| The Detroit News
Center Frank Ragnow was nominated by the Detroit Lions for the Art Rooney sportsmanship award last week, but interim coach Darrell Bevell might be the nicest person in the organization.
Bevell reaffirmed that sentiment Wednesday, when he took a minute to clarify an answer he gave about former coach Matt Patricia earlier in the week.
On Monday, Bevell mentioned the congratulatory text messages and phone calls he received after Sunday’s comeback victory over the Chicago Bears.
“I think the thing that made me the proudest was the people that were sending me texts and phone calls and those kind of things, just talking about what it looked like on TV and how much fun the guys were having and how much energy they had,” Bevell said.
Later in the video conference, Bevell was asked if he heard from Patricia, the man who hired him in Detroit a year earlier.
“I did not,” Bevell responded.
That straightforward statement of fact generated more reaction than one might have imagined. And word of that social media reaction must have reached Bevell because he came back to the topic, unprompted, two days later.
“The first week, yeah, it was definitely a whirlwind, kind of learning on the fly,” Bevell started his answer to a question about whether he imagined being in this position two years ago, after he was fired by the Seattle Seahawks. “But as I did take time Sunday night and Monday — first of all, I know I’ve said this before, but just how grateful I was to Coach Patricia and the opportunity that he gave me.
“It was no small task,” Bevell said. “I mean, obviously I was sitting down for a year, so it was a really huge deal just to take that step to bring me in. I know that this coaching circle is really small, and it’s a really interesting profession.”
And that’s when Bevell turned his answer back to Monday’s question.
“So I know you guys asked me the other day if I had heard from (Patricia) and if he texted me or called me, and it’s something I really didn’t expect from him,” Bevell said. “It’s just such a hard time when you go through that transition, and you’re out of the game. The first thing you want to do is you want to get away from everything, you want to spend as much time with your family as you can. I know that from experience because I was in that exact same situation. I just do want you to know that I have a great relationship with him.
“When all this is said and done, I have no doubts that we’ll great conversations, and we’ll talk a lot about all this time while we were here,” Bevell continued. “Again, I just can’t be more appreciative and grateful to him for the opportunity that he gave me.”