Kirk Cousins could give Josh McCown another chance, with Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News writing a McCown/No. 6 overall pick solution would be the best bet at a Cousins contingency plan. A Nick Foles trade would not be as likely, per Mehta, who would be “stunned” if the Jets offered the Eagles one of their two second-round picks for the Super Bowl MVP. With Carson Wentz not a lock to be ready by Week 1, the Eagles would be unlikely to unload Foles for a third-rounder given his current stock and potential importance to a title defense.
  • Mehta adds the Jets are not planning to cut Robby Anderson because of his recent arrest. However, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes no extension offer should be expected anytime soon. Gang Green’s leading receiver in 2017, Anderson will be an RFA after next season. However, the January arrest produced three felony charges. And the 24-year-old wide receiver has a history of encountering police. Cimini reports he has 10 traffic violations on his record since 2014, all coming in Florida. His 941-yard season notwithstanding, Anderson may be on thin ice.
  • Both Jermaine Kearse and Quincy Enunwa are due to be UFAs after 2018, and the Jets have some of the most cap space in the league. Cimini would be surprised if the Jets used a sizable chunk of that space to outbid the competition for Jarvis Landry. Instead, he envisions a realistic pursuit of Allen Robinson, noting that since his ACL tear occurred in September, the 24-year-old Jaguars receiver would be a better bet as a long-term investment that had the injury taken place later in the season. If the Jets did land Robinson, Cimini writes the team will likely look to trade Kearse.
  • Two Alabama assistants will be part of Sean McDermott‘s second Bills staff. William Vlachos and Shea Tierney will make their way from Tuscaloosa, Ala., to Buffalo to become Bills offensive assistants, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com tweets. These two will follow Brian Daboll, the Bills’ new OC, in making this move.
  • While John Butler was hired to replace secondary coach Gill Byrd, the Bills have shifted assistant DBs coach Bobby Babich‘s title to safeties coach, Rodak notes (on Twitter). Rodak expects Butler to focus more on corners this year.