Darrell Bevell waits out Lions head coach search: ‘It’s a little bit frustrating’

Detroit News

Justin Rogers
| The Detroit News

It’s been more than a week since Darrell Bevell interviewed for the Detroit Lions coaching vacancy.

The team’s interim coach for the final five games of the 2020 season shared his thoughts on his interview and the frustration of waiting to see what’s next in an interview with NFL Radio on SiriusXM on Thursday. 

“Yeah, they’re just going through the process and they’re taking their time,” Bevell said. “That’s something they said they were going to do. Obviously, they’re going through GM interviews, as well, at the same time.

“It’s a little bit frustrating, I guess the waiting time,” Bevell continued. “It’s over a week that you’ve interviewed and you don’t get a lot of feedback. You don’t get a lot of information as they’re kinda methodically going through this process. It’s just a waiting game. I felt like the interview went really well. I was excited to have that opportunity. I thought the team played well down the stretch, the last five games that I was in there. Just hoping for the best.”

Amusingly, despite continuing to work out of the Lions facility in Allen Park, Bevell conducted his interview virtually with owner Sheila Ford Hamp, team president Rod Wood and adviser Chris Spielman. 

“I was actually in the building, they were in the building and we were doing the interview on Zoom,” Bevell said. “It was kinda like, can we just not do this in person? I was in the next room, but they wanted to keep it the same (as the other candidates). Yeah, it was pretty much the same process.

“They would start off, you’d tell them about yourself, and then I really had a PowerPoint presentation on my thoughts about the program and how I wanted to run (it) and what I wanted it to look like,” Bevell continued. “I was able to go through that. And as you get done, like three hours later, then there’s conversation in the middle as they ask questions about some of things that you’re bringing up. It was a really good process. Thought they did a thorough job with that.”

Bevell was handed the reins after the team fired coach Matt Patricia in the wake of a blowout loss to the Houston Texans on Thanksgiving. With no time to make sweeping changes, Bevell focused on quickly instilling a culture built around effort and having fun. 

“I wanted them to have a blast doing it,” Bevell said. “I wanted them to have a great time. I wanted them to love coming to work. I wanted them to love playing for one another, and let the rest of it, I’d kinda fill in where I needed to on the rest of it.

“As you watched the team, I wanted people to watch the team and be able to visibly notice a difference on the field — how they played, what kind of effort they played (with), like I said, how they competed and how much joy and fun they were having doing it with one another.”

The Lions won their first game with Bevell at the helm, besting the Chicago Bears, 34-30, on the road. But the team would go on to drop its final four contests, giving up an average of 40 points in the losses. 

Bevell, along with four other coaches, missed the team’s Dec. 26 game against Tampa Bay after a defensive assistant coach tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and Bevell and the other coaches were deemed high-risk close contacts. 

In addition to Bevell, the Lions have interviewed former Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, San Francisco defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Tennessee offensive coordinator Arthur Smith and New Orleans tight ends coach Dan Campbell for the coaching position.

The team is scheduled to talk to Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Todd Bowles on Friday and reportedly have a second, in-person interview set up with Smith. 


Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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