On the same day the Jacksonville Jaguars and new head coach Urban Meyer reportedly landed a defensive coordinator, the team also reportedly found a coach to lead the other side of the ball.
According to Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the Jaguars are "expected to hire" former Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, and Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell as Meyer's first offensive coordinator.
Considering the Jaguars hold the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and are widely expected to use that pick on Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the hiring of Meyer's offensive coordinator is one of the most important moves the Jaguars will make this offseason.
Bevell has a long history working with quarterbacks and has been an offensive coordinator for 14 of the last 15 NFL seasons. He has personally coached Brett Favre, Matt Stafford, and a young Russell Wilson, so he appears to be a natural fit for Lawrence.
Below is Bevell's coaching history.
- 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
During Bevell's seven-year tenure in Seattle, the Seahawks never ranked below 18th in points scored per game. They also had five seasons where they finished in the top-six of the NFL in scoring. From 2012-2016, the Seahawks never finished below seventh in total yards.
Bevell's Seattle offenses were focused on the running game and a play-action passing scheme, but he did open up the playbook with a healthy Matthew Stafford in 2019. Had Bevell not been a coordinator for two defensive head coaches in Pete Carroll and Matt Patricia, chances are he likely would have been hired as a head coach at some point.
The Jaguars finished 30th in points and 28th in yards in 2020, with the lack of a quality starting quarterback looming as the unit's biggest detractor. If Bevell is hired, he will be tasked with reversing the course of an offense that hasn't found consistent success in any season in the past decade other than 2017.
Meyer said on Thursday that he would decline to get into any specifics about his coaching staff, which he said at his introductory press conference was his first priority. The Jaguars have been linked to numerous assistant coaches on both sides of the ball, but no hire other than Meyer's has been made official by the team.
"Next week I’d like to … we’ll give a deep dive into what’s taken place, because there has been no finality on where we are at as a coaching staff. So I would like to hold onto that until next week because there has been nothing set in stone yet," Meyer said.
Meyer reportedly has also made additions to his support-staff. Brett McMurphy of Stadium, said last Friday that former Texas, Louisville, and USF head coach Charlie Strong will join the staff likely as a linebackers coach, while Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel reported Texas Longhorns defensive coordinator Chris Ash is expected to be a member of the staff as a position coach. It was also reported that Ryan Stamper and Fernando Lovo would join Meyer in Jacksonville.
"I’ve got to get a great staff, not a good staff, a great staff. And when people are recommended, I’ve had a multitude of people calling and my comment is to save the recommendation unless you feel that person is elite in all areas," Meyer said. "Because that’s what Jacksonville deserves and that’s what we’re going to have on our staff."