The Jacksonville Jaguars have reportedly found the team’s new offensive coordinator. According to NFL Network Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo, head coach Urban Meyer will be bringing in Darrell Bevell to run the offense.
The #Jaguars are expected to hire Darrell Bevell as their offensive coordinator, sources tell me and @MikeGarafolo. Several teams made a push to hire Bevell, who finished last season as the #Lions' interim coach, but it looks like he'll land with Urban Meyer.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 21, 2021
Meyer has recently said he will not call plays, so that duty will likely fall on Bevell, and Meyer has also put emphasis on building an “elite” staff. Bevell will be the team’s fourth offensive coordinator in the past four seasons.
“I‘m not going to be the play-caller,” Meyer said at his introductory press conference. “I’ve been very active in play-calling throughout my career on offense and (the) kicking game. On defense, I’m not. I’m going to hire the best defensive coaches. I think something I’ve done halfway decent is I know what it’s supposed to look like and feel like and the fundamentals, but schematically the NFL is different.”
Bevell most recently spent time with the Detroit Lions as offensive coordinator and eventually interim head coach following Matt Patricia’s firing after Thanksgiving. Under Bevell in 2020, the Lions ranked squarely in the middle of the pack in offensive DVOA, coming in at 16th, according to Football Outsiders.
Detroit ranked 20th in total yards per game (350.2), 10th in passing yards per game (256.5), 30th in rushing yards per game (93.7) and 20th in points scored per game (23.6)
Our friends at Pride of Detroit had this to say on Bevell’s 2020 season:
Bevell made a quick impression in Detroit after taking a year off in 2018. He seemed to reignite Matthew Stafford’s career, allowing him to unleash the deep ball all over again. Although Stafford didn’t exactly shine as bright in 2020, Bevell again impressed by taking over as interim head coach for the final five games of the season. Though Detroit went 1-4 over those games, the team was noticeably more loose and energetic on gamedays. Additionally, once head coach Matt Patricia was gone, gunslinger Matthew Stafford returned.
Prior to his time in Detroit, Bevell spent several seasons with the Seattle Seahawks from 2011 through 2017. He helped groom Russell Wilson, and was the play-caller for a Seattle team that made five consecutive playoff appearances, two Super Bowl appearances and won one Super Bowl championship.
Of course, Bevell will always be remembered for the play call in Super Bowl XLIX against the New England Patriots, when instead of giving the ball to Marshawn Lynch at the one-yard line with 26 seconds to go (and one timeout left), Bevell called a skinny post out of a two-receiver set (which head coach Pete Carroll approved). The result was a Malcolm Butler interception on Wilson’s pass, which sealed the victory for the Patriots. Overall, though, Bevell had a pretty successful run with the Seahawks, and I personally don’t think a single play call should derail that.
Before heading to Seattle, Bevell served as offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings from 2006 through 2010. He also served as quarterbacks coach for the Green Bay Packers from 2003 trough 2005, and assistant quarterbacks coach with Green Bay from 2000 through 2002.
In addition to his NFL coaching experience, which will be valuable to Meyer in his first year in the NFL, Bevell also has college coaching experience. He began his coaching career in 1996 at Westmar University in Iowa in 1996 as the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He then took a graduate assistant role at Iowa State in 1997, and moved on to Connecticut in 1998 and 1999 as wide receivers coach.
Bevell played college football for the Wisconsin Badgers in the 1990s, and was the team’s starting quarterback from 1992 through 1995.
Bevell will likely now get a chance to work with perceived No. 1 overall pick, Trevor Lawrence, in 2021.
Jacksonville has also reportedly found its defensive coordinator in Joe Cullen.