Is Darrell Bevell the favorite for the Jaguars O.C. job?
After meeting with the Jaguars on Tuesday, is former Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell the favorite to land the same job in Jacksonville?
If Darrell Bevell, 49, isn’t the leading contender to be the Jacksonville Jaguars new offensive coordinator, then he should be. The former Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator met with the organization earlier this week to discuss the vacant position recently held by Nathaniel Hackett, who was fired on Nov. 26 for a lack of offensive production and replaced by quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich on an interim basis.
There is plenty to like about Darrell Bevell from his time with the Seahawks, where he was instrumental in helping to develop Russell Wilson and Seattle’s offense. His game plan also included the use of a defined rushing game which featured Marshawn Lynch.
"“Bevell’s most enticing attribute is his experience. Between stops in Minnesota and Seattle, Bevell has called plays in the NFL for 12 seasons, and he’s done so at a high level,” writes Daniel Popper of The Athletic. “On top of that, he checks a number of boxes for the Jaguars in terms of their current offensive makeup and philosophy.”"
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The Jaguars have reportedly interviewed Todd Monken, who served as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator last season and was the team’s wide receivers coach in 2016 and 2017. Monken has a history with the Jaguars, having served as the team’s wide receivers coach from 2007-10 under Jack Del Rio.
When the Buccaneers fired head coach Dirk Koetter, Monken was left searching for a job.
The focus of the Jaguars front office should be on Darrell Bevell, who would give the offensive side of the ball credibility, if for nothing else than his ability to take Wilson and make him one of the top tier quarterbacks in the NFL.
Hiring Bevell might also tip the Jaguars hand in how they plan to handle the complicated quarterback situation on the team’s roster. Also, the team finished 31st in the NFL in scoring average with 15.6 points a contest and played from behind in most of their games this past season.
If the past is any indication of how Bevell may run the Jaguars offense, then a mobile quarterback would be the preferable route. There has been some talk that Jacksonville may opt to sign Joe Flacco as the veteran bridge to a rookie signal caller the team drafts in April. That doesn’t fit this type of scheme.
Seattle, with Bevell on board, selected Wilson in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Coincidentally, Gus Bradley, the former Jaguars head coach, was the team’s defensive coordinator at the time. The team had just signed Matt Flynn to a three-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks worth $20.5 million, with $9 million guaranteed. The rookie beat Flynn out and has been one of the best mobile quarterbacks in the NFL ever since.
As Popper added, Bevell’s blueprint has been run first, pass second. It’s something the team’s executive vice-president Tom Coughlin has preached and will continue to do so this coming season.
"“Historically, Bevell’s schemes have been predicated on the run. His offenses finished in the top 15 in rushing percentage in nine of 12 seasons, including seven times in the top 10 and six times in the top five,” Popper wrote."
Jacksonville led the NFL in rushing in 2017. This past season, the team averaged 107.7 yards a game. The Jaguars should have a healthy Leonard Fournette in the backfield once again next season.
Hiring Bevell could be a good fit for Jacksonville, a team that still must decide what to do with Blake Bortles, who has $16.5 million in dead cap space on the books for 2019. The Jaguars could still keep the fifth-year starter on the roster. He is one of the more mobile quarterbacks in the league, but his mechanics took a turn for the worse last season.
The Jaguars own the seventh pick in the NFL Draft and could select a quarterback to groom in the first round.