Replacing Jeremy Bates with Darrell Bevell means that re-signing Matt Hasselbeck really is the team’s highest priority.
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 Minnesotas 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 weve already talked, weve already met. John (Schneider) and I sat down with Matt already and were going to move forward. We have to see what it all means, but were on it.
You have to deal with this or you dont understand the game and I think we understand it really well. Thats 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 couldnt have done it any more quickly. So thats already happened and well move from there. We have a good starting point and I loved what Matt has brought to this program well before I got here Im not forgetting about any of that. So well deal with it hopefully with all the due respect and regard and then well come up with a really good plan.
Carroll also said that no matter who is hired as the teams offensive coordinator, the quarterbacks coach position, most recently held by Jedd Fisch, will be a separate responsibility held by someone else. Thats how weve formatted it. Both jobs take the focus time that its a good way to do that. It doesnt have to be done that way. Obviously it doesnt have to but I think if its a coordinator/quarterback coach, he needs help because hes got a lot of stuff he has to do that takes him away from the position thats so important to be attentive to. I like that format (separate coaches). Thats what Im planning on doing.
Hiring Bevell before next weeks 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 years draft.
That process begins now.
Yeah, were 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 theyre going to do all of that is totally laid out. Its very well done. We shouldnt have any problems carrying out what John needs.
Still, its not just what Carroll and Schneider need its 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.