BY Doug Farrar 07:05PM 01/19/2011

Bevell hire should be Hasselbeck-friendly

Replacing Jeremy Bates with Darrell Bevell means that re-signing Matt Hasselbeck really is the team’s highest priority.

Pete Carroll has said that re-signing Matt Hasselbeck is the team's highest off-season priority. (Rod Mar/Seattle Seahawks)

On Thursday, the Seattle Seahawks officially announced the hire of new offensive coordiantor Darrell Bevell, who most recently filled that same position with the Minnesota Vikings and was the quarterbacks coach for the Green Bay Packers. Bevell will replace Jeremy Bates, who was relived of his duties on Tuesday after one year with the team.

A four-year starting quarterback at the University of Winconsin-Madison, Bevell went up through the coaching ranks as a passing game coordinator at Westmar, a graduate assistant at Iowa State, a wide receivers coach at Connecticut, and then an offensive assistant in Green Bay (2000-2002), and the quarterbacks coach for the Packers from 2003-2005.

Bevell moved to Minnesota in 2006, when former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Brad Childress became the Vikings’ head coach. He became more and more involved in play calling and play design, especially after former Packers quarterback Brett Favre got his wish and became the Vikings’ quarterback before the 2009 season, largely based on his successful relationship with Bevell. In 2009, Favre had perhaps his greatest season, completing 363 passes in 531 attempts for 4,202 yards, 33 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. Injuries to Favre and other key offensive skill players limited Minnesota’s 2010 season, and Childress was fired in-season.

A longtime associate of current Seahawks general manager John Schneider from their days together in Green Bay, Bevell would come to Seattle with a long-established history in the West Coast Offense with which Matt Hasselbeck is most familiar. Hasselbeck’s last year in Green Bay was Bevell’s first. In his season-ending press conference on Wednesday, Pete Carroll talked about how important it is to the team to retain Hasselbeck, who is currently a free agent.

“It is a priority. The quarterback position is the most critical position on the football team. Matt finished beautifully with us – he did everything we asked him. So we’ve already talked, we’ve already met. John (Schneider) and I sat down with Matt already and we’re going to move forward. We have to see what it all means, but we’re on it.

“You have to deal with this or you don’t understand the game and I think we understand it really well. That’s why the very first meeting after our team meeting was John (Schneider) and I and Matt (Hasselbeck). I guess you gauge what you think of that in terms of sense of urgency – that we couldn’t have done it any more quickly. So that’s already happened and we’ll move from there. We have a good starting point and I loved what Matt has brought to this program well before I got here … I’m not forgetting about any of that. So we’ll deal with it hopefully with all the due respect and regard and then we’ll come up with a really good plan.”

Carroll also said that no matter who is hired as the team’s offensive coordinator, the quarterbacks coach position, most recently held by Jedd Fisch, will be a separate responsibility held by someone else. “That’s how we’ve formatted it. Both jobs take the focus time that it’s a good way to do that. It doesn’t have to be done that way. Obviously it doesn’t have to but I think if it’s a coordinator/quarterback coach, he needs help because he’s got a lot of stuff he has to do that takes him away from the position that’s so important to be attentive to. I like that format (separate coaches). That’s what I’m planning on doing.”

Hiring Bevell before next week’s Senior Bowl is an important factor,especially because the Seahawks will undoubtedly be looking for their next quarterback (or acquiring one that can compete for a future starting job) in this year’s draft.

That process begins now.

“Yeah, we’re very well set,” Carroll said. “John has got it totally laid out and orchestrated for us. The plan is totally in motion right now. Our scouts have been out and going crazy and getting their evaluations back to the coaches that they’re going to do – all of that is totally laid out. It’s very well done. We shouldn’t have any problems carrying out what John needs.”

Still, it’s not just what Carroll and Schneider need – it’s just as much about making sure the fit between the quarterback and the guy who calls the plays is the correct one. These are the “philosophical differences” Carroll discussed on Wednesday when explaining why Bates was relieved of his duties, and a re-run of those differences would have held the franchise back to an extreme degree.

Now, Matt Hasselbeck has an offensive coordiantor whose system he knows very well. He has a team that wants him to return, and a crucial decision to make. The ball is in his court.


  • Ken

    Doug, the staff at Sports Press are right on the story as usual. I find myself checking SP more frequently for up to the minute Seattle sports news and insight. Keep up the good work.

  • bhamhusky

    might the philosophical differences be either:
    1. Matt and Jeremy’s differences
    2. Jeremy Bates not agreeing with the hire of Cable

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  • Bob Shupe

    I agree Matt needs to stay with the team. Too many times during the Chicago play-off game I was yelling at the TV, “What do you want me to do? Carry the ball and hand it to you?” It must have been frustrating. But, as I said on my Facebook page, I was never more proud to be a ‘Hawks fan than I was after that game. The never gave up.

  • Rooney

    John Clayton reports that the Hawks have hired Bevell as OC

  • Paul Harmening

    Does Zorn have a job? If not, I’d like to see him back as QB coach, that is if he’d take it.

  • Hawkman54

    Was interested to listen to NW sports tonite and hear Rod Simons(former sports guy here)saying he thought bevel was a Great hire and someone who will probably be better here than he was in Minnesota because of no B. Childress mucking it up. That would be great . Now if they can just pick up at least 2 O-line men that can run block it will be agood start. Then 2 corners (TRufant CAN’T cover) a DT ,back up for RED at the 5, resign Brock and Clemmons, Hold onto Leroy and move the heater into the MLB slot and tell Curry school is over and start playing.A #1 X WR would be nice and of course QUALITY depth all around.

  • p1u1n1x1

    I just hope once they hire this guy they let him stick around for a few years. Seems like every year since Holmgren left the D gets a new system, and the O gets a new system. Whoever wins in this league Pittsburgh, New England, New Orleans, etc., has consistency. It takes time to get good in a system, and when you have so many young guys in one place trying to learn a different system every 8 months why should we be surprised they look terrible? At least we know the defense will be in its second consistent year in a single system next year, but I don’t expect much from the offesne as they are starting over from scratch-again.