Bevell and Cable share in running Seattle's offense
RENTON, Wash. (AP) The titles that go along with the roles Darrell Bevell and Tom Cable hold working for the Seattle Seahawks would indicate a hierarchy.
Bevell is the offensive coordinator. Cable is an assistant head coach in charge of the offensive line.
What those titles don't tell is the unique partnership between the pair, forged when they were first paired together in 2011 as part of Pete Carroll's plan for moving Seattle's offense forward.
They are equals, each with specific responsibilities that join into a collaborative effort that this season has helped Seattle experience wild swings of failure and struggle, as well as record-setting success as the Seahawks prepare for Sunday's wild-card game at Minnesota.
It's a decision-making structure that isn't specific to Seattle, but over time has become a winning formula for the Seahawks.
''I think it's unique. For me, it's a really cool relationship that we have,'' Bevell said. ''We get to collaborate all week as we're preparing for the game plan. We communicate during the week, we have to communicate on the runs, we have to communicate on the protections and make sure that's all squared away, and then we do a great job on game day.
''It's easy to say for me, but I really feel like when there's no egos involved and nobody cares who gets the credit, then you're able to do great things.''
The distinctive setup of the Seahawks offense has gained notoriety this season because of the success Seattle has had led by quarterback Russell Wilson.
In a season where there were protection and run game issues for the first half, the Seahawks ended up setting franchise records for total yards gained, yards passing as Wilson became the first Seattle quarterback to pass for more than 4,000 yards, and finished in the top five in the league in total offense for the first time since 2005.
It was an unexpected turnaround after Seattle slogged through the first eight weeks before going on a record run that had not been seen here in a decade.
''I think Tom and Darrell have done an incredible job again, not just now, again,'' Carroll said. ''They've continued to maximize the talent that we have. You've seen our guys blossom as players.
''You've seen young players fit in, you've seen the quarterback just continue to get better throughout the process, which really encompasses all aspects of what we're doing.''
The decision to go with that type of structure was Carroll's idea, first hatched when he brought both Cable and Bevell to the staff after the 2010 season.
Over time it has evolved with each bringing significant input to the game plan, yet Bevell retaining play calling duties on game day.
But not everyone was sold on such a structure in the beginning. Bevell, who had been the offensive coordinator in Minnesota before coming to Seattle, had hesitations at first.
''I really have to give coach (Carroll) credit. He sat us down and he kind of came in and told me what he expected of me, then he grabbed Tom, what he expected of Tom.
''Then he grabbed us together and brought us both in and said, `OK, here's what I told him, here's what I told him,''' Bevell said. ''I think that's really unique as well. He laid it out in no uncertain terms and it's been a great relationship.''
Cable had been in a similar situation with Atlanta in 2006 where he was in charge of the offensive line, but also helped develop the game plan with offensive coordinator Greg Knapp. His responsibilities with the Seahawks have been focused on the run game and blocking schemes, while Bevell focuses more on the pass game.
They talk through the week about the game plan then sit down on Saturday and Sunday mornings to go through and finalize what plays they want in what situations. And when it comes to game time itself, Bevell is responsible for calling the plays but in-between offensive series, Cable will often add his input.
''Having guys who have multiple experiences, that way it's better because one guy doesn't feel like I have to do everything,'' Cable said. ''We're unique here too because our whole program is about depending on each other, leaning on each other. It's just another kind of example of that.''
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