As Urban Meyer makes his first foray into coaching in the NFL as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, he’ll have a number on long-time NFL assistants on his staff to lean on.
Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is coming off a stint as interim head coach of the Detroit Lions last season following the firing of Matt Patricia. Bevell, who has previously served as offensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings, will be Meyer’s point person on offense with the Jaguars. Brian Schottenheimer, most recently the offensive coordinator of the Seahawks replacing Bevell in the role, will serve as the passing game coordinator.
The three don’t have any prior experience coaching together throughout their careers. Since coming together in Jacksonville they’ve been working on finding the right offensive approach and design to suit the direction Meyer wants to take the Jaguars moving forward.
“We have feelings of what he (Meyer) likes, what he wants to do, where he’s at – but then we’re able to blend where Brian has been, where I’ve been and where [offensive line coach] George [Warhop] has been,” Bevell said in a podcast with John Oehser of the team’s website. “We want to be able to blend all that together to be able to come up with the best plan.”
That process has involved settling on certain terminology the team wants to use to call and describe their playbook, the type of attack they want to implement, and how all of that can be best disseminated to the players they’ll have at their disposal this fall.
“It’s important for all of us to be speaking the same language,” Bevell said. “It’s powerful when your whole staff is aligned and has the ability to speak it the same way. We start on Page One, go through the cadence, the huddle and then we get into, ‘What do we call this when we line up in this formation?’ ‘What’s the best way to communicate?’ ‘Is that the simplest?’
“Everybody comes from a little different area. At some point, we have to pick a language for the Jaguars. That’s what we’ve been sitting in there doing.”
They’ll also need to tailor the approach to the personnel they’ll have as well. Quarterback will be a very important part of that formula. That role is expected to be filled by Trevor Lawrence shortly as the presumptive No. 1 overall pick in this month’s NFL Draft. But until that card is sent in to make the selection, a sliver of uncertainty remains. Bevell noted that knowing who they’ll have on offense will be the next focus of building an offense to maximize the group’s potential.
“The hard thing is, ‘Tell me who I have; tell me who’s out there on Day 1,”’ he said. “Then I can give you a better answer on what it will look like. There are fundamental beliefs I believe in and Coach Meyer believes in. No. 1 is running the football. You want to be able to run the ball when you want to run it. Then when we get in the pass game, I want to be explosive. You want big plays. You want opportunities to get big plays and flip the field.”