Jaguars interim head coach Darrell Bevell has had some experience in leading a team as an interim HC.
Last season, he led the Detroit Lions after the franchise parted ways with former HC Matt Patricia, and now Bevell will have the opportunity to do so for a second-straight season, this time in Jacksonville following the ousting of HC Urban Meyer.
Bevell would defeat the Chicago Bears during his first week on the job with the Lions while losing the final four games of the season, something that is typical during a coaching transition with a bad team. His experience with that, though, is something that makes the transition to an interim HC healthy for Jacksonville.
“I thought they gave me their all,” Bevell told reporters earlier today when asked about his experience last season. “The first game we went to Chicago and we had to come back, come-from-behind victory, [it] was an awesome experience and the guys were great. So it was a really good experience and I really wouldn’t expect it to be any different here.”
Reporter: "I think you got a really got a chance to finish with more career wins as an interim coach than Urban has a HC."— Billy M (@BillyM_91) December 16, 2021
Bevell's reaction: pic.twitter.com/jVl5li7hgI
While the prevailing impression reporters got today from the availability at practice today was “relief,” Bevell, and players felt the more appropriate word was “focus,” able to take on the next challenge that is the 2-11 Houston Texans on Sunday.
“I think they were focused,” said Bevell when asked about the players, adding later that the team practiced “really well” today.
“I was really excited about that. Because anytime you have really any type of distractions that can be something that can affect practice and affect the things you’re doing. So I was fired up the way that they came out there they handled their business.”
Of course, the elephant in the room was Meyer’s dismissal today, something that Bevell hadn’t found out about until late last night via a phone call from general manager Trent Baalke. Baalke would inform Bevell of owner Shad Khan’s plans to fire Meyer and promote the offensive coordinator to interim head coach.
Bevell stated that Meyer was not there for the team’s meetings after practice, leaving the coaches to game plan without him. That was the last time he saw the former HC.
Though there were plenty of distractions and dramas leading up to this point, including reporters about the tension between the assistant coaches and Meyer himself, Bevell said that he has great respect for Meyer, the coach that brought him to Jacksonville in the first place earlier this year.
“Coach Meyer brought me in here and I have a lot of respect for him and what he did for me and my family,” said Bevell.
Bevell wants the team to move forward, however, focus on Houston, “today’s a new day,” he quipped.
When it comes to who will be calling plays on Sunday, Bevell stated that he will do so this week, but wouldn’t commit to it beyond, depending on how Sunday goes. While he’s been up in the booth for the first 13 weeks of this season, the interim HC will be on the field calling plays this week, something he’s done the rest of his career.
“I’m excited to be able to do that because that’s what I’m familiar with,” said Bevell. “The last however many years that’s what I’ve been doing and, and there is something about being down there.
“Like I said the energy, the juice, but then being able to look them in the eye, you know how they’re doing, and some of the other communications that you might have, you know, I’m excited about.”
- Bevell was asked about Robinson’s status amid the drama that unfolded of late, and his role. “James Robinson’s our starting running back, and he will be played as such.”
- After some sloppy play last Sunday on offense, Bevell got after the offensive players in a meeting the other day. “I kind of really got half of the offense the other day, because of the mistakes that we made,” he said. “I mean, it was there was things that we should know from when we started playing Pop Warner Football, and those are the ones that are a little bit more baffling. So we got those things that we got to get out of our game.”