Jets OC Candidate Profile: Darrell Bevell

Darrell Bevell is the most likely candidate to replace Mike LaFleur as the Jets next Offensive Coordinator. He has a connection with Saleh, years of experience, coming off a great year with the Dolphins who are headed by Mike McDaniel who runs the same offense we do. It wouldn't be an exciting hire, and wouldn't necessarily be a good one. It is what I'd expect though.

Looking a little deeper into Bevell, he's been an OC for 4 teams over 15 years as a play caller. During that 10 year stretch Bevell has had an offense rated 20th or worse 5 times. The first was his first year ever as a play caller 2006 with the Vikings. Then came his last year with the Vikings 2010. Then with Tarvaris Jackson at QB with the Seahawks, the second was 2020 with the Lions, and third was the 2021 Jaguars with Urban Meyer running the show.

I think you can forgive 2021 as the whole team was awful and Meyer was a bloodsucker who ruined everything he touched. So let's examine the other 4 years.

In 2006 Bevell was a first time play caller coming off being the QB coach in Green Bay. He took over a bad situation there's no other way to put it. His QB was a 38 year old Brad Johnson, he didn't have a RB who had even 700 rushing yards nor a WR with even 650 receiving yards. While it didn't show up on the scoreboard, the Vikings did improve. Chester Taylor put up 1200 yards rushing Travis Taylor gave the team a 650 yard receiver. They just didn't have the QB play to get it working. Not to unlike the Jets this past year. His QBs threw 20 INTs to 11 TDs, not much any OC can do with that. The team drafted Adrian Peterson the next year and they were off and running.

That is until 2010. The last year of Brett Favre's career wasn't pretty. The Vikings wound up starting 3 QBs that year and again they combined for 26 INTs to just 14 TDs. Adrian Peterson and Percy Havin tried to carry the offense, but there's only so much you can do when you're QB play is that bad. It's worth noting, the Vikings had the 2nd best offense in the NFL the year before.

When the Vikings fired him, Bevell found a job quick joining Pete Carroll in Seattle. He inherited a team that lost their franchise QB to retirement, had an awful running game led by this under performing RB named Marshawn Lynch who had just 1,187 yards the last 2 years combined. The team's best WR was Mike Williams. So what happened? Like in Minnesota the improvements came but didn't show up on the scoreboard. Tarvaris Jackson came in as the team's stopgap QB option, Marshawn Lynch had the best season of his career to that point, Doug Baldwin became a rookie star. The next year Bevell convinced the Seahawks to draft Russell Wilson and the offense was complete. He wouldn't rank worse than 18th in offense during the rest of his tenure.

When the Seahawks did move on Bevell once again quickly found a new job, this time on Matt Patricia's staff in Detroit. This is, other than his time in Jacksonville, his worst and most indefensible stop. Sure, the offense did get better when got there. They were 25th in the NFL in scoring in 2018 and improved to 18th and 20th in his 2 years there. He had talent though. He had Stafford, Golladay, Jones, Hockenson, and Ammendola wasn't cooked yet. Sure the team had no running game, but to finish 20th in scoring with that much talent? Now it should be noted, the Lions did average 23.6 points per game in 2020, which somehow ranked 20th, this passed season that would rank 11th and in 2021 it would have been 16th, in 2019 it would have been 14th. So, 2020 just so happened to be an uber offensive season apparently.

Point here being that for the most part, Bevell has been just like any other OC. Give him offensive talent and he succeeds, give him nothing and he fails. This is a guy who for his career has been to 2 Super Bowls, winning one of them, and another Conference Championship game.

Is he perfect? No, he's not a game changing hire. What he is though, is a guy who's very much like what Saleh has asked of Zach Wilson. Someone who knows how to utilize the talent in front of him, and who's really good at taking what defenses give him. For a Jets team that is simply an offense averaging like 20 points a game away from making the playoffs Bevell may be a perfect fit. For the record, in only 2 of his 15 years as an OC has his offense failed to top 20 points per game. He doesn't need to be a game changer, he just needs to make sure that everyone else is competent.

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