Bevell had been Seattle's offensive coordinator since the 2011 season, when he took over for Jeremy Bates, who was fired following the 2010 season — Pete Carroll's first year with Seattle.
The Seahawks have fired seven-year offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, a source confirmed to The Seattle Times.
The news was first reported by Curtis Crabtree of ProFootballTalk.com and KJR-AM 950 Tuesday night and was made official by the team Wednesday afternoon.
Bevell had been Seattle’s offensive coordinator since the 2011 season, when he took over for Jeremy Bates, who was fired following the 2010 season — coach Pete Carroll’s first year with Seattle.
Shakeup in Seattle
The Seahawks ranked 15th in the NFL in total offense in 2017 at 330.4 yards per game but had increasing issues scoring and moving the ball as the season progressed. They were held to a combined 285 yards in late-season games against the Rams and Dallas.
Seattle ranked fourth in the NFL in total offense at 378.6 yards per game in 2015 but struggled with its running game the past two seasons following the departure of running back Marshawn Lynch.
The Seahawks did not confirm the news Tuesday night, but a source confirmed to The Times that Bevell had been fired, and that more moves could be coming in the wake of a 9-7 season that saw Seattle miss the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
The firing is the first of a coordinator for the Seahawks since the removal of Bates.
Bevell, a former quarterback at Wisconsin, came to Seattle following a stint as the Minnesota Vikings’ offensive coordinator from 2006-10.
He was at the offensive helm for some of the Seahawks’ greatest moments, as they won the Super Bowl following the 2013 season and set a franchise record for yards gained in a season in 2015 with 6,058, breaking a mark that had been set the year before with 6,012.
But the 2014 season ended with a play call that will go down as the defining moment of Bevell’s Seattle career — a pass from the 1-yard line in the final seconds of Super Bowl XLIX that was intercepted by New England’s Malcolm Butler, preserving a 28-24 win for the Patriots and denying a second consecutive Super Bowl title for the Seahawks.
Bevell and Carroll took responsibility for the call, but Bevell’s reputation took a hit with fans that might ultimately have been too much to overcome.
“It’s a terrible memory,’’ Bevell said in 2016, before a rematch between the Seahawks and Patriots. “Every time it comes up it sticks in your gut. … So it’s something that is always there, something I have grown from, something that I have learned from. But it ain’t going away. It’s always going to be there.’’
That Super Bowl loss came at the end of a 2014 season in which Seattle set a team record for rushing yards with 2,762. But Lynch was injured the next season and limited to nine games, and the offense began to be increasingly dependent on Wilson. He set a team record with 34 touchdown passes in 2015 that he tied again in 2017, the latter total also leading the NFL.
The 2017 season ended with receiver Doug Baldwin — who set a franchise record with 14 receiving touchdowns in 2016 — launching into a spirited defense of Bevell on the day following a 26-24 loss to Arizona that assured Seattle would finish without 10 wins for the first time since 2011.
“It’s not play-calling,” Baldwin said. “It’s not play-calling. We go into a game knowing what the defense is going to give us, the situations we’re going to be in. We don’t execute as a team. Offensively, that’s what we’ve seen countless times and time again, that we do not execute the way 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, Bev is not the problem. Probably already said too much.’’
Carroll, though, ultimately decided that change was in order, firing Bevell, with the team then also deciding to let go of offensive line coach Tom Cable. The firings of each were announced on Wednesday afternoon.
Bevell released a statement through the team on Wednesday afternoon stating that “I would like to thank the entire Seahawks organization for seven great seasons.”
A report out of Atlanta suggested that Bevell could quickly land on his feet as the quarterbacks coach of the Falcons. Atlanta’s current QB coach, Bush Hamdan, is leaving to become the offensive coordinator for the Washington Huskies.