Ding, dong, the Patricia is gone! …
The Detroit Lions opened Wednesday’s workday by holding their first in-person team meeting since unpopular head coach Matt Patricia was fired and replaced by popular offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.
“The mood of the room, I thought there was a buzz in it,” said Bevell, a former Vikings offensive coordinator who now gets five games to audition for a full-time head coaching gig either in Detroit or elsewhere in 2021.
“I thought the guys reacted well. I could feel the energy. There was excitement in the room.”
Of course, there was. It’s been no secret that Patricia’s “Patriot Way” was something the Lions’ locker room never bought into.
It also flopped miserably, going 13-29-1 and forcing owner Sheila Ford Hamp to fire Patricia and General Manager Bob Quinn after a Thanksgiving Day debacle against Houston.
Next up is a trip to Chicago to face a Bears team that’s lost five straight games and has one of the league’s more dysfunctional offenses.
“My message [Wednesday] was about changing our perspective and turning this thing forward,” Bevell said. “No rearview mirror.”
Bevell, 50, went undrafted as a Wisconsin quarterback in 1996. He didn’t play in the NFL but joined the league as Packers assistant quarterbacks coach from 2003 to 2005.
A year later, Brad Childress gave Bevell his first coordinator job with the Vikings. He held that position through 2010 before handling the same duties in Seattle (2011-17) and Detroit (2019-20). Out of coaching in 2018, he spent some time in Atlanta with then-Falcons coach Dan Quinn.
“I spent about two weeks in Atlanta sitting in on defensive meetings and trying to get a different perspective,” said Bevell, who has wanted to be an NFL head coach for years.
Bevell, of course, coached in back-to-back Super Bowls with Seattle, helping the Seahawks win the first one and then infamously helped them lose the second one.
Seattle was trailing 28-24 with less than 30 seconds left in Super Bowl XLIX against the Patriots. The Seahawks had Marshawn Lynch in the backfield and the ball at the goal line. Bevell called for a pass to Ricardo Lockette that was intercepted by New England’s Malcolm Butler.
Many have branded that play as one of the worst calls in Super Bowl history.
Bevell accepted the criticism and moved on. Now, he and many supporters are hoping the likable longtime assistant can make the most out of the next five weeks as the man in charge.
“I scrolled through my phone [after getting the interim job] and my daughter was the 76th call that day,” Bevell said. “I’m not sure if you looked at the whole history of my phone, I’ve had 76 calls. The feedback has been outstanding.”