The Seahawks fired offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, served in that position for the past seven years. Seattle ranked 15th in the NFL in total offense last season, but sputtered badly late in the campaign, gaining only a combined 285 yards against the Los Angeles Rams (149) and Dallas Cowboys (136).
Later Wednesday afternoon came news that offensive line coach Tom Cable was dismissed as well. Carroll confirmed the firings in a message released on Twitter:
“We are challenged by change, but excited to attack the future with great purpose. I want to thank both Tom and Darrell for their role in helping take this program to a championship level. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to coach and compete alongside these great men.”
Bevell became OC in 2011 succeeding Jeremy Bates, who served in that position in 2010, head coach Pete Carroll’s first year in Seattle.
Seattle finished 9-7 this season and missed the postseason for the first time in six years. The trademark running game over the past two seasons has withered, a span that coincides with the departure of Marshawn Lynch.
The Seahawks ranked 23rd in rushing and ran for four touchdowns, three by QB Russell Wilson. The one TD by a running back (J.D. McKissic) is the lowest single-season from that position by any team since the NFL adopted the 16-game schedule in 1978.
Bevell, the only coordinator fired by Carroll since he axed Bates, oversaw the two biggest back-to-back regular-season wins in franchise history, 58-0 and 50-17 victories over Arizona and Buffalo late in 2012. He called the plays in Seattle’s 43-8 win over Denver in the Super Bowl following the 2015 season.
Under Bevell, the Seahawks also set a club record with 6,012 total yards in 2014 and broke that a year later with 6,058. But Seattle gained only 5,286 this past season, although Wilson led the NFL with 34 touchdown passes.
The Seahawks also ended the 2014 season with perhaps the most infamous play in Super Bowl history, an interception of Wilson by CB Malcolm Butler at the one-yard line in the final seconds that preserved a 28-24 New England victory. Bevell has always accepted the blame for that call.
While Bevell’s ouster will be celebrated by many of the 12s, that won’t necessarily be the case with many of the players. At season’s end, wide receiver Doug Baldwin launched into a spirited defense of his offensive coordinator.
“How can I say this? It’s not play-calling,” Baldwin said, whether the Seahawks offense has become more risk-averse. “We go into a game knowing what the defense is going to give us, the situations we’re going to be in. We don’t execute as a team. Offensively, that’s what we’ve seen time and time again — we do not execute the way we should.
“That’s on us as players. You guys (media) can blame Bev all you want to, but the truth of the matter is, Bev is not the problem. Probably already said too much.”
Bevell,48. joined the Seahwaks in 2011 after spending the previous five seasons as Vikings offensive coordinator.