The Detroit Lions struggled in a big way under Matt Patricia which led to the coach’s firing, and it’s possible the biggest reason for the team’s lack of success could do with their mindset.
Often times, it seemed the Lions just didn’t love playing the game under Patricia or have any fun. Now that offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has taken over, he’s aiming to change that fact.
Speaking for the first time as head coach on Monday, Bevell explained that there doesn’t need to be an extreme balance between hard work and having fun, and he wants his version of the Lions to be able to do both over their final games in the 2020 season.
Darrell Bevell said the attitude before was "a little inconsistent at times."
He said he wanted to make sure that the players knew they can have a great time AND work hard. He said it's never been about the work they've done. They've worked hard.
— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) November 30, 2020
The comment is revealing due to the fact that Patricia was often known as a task master who former players claim sucked the life out of the fun of the game and was often all business. Having a coach in Bevell who understands the balance better could be just what the Lions needed all along to have success.
It’s more than possible Patricia was too serious and simply never adjusted his mindset to fit the players. If Bevell is right, he could have tapped into what the problem was all along in Detroit.
Matthew Stafford ‘Excited’ for Darrell Bevell
Stafford got to know Bevell when he first came into the mix as offensive coordinator a few years ago and was drawn to the coach’s spirit and excitement for the game right away. As a result, he seems excited that Bevell will take over and more people will get to know him.
Speaking Monday with the media, Stafford said he thinks Bevell understands that first and foremost, the game should be about having fun, and is ready for some teammates to know the man he does.
Matthew Stafford live with the media: https://t.co/37KG2Tfalg
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) November 30, 2020
“From day one when I first met him, he’s always been the same guy. Positive (and) upbeat. He loves football. He’s lucky early in his career he got to spend a lot of time around Brett Favre. They just love the game. I think it kind of rubbed off on him how much fun a grown man can have playing the game. So I am excited for some of the guys who haven’t had a lot of time with him and in front of him to get a chance to do so.”
Stafford vouching powerfully for Bevell is good news for the team, and means it will be interesting to see how they respond to his style.
Darrell Bevell’s Head Coach Role a Long Time Coming
For years, Bevell has been waiting for the opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL. In the meantime, he’s toiled away an offensive coordinator, first with the Minnesota Vikings and then with the Seattle Seahawks and done so with pretty great success. In Seattle, Bevell got plenty of love for what he was able to do with Russell Wilson and the talented offense he had, and even won a Super Bowl while coming within an eyelash of winning another. In spite of this, Bevell never got the love as a head coach candidate and was removed from his role in Seattle. After taking some time off, Bevell was tapped to take over for Jim Bob Cooter in Detroit by Matt Patricia. It’s the role he’s held ever since. As such, Bevell thanked Patricia and Bob Quinn for the chance with the Lions, which was the only reason he was able to get the interim job in the first place.
Detroit’s offense under Bevell has been inconsistent at times, but arguably not as much of a problem as the defense has been. Overall, Bevell has been a solid NFL coordinator through the years in all of his stops after being a quarterback at Wisconsin in college.
Now, Bevell will be able to attack his next opportunity in a big way and perhaps deliver some of what Detroit has been lacking for the last few seasons in the process.
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