Darrell Bevell

Dolphins Expected To Add Darrell Bevell To Coaching Staff

Mike McDaniel is adding a notable name to his coaching staff. Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com reports that the Dolphins are expected to hire Darrell Bevell as their passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach. ESPN ‘s Jeremy Fowler was first to report (via Twitter) that the Dolphins were closing in on a deal with the veteran coach.

Brought onto Urban Meyer‘s Jaguars staff to be offensive coordinator a little over a year ago, Bevell was tasked with serving as the interim head coach for the Jaguars’ final four games of the 2021 season after Meyer was relieved of his duties. Over those four games, Jacksonville recorded one win and three losses. This wasn’t Bevell’s first tenure as an interim head coach; Bevell coached the final five games of the Lions’ 2020 season after the firing of Matt Patricia, winning one game in Detroit (for a career record of 2-7 as a head coach (all in an interim capacity)).

Prior to his forgettable stints in Detroit (where he also served as OC) and Jacksonville, Bevell had a successful run with the Seahawks. During his seven years as Seattle’s offensive coordinator, the Seahawks were a consistent top-10 offense. Aaron Wilson also gave credit to the coach for the selection of Russell Wilson, and the writer also pointed out Bevell’s ability to recruit former players to his new gigs (a list that includes Brett Favre, Sidney Rice, and Percy Harvin). Now, after having worked with a long list of quarterbacks that includes Favre, Wilson, and Matthew Stafford, Bevell will now be focused on the development of Tua Tagovailoa.

The 52-year-old Bevell was OC in Minnesota from 2006 to 2010, and he also had a six-year stint on the Packers coaching staff.

Interim HC Bevell Won’t Remain With Jaguars

Darrell Bevell‘s tenure in Jacksonville was a short one. With the hiring of Doug Pederson being announced earlier this month, it appears that Bevell will not remain in northern Florida as a part of Pederson’s coaching staff, according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network. 

Brought onto Urban Meyer‘s staff to be offensive coordinator a little over a year ago, Bevell was tasked with serving as the interim head coach for the Jaguars’ final four games of the 2021 season after Meyer was relieved of his duties. Over those four games, Jacksonville recorded one win and three losses to finish the season 3-14.

This wasn’t Bevell’s first tenure as an interim head coach. Just last season, Bevell coached the final five games of the Lions’ 2020 season after the firing of Matt Patricia, winning one game in Detroit, as well, for a career record of 2-7 as a head coach (all in an interim capacity).

Bevell will likely return to his day job as an offensive coordinator. While the Jaguars’ offense finished last in the NFL this season in multiple categories, Bevell’s seen success as a play caller in Seattle, finishing as a top-ten scoring offense in five of his seven seasons with the Seahawks, including a top-four scoring offense in 2015. Bevell’s first gig calling plays came in Minnesota where he spend five years leading a Vikings’ offense to varying results, including a 2009 offense that finished second in scoring, featuring Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson, and rookie wide receiver Percy Harvin.

According to Wilson, Bevell has received interest from multiple NFL teams and his moving on from Jacksonville will allow him to pursue those opportunities.

Latest On Jaguars’ Head Coaching Vacancy

‘Black Monday’ has come and gone in the NFL, putting another three Head Coaches out of work. The Vikings, Bears and Dolphins have joined the Broncos, Raiders and Jaguars as teams with an opening needing to be filled for the 2022 season. While the Jags have already begun the process of interviewing for the position, there is still a possibility interim HC Darrell Bevell could end up getting the job. 

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that Bevell will interview with the team on Tuesday. That adds his name to a long list of other candidates who either already have, or will soon interview for the position as well. The 52-year old took over as head coach on an interim basis after the firing of Urban Meyer in December. That was a familiar situation for the man hired to be the team’s offensive coordinator, as he also transitioned from OC to interim HC in Detroit the year before following Matt Patricia’s dismissal. In both instances, Bevell managed to lead his teams to one victory in the closing weeks of the season.

Meanwhile, Pelissero’s colleague Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett will be interviewed sometime this week. Since the Packers on a bye as the NFC’s top seed, the interview could be done in person. Hackett is already one of serval names receiving consideration for the Broncos’ job, so Jacksonville could find itself in a competition for the 42-year old. On the other hand, Hackett taking the Jaguars position would represent a coming home of sorts, since he served on the team’s staff from 2015 to 2018, including a stint as offensive coordinator during their run to the AFC Championship game in 2017.

Like all of the current coaching vacancies, the picture will likely become clearer in the coming days and weeks. Stay tuned for the latest updates and interview requests throughout the league.

 

Brian Schottenheimer To Call Jaguars’ Plays

Jaguars quarterbacks coach Brian Schottenheimer will call the plays for the rest of the season, interim head coach Darrell Bevell announced (Twitter link via Field Yates of ESPN.com). Bevell is, of course, an experienced offensive coordinator, but he’s handing things over to Schottenheimer so that he can focus on his HC duties over the next few weeks. 

[RELATED: Doug Pederson Interested In Jaguars HC Job]

Bevell may be a candidate for the permanent HC post and the final few games of the season may impact his candidacy. Schottenheimer, meanwhile, has an opportunity to re-establish himself in the coaching ranks. He hasn’t gotten great results out of No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence, but few Jaguars players have shined this year. Now, Schottenheimer has a chance to display his offensive acumen and show the league that he wasn’t the problem in Jacksonville.

Schottenheimer, 48, has more than two decades of coaching experience under his belt. He got his first crack at being an offensive coordinator with the Jets in 2006 and proceeded to spend six years in New York. He later served as offensive coordinator for the Rams and at Georgia. Following his brief collegiate stint, he returned to the NFL as the Colts quarterbacks coach. In 2018, he was hired as the Seahawks offensive coordinator to replace Bevell. He spent three seasons in Seattle, and, despite Seeattle setting a single-season franchise record for points scored, he was fired in January of 2021.

Coaching Notes: Jags, Culley, Nagy

Things have not gone well for the Jaguars this year. Urban Meyer failed to make it through his first year as an NFL head coach, No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence has the second-worst QB rating among qualified passers, and the club has mustered just two wins against 11 losses. The good news, as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes, is that the Jacksonville head coaching job is considered a desirable one, and many candidates who are expected to be hot commodities in the upcoming coaching cycle are anxious to secure an interview with owner Shad Khan.

That is largely because of Lawrence, who is still considered a generational talent despite his rookie struggles. Former Eagles HC Doug Pederson is reportedly interested in the post, and Patriots OC Josh McDaniels and Bills OC Brian Daboll might also be attractive options for Khan given their recent work with young signal-callers. One way or another, Khan should not have any difficulty luring a top candidate to Duval, though he obviously needs to get this hire right.

Here are several other coaching-related items:

  • Jaguars interim HC Darrell Bevell will have a chance to have the interim tag removed and interview for the permanent head coaching gig. He does have Lawrence’s support, but his candidacy will depend on how the team’s offense performs down the stretch. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com expects Ravens DC Don Martindale — the architect of the Jags’ Joe Cullen-led defense — to be in the mix as well (Twitter link).
  • We recently heard that the Texans are expected to retain head coach David Culley for 2022, but GM Nick Caserio is at least considering his options, per La Canfora. Culley, a 66-year-old coach who had spent his entire career as an assistant, was the most surprising hire of the 2021 cycle, but as Houston was (and is) in the midst of a complete rebuild, the club was perhaps looking for more of a caretaker than anything else. Caserio is rumored to have his eye on one unnamed candidate for the next phase of the rebuild, and it’s not difficult to connect the dots to McDaniels. The Houston HC job may not attract many in-demand candidates for 2022, which means that Culley could get one more year at the helm. However, if McDaniels does not land his own head coaching post in the coming months, he and Caserio could reunite in Texas in 2023.
  • No surprises here, but La Canfora, in the same Culley piece linked above, says many assistants on Bears HC Matt Nagy‘s staff are operating under the assumption that they will need to find new employment at season’s end. It has been assumed that Nagy will be terminated after the season is over, though La Canfora leaves open the possibility that Nagy could get his walking papers before then so that Chicago can get a head start on the interview process.

Jaguars Fire Urban Meyer

Despite signing a five-year contract to coach the Jaguars out of mediocrity, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that, after only eleven months, Urban Meyer is no longer the head coach in Jacksonville. Urban had a bit of a rocky debut season in the NFL, going a paltry 2-11 in a year full of controversy. The firing comes a little over a month after Jaguars’ owner Shad Khan was reportedly “all in” on the first-year head coach. 

Meyer was a headline hire for Jacksonville, replacing Doug Marrone as head coach shortly after the Jaguars had secured the worst record in the 2020 NFL season. Meyer had shown his abilities as an accomplished coach in the college ranks, winning three national titles between his years in Gainesville and Columbus. The value of his five-year deal was never officially confirmed, but reports claimed that Meyer was asking for $12MM annually, which would have made him the second-highest paid coach in the NFL under Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichek.

The Meyer-era didn’t take long before showing it’s sour potential. In July, the Jaguars were one of three teams penalized for violating the CBA rules for offseason workouts. The Jaguars were fined a nominal $200K and Meyer was handed a $100K fine, as well. Not two weeks later, Meyer was subpoenaed by the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Iowa in relation to Chris Doyle, the former University of Iowa strength coach who left the school to join Meyer’s staff in Jacksonville. Doyle was the subject of a $20MM racial discrimination civil lawsuit filed by eight former Iowa players. The hiring of Doyle, itself, had created a slew of backlash. Meyer drew yet another offseason headline with comments that COVID-19 vaccination statuses were being considered when trimming the team’s roster down to 53 players, leading to an investigation by the NFLPA.

In October, Meyer once again found himself under fire after a viral video surfaced showing him with a young woman at his restaurant in Columbus. The Jaguars had just played a Thursday night game in Cincinnati. After the loss to the Bengals, Meyer didn’t fly back to Florida with the team, electing to stay in Ohio to visit family. Meyer claimed he had gone with family members to the restaurant where the viral video had been recorded. He spent the following Monday apologizing to the team, his family, and Khan.

Since then, there have been several reports of discontent within the Jaguars’ organization, with the most recent coming from kicker Josh Lambo who spoke about a preseason incident in which the Jaguars’ coach kicked Lambo while he was stretching. From continuous rumors that Meyer could have interest in open college coaching jobs to expectations that Meyer would fire the entire staff at the end of the season, it’s safe to say that the Meyer-Jacksonville partnership has not gone according to plan.

Ian Rapoport, of NFL Network, was quick to follow Schefter in tweeting that, with Meyer out, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will serve as head coach in an interim capacity. Bevell is in his 21st year of coaching in the NFL, with previous stints as the quarterbacks coach in Green Bay and the offensive coordinator in Minnesota, Seattle, and Detroit. Bevell actually has experience as an interim head coach, having led the Detroit Lions to a 1-4 finish following the firing of then-head coach Matt Patricia just last year. The Jaguars’ offense has struggled under Bevell with a rookie quarterback and an identical offensive line to the line from 2020 that helped Jacksonville earn the number one overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. They currently rank 30th in total offense and 31st in scoring offense.

Bevell should have a soft opening term as interim coach in Jacksonville, with matchups against the Texans and Jets, before finishing the season with the Patriots and Colts. Meanwhile, we’ll have to wait and see just how genuine the college interest in Meyer was as the mired coach navigates the aftermath of a tumultuous 2021 campaign.

Jaguars Plan To Hire Darrell Bevell As OC

Darrell Bevell may soon land on his feet. The veteran offensive coordinator and recent interim Lions head coach has spent multiple days in Jacksonville this week, according to the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett, who tweets the Jaguars are close to hiring him as OC.

The partnership is expected to take place. Urban Meyer intends to hire Bevell, Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo of NFL.com report (on Twitter). With Meyer not planning to call plays in Jacksonville, Bevell will be thrust into a crucial role with the rebuilding team — which is expected to draft Trevor Lawrence in April.

The former Seahawks and Vikings OC spent the past two years in Detroit and interviewed for the Lions HC position that went to Dan Campbell. Bevell, 51, was in the mix for the job and has been an NFL offensive coordinator in all but one season since 2006.

His most notable role came in Seattle, when Bevell served as the play-caller for the Russell Wilson– and Marshawn Lynch-centered offenses that helped the Seahawks rise to back-to-back Super Bowls. While the ending to the second of those Super Bowls brought tremendous scrutiny, Bevell remained with the Seahawks through the 2017 season.

Under Bevell in 2019, Matthew Stafford ranked sixth in QBR at the midseason point — prior to going down with a season-ending injury. The Lions ranked 20th in points and yards this season and went 1-4 under Bevell as interim HC. Detroit’s offense, however, encountered key injuries — most notably to Stafford and Kenny Golladay, who missed most of this season — in each of Bevell’s two years in charge. He is set for an interesting opportunity in Jacksonville, being tasked with developing Lawrence.

Coaching Notes: O’Connell, Raiders, Saints

The Rams just lost their DC Brandon Staley when he took the Chargers’ head coaching job, but it doesn’t sound like they’re about to let their OC follow him out the door. We heard yesterday that Staley was interested in bringing Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell with him, but Sean McVay has other ideas. The Rams have blocked him from interviewing with the Chargers, sources told Albert Breer of SI.com (Twitter link), which they can do since it’s a lateral move.

O’Connell doesn’t call the plays with the Rams, McVay does, and he presumably would’ve been able to with the Chargers. McVay had previously let his former OC Matt LaFleur leave to go become the Titans’ OC when it came with play-calling responsibilities, but it sounds like he’s tired of getting his assistants poached. Breer adds the Rams “really value” O’Connell. Breer does note that things could change, but that’s the Rams’ current position. O’Connell was the OC for Washington in 2019 before he was swept out with the rest of Jay Gruden’s staff.

Here’s more from the coaching ranks:

  • Speaking of the Chargers, Staley is at least getting who he wants for one position. Los Angeles is hiring Raiders tight ends coach Frank Smith away to be their new offensive line coach and run game coordinator, Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com tweets. Smith and Staley previously served on Vic Fangio’s Bears staff together, so there’s a connection there. As Gutierrez points out, Smith did a great job in helping Darren Waller blossom into one of the league’s best tight ends.
  • Smith isn’t the only assistant coach shuffling the Raiders are doing. New DC Gus Bradley is starting to flesh out his staff, and he’s hired Richard Smith and Ron Milus as his linebackers and defensive backs coaches respectively, Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal tweets. Smith and Milus held those same roles under Bradley with the Chargers previously.
  • The Lions are by all accounts planning on hiring Saints assistant Dan Campbell to be their new head coach, although notably no deal has been announced even though it’s been a couple of days now since New Orleans was bounced from the playoffs. Interim coach Darrell Bevell “earned serious consideration for the position,” and it’s possible he could get the job if talks with Campbell fell through, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. Bevell was Detroit’s OC before taking over for a fired Matt Patricia. Bevell was 1-4 as interim coach, and was the Seahawks’ OC from 2011-17.
  • LSU was finalizing a deal to make Saints defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen their new defensive coordinator, Jane Slater of NFL Network tweets. However, that hit a snag as it was reported New Orleans was blocking him from getting out of his contract. Things were resolved this morning with Nielsen being given a new three-year contract and the added title of assistant head coach to stay with the Saints, a source told Mike Triplett of ESPN.com (Twitter link). With Dennis Allen getting a head coaching interview with the Eagles, Nielsen could be a candidate to eventually take over as DC as he’s apparently very highly regarded within the building.

2021 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker

Exiting the regular season, six teams are searching for new head coaches. That number is up from last season but not quite as high as 2019, though there may well be more vacancies that emerge during the playoffs.

Listed below are the head coaching candidates that have been linked to each of the teams with vacancies, along with their current status. If and when other teams decide to make head coaching changes, they’ll be added to this list. Here is the current breakdown:

Updated 1-27-21 (7:05pm CT)

Atlanta Falcons

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Lions Interview Marvin Lewis For HC

Thus far, the Lions’ GM search has generated more headlines than their hunt for a new head coach, but their HC pursuit will soon kick into high gear. Detroit started that process by interviewing longtime Bengals HC Marvin Lewis several days ago, as Ian Rapoport, Tom Pelissero, and Mike Garafolo of NFL.com report.

[RELATED: Lions to pursue Seahawks GM John Schneider]

Lewis interviewed with the Texans for their HC vacancy last month, so the 62-year-old appears to be firmly back on the NFL radar. He currently serves as the co-defensive coordinator on Herm Edwards‘ staff at Arizona State.

The defensive acumen that he displayed while working as the Ravens’ DC from 1996-01 helped Lewis secure the Cincinnati gig in 2003, a position he held for 16 seasons. Though his 0-7 record in the postseason has garnered plenty of attention and ultimately contributed to Lewis’ ouster, the fact that he got the formerly moribund Bengals to the playoffs seven times during his tenure was in and of itself a major accomplishment.

Detroit is considering a wide variety of candidates for its HC post. Robert Saleh, the current 49ers defensive coordinator, is said to be high atop the team’s wish-list, but the Lions are also considering offensive-minded coaches. Chiefs offensive coordinator and hot commodity Eric Bieniemy is a target, as is Titans OC Arthur Smith.

Peter Schrager of the NFL Network reports that Saleh, Bieniemy, and interim HC Darrell Bevell are expected to interview this week (Twitter link).