Seahawks fire OC Bevell after 7 years
- Ilona Hunt
- Hits: 85
The Seattle Seahawks have fired offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell after seven seasons, a source confirmed to JJA Sport Studio.
Bevell was informed of the decision Tuesday night, according to ProFootballTalk, which first reported his dismissal. The Seahawks have not announced Bevell's firing, though the move would not be unexpected. Coach Pete Carroll left the door open for potential coaching changes when he said after the season that the staff would be evaluated.
Bevell's dismissal comes on the heels of the Seahawks finishing 9-7 and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Seattle was 15th in total offense and 11th in scoring but had particular trouble moving the ball in December, producing fewer than 150 yards in both a Week 15 loss to the Los Angeles Rams and a Week 16 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Seattle's yardage totals in those games marked the team's lowest since 2013.
Wide receiver Doug Baldwin, as he has done on other occasions, defended Bevell after the season.
"It's not playcalling. It's not playcalling," Baldwin said. "We go into a game knowing what the defense is going to give us, the situations that we're going to be in. We don't execute as a team. Offensively, that's what we've seen time and time again is that we do not execute the way that we should. And that's on us as players. You guys can blame Bev all you want to, but the truth of the matter is that Bev's not the problem."
One potential candidate to replace Bevell is Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian. The former Washington and USC coach worked for Carroll with the Trojans. However, Falcons coach Dan Quinn said Wednesday that there was "zero chance" of Sarkisian leaving for Seattle.
A former quarterback at Wisconsin, Bevell came to Seattle in 2011 after serving as the Minnesota Vikings' offensive coordinator for the previous five seasons. He replaced Jeremy Bates, who followed Carroll to Seattle from USC but was fired after one season. Bevell would be the first Seahawks coordinator to be fired since Bates.
Bevell oversaw Seattle's offense during the most successful run in franchise history, which included five straight playoff appearances and two trips to the Super Bowl, and played a role in the development of quarterback Russell Wilson. But Bevell became an exceedingly unpopular figure among Seahawks fans, especially after Seattle lost Super Bowl XLIX to the New England Patriots on an interception at the goal line, costing them a second straight world championship.
Seattle was ninth in total offense in that 2014 season and fourth in 2015, which marked the only seasons in the top 10 during Bevell's run. Seattle was 12th in 2016 and ranked in the bottom half of the league from 2011 to 2013. The 2012 to 2015 seasons, however, all rank among the top eight in franchise history in terms of points scored.
The Seahawks' running game in particular has struggled over the past two seasons. Seattle finished no worse than fourth in rushing from 2012 to 2015 but has been 23rd and 25th in the past two seasons. Wilson led the team in rushing in 2017 with 586 yards and produced three of the team's four rushing touchdowns.
Offensive line coach Tom Cable is in charge of Seattle's running game. Cable, who joined Seattle's staff the same year as Bevell, is also not assured of being brought back next season.