| The Detroit News
It wasn’t what Darrell Bevell thought he’d be doing on Monday afternoon.
Instead of reviewing the previous week’s game and getting the game plan ready for the next opponent, Bevell was given a bigger set of responsibilities this week.
After the Lions parted ways with Matt Patricia on Saturday, Bevell was named the interim head coach and will finish out the final five games of the regular season. He’ll make his debut Sunday against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.
“I’m super excited,” Bevell said Monday afternoon on a Zoom call from his dining room. “I’m kind of jacked up for this opportunity.”
In the final five games, Bevell is looking to make an impression and wants to motivate the players — even though they look to be on the outside of the playoff picture at 4-7 following Thursday’s loss to the Houston Texans. That led to team owner Sheila Ford Hamp to fire Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn.
The next step was reaching out to Bevell to see if he would become the interim.
Bevell was spending Saturday afternoon with his family at Henry Ford Museum when he got the notification to call team president Rod Wood, who connected Bevell with Hamp to move forward with the next steps.
For Bevell, it’s the first opportunity to become a head coach, and although it’s not under the circumstances he’d prefer, he’s looking forward to trying to make an impression in the final five games. The first step will be to generate more excitement and creating a refreshed attitude.
“I think (the attitude) has been inconsistent at times. I want them to have a great time,” Bevell said. “You can have a great time and work hard … it’s never really been about their work; they work hard.”
Bevell, who was the offensive coordinator under Patricia, said he will continue to call the plays and defensive coordinator Cory Undlin will retain play-calling duties for the defense.
Bevell, 50, is in his second season with the Lions and previously was with the Seattle Seahawks from 2011-17, helping them get to the Super Bowl twice, including winning the championship in 2014. He previously served in the same job with the Minnesota Vikings from 2006-10.
Though he has the interim tag to his title, Bevell said Wood let him know that there could be an opportunity to earn the head coaching job permanently.
“Well, if I got five opportunities, I’ve got five shots to be able to show what I can do,” Bevell said. “That’ll be my sole focus.”
Quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has worked closely with Bevell, doesn’t look for much to change with Bevell taking over in the new role. Bevell is known as a players’ coach and already has made an impression with his coaching style.
“As far as being a coach, he’s just going to continue to be himself. I feel like that is extremely comfortable in his own skin and knows who he is as a coach and as a person,” Stafford said. “So, I’m excited to see him get the opportunity to stand up in front of the team and maybe let some of the defensive guys in on just kind of how he is.”