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Monday open thread: Will Darrell Bevell return as offensive coordinator?

Does the interim head coach settle back into Detroit?

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

With the head coaching search all but official for the Detroit Lions, a question remains for the organization: what happens with Darrell Bevell?

Bevell took over as interim head coach following the firing of Matt Patricia, and while the Lions only managed a 1-4 record, there were certainly improvements under him. The morale of the team seemed to instantly improve once Bevell took over. The Lions won against the Bears due to some late-game heroics. The poor record isn’t necessarily a reflection of Bevell’s coaching job either—four of those games were against playoff teams, and Bevell didn’t actually coach the Buccaneers game. Best of all, he finally let the leash off Matthew Stafford:

Under Patricia, the offense chose to limit its downfield passing attack, arguably Stafford’s strength. The Lions offense was safer, prioritizing a tough rushing attack and controlling the clock. Obviously, those two mentalities failed the Lions this year.

Bevell was interviewed as part of the Lions head coaching search, given the relatively positive reception to his tenure as interim coach. With the position likely—as of this writing—going to Dan Campbell, that leaves Bevell in an awkward spot. Does he return to his offensive coordinator duties in Detroit, or does he pursue a head coaching gig?

Two teams still have head coaching positions available: the Eagles and the Texans. Not only is Houston a train wreck of a situation to go into with Deshaun Watson wanting out, but the Eagles have a tough decision to make between Carson Wentz, Jalen Hurts, or another quarterback. Bevell has desired to be a head coach, but neither team is an ideal spot for a first timer. Competing against Bevell are the likes of Marvin Lewis, Eric Bieniemy, Todd Bowles, Brian Daboll, and Matt Eberflus. Is Bevell’s resume good enough to get the job?

Alternatively for Detroit, do you want Bevell back? Having a coach that is liked by players is good, but the on-field product has been lacking under Bevell. The Lions finished 18th in offensive DVOA in 2019 and 16th in 2020—not awful, but not great either. Having Stafford out for half of 2019 certainly made his job difficult, but Bevell still struggled to unlock his offense. Feeding Adrian Peterson over D’Andre Swift made little sense at the time, and the insistence on running the ball even when it wasn’t working doomed many games.

Bevell is respected in the league and put together a decent showing despite a depleted roster with nothing to play for. But will he turn to Detroit?

Today’s Question of the Day is:

Will Darrell Bevell return as offensive coordinator?

My answer: I do not think Bevell will return as offensive coordinator.

It is difficult to assume what happens behind closed doors, and there is the possibility that Bevell has spoken with Campbell regarding their vision for the Detroit Lions. With Campbell having no history as a coordinator, perhaps the experience and familiarity Bevell brings are traits that Campbell desires.

However, I think this is a prime opportunity to start anew on offense. Bevell’s offensive philosophy hasn’t shown enough to win me over. There were too many instances of safe play calling resulting in insurmountable deficits for Detroit. Even if this is mainly attributed to Patricia—it likely is—Bevell is still at fault. Instead of molding an offense around Stafford’s strengths, Stafford was forced into a scheme that wasn’t ideal for his skillset.

I genuinely loved his press conferences after years of Patricia’s coachspeak, but I don’t envision him as the right choice for offensive coordinator going forward.

Your turn.


Will Darrell Bevell return as offensive coordinator?

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