Well, here we are again.
One year after the Jacksonville Jaguars conducted a search for a new head coach to replace Doug Marrone, the team finds itself in the same situation this winter, now looking for a replacement for their replacement.
Names have been thrown around with vigor as potential candidates to replace Urban Meyer, while several interviews have been officially set up between coaches and the Jaguars' brass.
But who is the best candidate for the Jaguars? What does each of them bring to the table, on and off the field? From Jim Caldwell to Kellen Moore and everyone in between, we examine the pros and cons that come with each coach and their potential impact on the Jaguars.
Next up in our review of this year's candidates: the same coach who led the Jaguars as interim head coach over the final month of the season, Darrell Bevell.
- Westmar (1996): Passing game coordinator & quarterbacks coach
- Iowa State (1997): Graduate assistant
- Connecticut (1998–1999): Wide receivers coach
- Green Bay Packers (2000–2002): Assistant quarterbacks coach
- Green Bay Packers (2003–2005): Quarterbacks coach
- Minnesota Vikings (2006–2010): Offensive coordinator
- Seattle Seahawks (2011–2017): Offensive coordinator
- Detroit Lions (2019–2020): Offensive coordinator
- Detroit Lions (2020): Interim head coach
- Jacksonville Jaguars (2021): Offensive coordinator
- Jacksonville Jaguars (2021–present): Interim head coach
A record-setting quarterback at Wisconsin, Darrell Bevell got his first NFL job with the Green Bay Packers in 2000 to Mike Sherman's staff. Bevell assisted with coaching the likes of Brett Favre and Matt Hasselbeck before being named the official quarterbacks coach in 2003. Favre threw 30 touchdowns or more in each of his first two seasons under Bevell's tutelage, with Bevell finding a promotion at a different spot following his this year as Favre's primary coach.
Brad Childress tabbed Bevell as his offensive coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings in 2006. Bevell's offense improved each year, going from No. 26 in points in 2006 to No. 15, No. 12, and No. 2 in the following four years, while going from No. 31 in offensive DVOA to No. 16, No. 24, and No. 8 in the following years.
The Vikings' offense took a big step back in 2010 despite Childress' in-season firing, with the unit ranking No. 10 in DVOA but No. 29 in points as Favre threw just 11 touchdowns. With Lezlie Fraizer made head coach following the season, the Vikings didn't retain Bevell and moved onto Bill Musgrave, leaving Bevell to follow Pete Carroll to the Seatle Seahawks.
Bevell became a giant part of the Seahawks' success at his next stop, with Bevell deserving a bulk of the credit for Russell Wilson's development and scouting. Bevell is one of the main reasons Wilson ended up being a Seahawk, and Bevell consistently put solid offenses around him, finishing with a top-10 scoring offense in each of his first four seasons as quarterback, while finishing with a top-10 offensive DVOA in four of Bevell's first five seasons as coordinator.
Bevell helped the Seahawks win a Super Bowl and advance to another before Seattle eventually decided to go with a new direction and perspective at coordinator in the form of Brian Schottenheimer.
Bevell then spent 2018 out of coaching before becoming the offensive coordinator in Detroit in 2019, finishing No. 18 in points in his first season but helping Matthew Stafford find success through the air. Bevell remained in his role in 2020 before Matt Patricia's firing led to Bevell being promoted from offensive coordinator to interim head coach, with Bevell going 1-4 in the process.
Bevell then took the Jaguars' offensive coordinator job in 2021 after impressing head coach Urban Meyer in his interview, with Favre's stamp of approval on Bevell also playing a role in his hiring.
While the Jaguars did improve on offense toward the final quarter of the season, the Jaguars finished 2021 with the worst scoring offense in franchise history as the team went 3-14, with Bevell at the helm as interim head coach over those final four games. Bevell called plays for the first 14 games of the season but gave up play-calling duties after his first game as interim head coach, going 1-3 over the final month of the season.
If there is any positivity to come out of Bevell's year as offensive coordinator for the Jaguars, it is the fact that he showed for the second time in his career that he can be a calming voice that the locker room rallies around. Much like he did in Detroit after Patricia's firing, Bevell did a good job of calming the waters and adjusting small tweaks throughout the team to make things more comfortable following Meyer's toxic tenure.
Bevell is a coach who was well-liked by the Jaguars' locker room throughout the season, with him often being the voice of reason on a unit that was largely at the mercy of Meyer. While the Jaguars' offense didn't explode for points in many games post-Meyer, the team was at least competitive in one loss while looking like the best version of itself in Week 18.
While the Jaguars' offense fell off a cliff over the second half of the season, there was genuine momentum from the unit after the first six weeks as Bevell coordinated one of the most efficient rushing attacks in the league. While the Jaguars' offense went through a major scoring drought following James Robinson's injury in Week 8, Bevell deserves credit for the blips of success they had before injuries took over.
Bevell would also provide a sense of consistency for Trevor Lawrence. With a franchise that has undergone as much change as the Jaguars over the last few seasons -- especially at offensive coordinator and play-caller -- the Jaguars would likely stand to benefit from a sense of normalcy. While the results weren't there in 2021, Bevell would at least give Lawrence a sense of comfort in his second year as opposed to a dramatic change.
The fact that Bevell has been a respected coordinator and play-caller at several spots is important. While his year of calling plays in Jacksonville didn't yield the results many projected, he has shown in the past that he can be a worthwhile addition to a team's schematic attack. This hasn't changed even after 2021.
One of the biggest things working for Bevell is also working against him in a sense. While Bevell would give the Jaguars some consistency in terms of leadership in 2022, there is plenty of reason to believe the Jaguars would benefit most from a full reset of the 2021 season.
Bevell is a good coach who seemingly had a good bond with Lawrence during his rookie year, but bringing back Urban Meyer's play-caller would be a tough sell for a franchise that needs to win people back this offseason. While that is a bit black and white and simplistic, it is the honest truth of the dynamics facing the Jaguars this offseason.
There is also the fact that the Jaguars need to have a complete offensive rebirth entering 2022. Even though Meyer was a net negative on the Jaguars, there was still a clear lack of vision and even simple execution from the Jaguars' offense throughout last year. While that can't all be blamed on Bevell, it can't be erased either just how bad the Jaguars' offense was in 2021.
There is also the fact that Bevell was a bit conservative in his time as Jaguars head coach. He was extremely careful on fourth downs and frequently opted to kick field goals within the opponent's five-yard line, even with an offense that was rarely in the red-zone and needed every touchdown they could get. Opting for three points even with a lost season was an odd strategy from Bevell that just seems to be part of his coaching DNA.