Redskins officials began interviewing candidates for their head coaching vacancy Tuesday, meeting with Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. The team also is scheduled to interview Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott on Saturday.
But for now, we’ll take a look at the soon-to-be 44-year-old Bevell and his body of work.
Bevell, in his third season as Seattle’s offensive coordinator, has piqued the Redskins’ interest because of his success with second-year quarterback Russell Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch. There also are some similarities between the Redskins’ offensive personnel and schemes and those of the Seahawks. Robert Griffin III and Wilson are both young quarterbacks who can produce both with their legs and arms. Alfred Morris and Lynch rank among the league’s rushing leaders. After seeing the Redskins’ success with implementing a read-option attack to their offense, Bevell and the Seahawks did the same.
In stops at Green Bay, Minnesota and Seattle, Bevell has worked with a wide range of quarterbacks, including Brett Favre, Brad Johnson, Gus Frerotte, Matt Hasselbeck, Tavaris Jackson and now Wilson.
The thinking is that a bright, innovative coach such as Bevell could help Griffin continue his development, and that the similarities in strategies could help make for a smoother transition.
How did his unit fare statistically this past season?
Seattle ranked 17th in the league in total offense, averaging 339.0 yards a game. The Seahawks rank 26th in the passing department with 202.3 yards per game, but fourth in rushing with 136.8 yards per game. The Seahawks tied for eighth in scoring, averaging 26.1 points per game. Seattle turned over the ball just 19 times this season – second-fewest in the NFC and fourth-fewest in the NFL.
One element that has helped Bevell’s offense: The backing of the league’s best defense, which limits opponents to just 273.6 yards and 14.4 points a game while racking up a league-leading 39 takeaways.
The Seahawks are middle of the road on third downs this season, ranking 17th with a success rate of just 37.3 percent. (The Redskins ranked 11th (40.4 percent), and San Diego led the league with 49 percent). Another less flattering statistic: Seattle’s offense is the most-penalized unit in the league with 128 for 1,183 yards this season.
Wilson has thrived under Bevell’s tutelage. This season, he has the seventh-best quarterback rating (101.2) and 12th-best completion percentage (63.3). Wilson was slightly more accurate last season (64.1 percent, eighth) and had a quarterback rating of 100.0 (fourth). He tallied 26 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions as a rookie, and this season again recorded 26 touchdown passes and threw nine interceptions.
Lynch has ranked among the league leaders in rushing in each of his three seasons under Bevell. Lynch this past season averaged 78.6 yards a game (seventh-most, one spot behind Alfred Morris and his 79.7)
Lynch is tied for first in the NFL with 12 touchdown carries.
The Seahawks don’t have an elite receiver. Golden Tate leads them with 64 catches for 898 yards (31st). His five touchdown catches are tied for 38th. However, the Seahawks had four different pass-catchers with at least four touchdown receptions and three – Tate, Doug Baldwin, and tight end Zach Miller – with five. The Redskins by comparison had only one receiver with five touchdown catches (Pierre garcon), and Jordan Reed, Logan Paulsen and Leonard Hankerson had three apiece.
Seattle ranked 17th in total offense last season as well, and eight in scoring with 25.8 points per game.
In Bevell’s first season in Seattle, the Seahawks struggled, ranking 28th in total offense (303.8 yards per game) and 23th in scoring (20.1 ppg).
In his five seasons as Minnesota’s offensive coordinator (2006-10), Bevell’s units had an average ranking of 16th in the league, with 2009 standing out as his best season as the Vikings ranked fifth in the league.
Obviously, statistics tell only part of the story. But that’s how Bevell stacks up, numbers-wise. We’ll take a look at the other known candidates and their units in the coming days.
Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesdays.
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