Souhan: Bevell and Del Rio to go toe-to-toe at Super Bowl

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 30, 2014 - 12:11 AM
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Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell

– Jack Del Rio came to the Vikings, his fourth NFL team, as a Plan B free agent in 1992, meaning his previous employer, the Dallas Cowboys, had become the third team that didn’t value his presence.

He became a Pro Bowl middle linebacker in Minnesota and established contacts that would help him launch the coaching career that led him to New Jersey this week.

Darrell Bevell came to the Vikings, his fifth career stop, as an offensive coordinator in 2006, when Brad Childress became Minnesota’s head coach and called on his longtime friend.

He guided one of the best and most diverse offenses in franchise history in 2009, and this week will run the Seahawks offense against Del Rio’s Broncos defense in Super Bowl BRRR on Sunday.

Both established their bona fides in Minnesota. Del Rio even left the hospital waiting room in 1994 to play against the Saints at the Metrodome, then made it back to the hospital before his son was born. He received the game ball that day and wrote on it to Luke, “Thanks for waiting for Dad.’’

Both were considered candidates for the Vikings’ coaching job this winter, and might have been hampered by their teams’ progression through the playoffs. The Vikings settled on Mike Zimmer, whose Bengals were eliminated in the first round and who was thus more available for lengthy interviews and immediate employment.

Sunday, Bevell and Del Rio will conduct the less celebrated but equally important duel between high-profile coordinators.

Denver’s Adam Gase and Seattle’s Dan Quinn run, respectively, the top-ranked offense and defense in the NFL. The Seahawks offense ranked 17th in yards per game; the Broncos ranked 19th in yards allowed.

Bevell has received credit for helping second-year quarterback Russell Wilson become a star; Del Rio is 10 days removed from frustrating Patriots coach Bill Belichick so much that he began concocting bizarre conspiracy theories about his former receiver, Wes Welker.

“Clearly, the combination of Tom Brady and Bill has ben a very productive combination, and one I hadn’t seen much success against,’’ Del Rio said. “I took a lot of pride in the fact that we were able to put together a good plan, go out there and execute, play well and advance.’’

This Super Bowl matches one coach who is in his second NFL head coaching job, in John Fox, and one who has been fired by two NFL teams, in Pete Carroll. After his playing career, Del Rio became Mike Ditka’s strength and conditioning coach in New Orleans in 1997, then joined the Ravens as a linebackers coach.

That job was the result of Del Rio’s familiarity with then-Ravens coach Brian Billick, who had coached for the Vikings when Del Rio played in Minnesota.

Del Rio became Carolina’s defensive coordinator and then the second head coach in Jacksonville Jaguars history. He earned two playoff berths, and each time lost road games to New England. He lasted nine years in Jacksonville before being fired.

He didn’t act as a head coach again until Fox had heart problems during the middle of this season and ran the Broncos for four games.

Would he do anything differently if he became a head coach again? “Yeah, a bunch of things,’’ he said. “There’s a long list.’’

Del Rio was a charismatic player, a leader who played for and learned from Tony Dungy and Monte Kiffin in Minnesota. It’s easy to see why someone would hire him as a head coach.

Bevell remains quiet; friendly but guarded. In 2009, he skillfully navigated the roiling waters between Childress, his boss, and Brett Favre, the team’s most important player. Childress and Favre didn’t like each other. Bevell somehow took the best of Childress’ rigidity and Favre’s reckless brilliance and coaxed Favre into the most efficient season of a Hall of Fame career.

“There were a lot of great experiences I had there,’’ Bevell said. “The ’09 season, Brett playing as well as he ever played. … We had like six guys with over 40 catches, second time it’s ever happened in the league.’’

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Houston 2 FINAL
St. Louis 5
Washington 9 FINAL
Atlanta 8
Miami 5 FINAL
Boston 3
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 1
Baltimore 4 FINAL
Toronto 5
Detroit - LP: J. Mantiply 4 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: C. Torres 5
Cincinnati 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 2
Los Angeles 10 FINAL
Milwaukee 1
San Francisco 12 FINAL
Texas 3
Chicago WSox 0 FINAL
San Diego 5
Kansas City 11 FINAL
Cleveland 9
Seattle 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 7
Colorado 0 FINAL
LA Angels 3
Oakland 7 FINAL
Arizona 2
Pittsburgh 2 Bottom 3rd Inning
NY Yankees 0
Chicago 39 2nd Qtr 1:03
Indiana 45
Sacramento 56 2nd Qtr 0:53
Orlando 66
Utah 41 2nd Qtr 1:09
Philadelphia 42
Miami 39 2nd Qtr 1:20
Washington 67
Toronto 42 3rd Qtr
Charlotte 53
Cleveland 19 1st Qtr 0:45
Atlanta 34
Boston 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Detroit 7:00 PM
Houston
LA Lakers 7:00 PM
Memphis
Phoenix 7:00 PM
Brooklyn
Denver 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Dallas 9:30 PM
Golden State
Columbus 1 2nd Prd 18:40
New Jersey 0
Minnesota 1 2nd Prd 17:29
Carolina 0
Buffalo 1 1st Prd 6:07
Ottawa 0
Calgary 1 1st Prd 5:50
Detroit 2
Edmonton 7:30 PM
Chicago
Pittsburgh 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Longwood 68 FINAL
Char Southern 60
Ark-Pine Bluff 94 FINAL
Miss Valley St 75
Southern Ill 45 FINAL
Wichita State 56
Winthrop 67 FINAL
Radford 66
Evansville 67 FINAL
Illinois State 71
Towson 64 1st OT 2:15
Elon 70
Gardner-Webb 69 1st OT 2:18
High Point 66
Samford 76 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 81
Northern Ill 20 2nd Half
Ball State 22
Bowling Green 35 2nd Half
Buffalo 35
Brown 35 2nd Half
Dartmouth 22
Toledo 29 2nd Half
Eastern Mich 31
Akron 31 2nd Half 19:17
Kent State 37
Ill-Chicago 25 2nd Half
Oakland 30
Miami-Ohio 30 2nd Half
Ohio 53
Columbia 9 2nd Half
Penn 23
Cornell 25 2nd Half
Princeton 32
Central Mich 22 2nd Half
Western Mich 39
Bradley 25 2nd Half
Northern Iowa 27
Morehead State 22 1st Half 6:27
Murray State 25
UNC-Asheville 7:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Yale 7:00 PM
Harvard
Furman 7:30 PM
Citadel
Coll of Charleston 7:30 PM
Drexel
Texas Tech 8:00 PM
Baylor
Pacific 8:00 PM
San Francisco
Detroit 8:30 PM
Cleveland State
Belmont 8:30 PM
Eastern Ky
Loyola-Chicago 8:35 PM
Indiana State
Loyola Marymount 10:30 PM
Santa Clara
Chicago 9:00 PM
Los Angeles
Saint Louis 63 FINAL
(21) George Washington 77
Wake Forest 68 FINAL
(16) Duke 77
Furman 55 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 68
Monmouth 61 FINAL
Quinnipiac 82
Michigan State 60 FINAL
(4) Maryland 70
Belmont 65 FINAL
UT Martin 71
Arkansas 36 FINAL
(3) South Carolina 58
Mercer 56 FINAL
East Tenn St 66
Richmond 45 FINAL
Fordham 46
Miami-Florida 61 FINAL
(2) Notre Dame 77
Siena 61 FINAL
Iona 71
Washington St 48 FINAL
(9) Arizona State 67
Ark-Pine Bluff 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 51
(23) Rutgers 57 FINAL
(24) Northwestern 62
Tennessee St 71 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 59
Loyola Marymount 50 FINAL
Gonzaga 70
(18) Texas A&M 65 FINAL
LSU 71
Cincinnati 76 FINAL
UCF 66
Saint Josephs 61 FINAL
Dayton 80
UCLA 62 FINAL
(19) Stanford 67
Santa Clara 42 FINAL
San Diego 51
Virginia Tech 43 FINAL
(7) Florida State 82
SMU 57 2nd Half 1:24
Memphis 65
Lehigh 75 FINAL
Holy Cross 62
Rhode Island 25 2nd Half
Duquesne 29
North Florida 15 2nd Half
(20) Fla Gulf Coast 30
Kennesaw St 29 2nd Half
Jacksonville 27
USC Upstate 15 2nd Half
Northern Ky 24
Lipscomb 22 2nd Half 19:01
Stetson 51
Nebraska 33 2nd Half
(14) Iowa 36
Saint Peters 30 2nd Half 17:14
Marist 25
Navy 28 2nd Half 17:38
Bucknell 22
Lafayette 29 2nd Half 20:00
American Univ 34
Colgate 15 2nd Half 19:15
Army 22
Georgia 11 2nd Half
(5) Tennessee 32
Dartmouth 43 2nd Half 15:50
Brown 29
Penn 22 2nd Half 19:15
Columbia 15
(13) Princeton 55 2nd Half 11:59
Cornell 24
Kansas 12 2nd Half
Kansas State 23
Harvard 45 2nd Half 13:47
Yale 44
(15) North Carolina 7:00 PM
(10) Louisville
San Jose St 7:00 PM
UNLV
Houston 7:00 PM
Tulane
Utah State 8:00 PM
Colorado State
Colorado 8:00 PM
(8) Oregon State
New Mexico 8:00 PM
Wyoming
Minnesota 8:25 PM
Ohio State
(12) Kentucky 8:25 PM
(11) Miss State
San Diego State 8:30 PM
Nevada
Niagara 8:30 PM
Fairfield
Texas Tech 8:30 PM
West Virginia
Boise State 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Washington 10:30 PM
California
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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