Darrell Bevell will be the Seahawks' offensive coordinator, replacing Jeremy Bates, who was fired this week.
The Seahawks will be changing offenses for the third time in three years, but this time the new offense will bear at least a passing resemblance to Seattle’s recent past.
That’s because Darrell Bevell — the team’s new offensive coordinator — is a third-generation member of Mike Holmgren’s coaching tree, working with the West Coast offense first in Green Bay and later in Minnesota.
Bevell agreed to become the Seahawks’ new offensive coordinator Thursday, filling the spot that opened when Jeremy Bates was fired Tuesday after just one year in Seattle. Neither coach Pete Carroll nor Bevell were made available to comment on the hiring.
Bevell, 41, was Minnesota’s offensive coordinator the past five seasons and previously worked in Green Bay for six years. He joins a Seahawks staff that just added Tom Cable, who will coach the offensive line and has been charged with revitalizing a run game that finished second to last in the league.
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After five seasons with the Vikings, Bevell is pretty familiar with running the ball. Minnesota finished in the top half of the league in rushing each of his five years, thanks in large part to the presence of running back Adrian Peterson.
Minnesota ranked in the top 10 in rushing in three of Bevell’s five years, and led the league in 2007.
Each of Seattle’s last two offensive coordinators has been fired after a single season with the team. Greg Knapp was let go, along with head coach Jim Mora, after the 2009 season. Carroll did not elaborate on his decision to fire Bates other than to say the two saw things differently.
Bevell is a former college quarterback who led Wisconsin to the 1994 Rose Bowl. He comes to an offense that is again seeking to find a way to jump-start a stalled rushing game. Seattle has not had a player rush for 1,000 yards in any season since 2005. Detroit is the only other franchise that hasn’t had a 1,000-yard rusher in that time.
The biggest question facing the Seahawks’ roster this offseason is whether Matt Hasselbeck will be back. Bevell’s hiring doesn’t have a direct link to re-signing the quarterback, but should Seattle bring him back, he will return to an offense structured more like the system Holmgren ran in Hasselbeck’s first eight years with the team.
The Seahawks ran a different version of the West Coast offense the past two seasons, one drawn from Mike Shanahan’s coaching lineage. Both Knapp and Bates worked as assistants under Shanahan.
Bevell has more of a Holmgren pedigree, though he never worked for the man. Bevell came to Green Bay in 2000 under Mike Sherman, a Holmgren protégé. In 2006, Bevell went to work in Minnesota under Brad Childress, who coached under Andy Reid — another of Holmgren’s direct coaching descendants.
Hasselbeck was Green Bay’s backup quarterback in 2000, the year Bevell joined the staff as an offensive assistant. Hasselbeck was traded to Seattle the following year.
Bevell was not retained as Minnesota’s offensive coordinator under Leslie Frazier, the new Vikings head coach. Minnesota hired Bill Musgrave to fill that spot.
Seattle’s only coaching vacancy is quarterbacks coach. Carl Smith, former Jaguars offensive coordinator, is thought to be a candidate.
Danny O’Neil: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org