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Seattle hires Bevell to take Bates’ place

New coordinator has history with Hasselbeck

RENTON, Wash. – The Seattle Seahawks agreed to terms with Darrell Bevell Thursday to become the team’s offensive coordinator, quickly replacing Jeremy Bates, who was fired early in the week for what Pete Carroll described as “philosophical issues.”

Bevell, who spent the past five seasons as the offensive coordinator in Minnesota, brings with him to Seattle a history with the team’s general manager, and potentially the starting quarterback.

Prior to working in Minnesota, Bevell was an assistant at Green Bay where current Seahawks general manager John Schneider worked in the front office. Bevell’s first year in Green Bay was also quarterback Matt Hasselbeck’s last year there, meaning Bevell has at least some history with the player whose re-signing Carroll called the top priority of the offseason.

If the Seahawks plan on re-signing Hasselbeck, the hiring of Bevell likely would help that cause. Not only does Hasselbeck know Bevell a little, but Bevell will also be bringing an offense to Seattle that Hasselbeck knows well.

While in Green Bay, Bevell worked under Mike Sherman, a former Mike Holmgren assistant, and in Minnesota Bevell coached under Brad Childress, who also comes from the Holmgren coaching tree (Childress worked for Andy Reid, who was an assistant under Holmgren).

Pete Carroll explained Wednesday that the Seahawks’ offense won’t change drastically under a new coordinator, and the hiring of Bevell should allow a fairly smooth transition.

Whatever changes there are will actually look more like what the Seahawks ran under Holmgren.

So while Bevell is Seattle’s fourth offensive coordinator in as many years, the offense will be a familiar one.

“We’re not going to change dramatically out of the principles that we believe in because they’re the principles I’ve been believing in for the last 10 or 11 years,” Carroll said before the Bevell hire was made. “… This is not a big departure at all in my mind. This is just getting everything right.”

Bevell, 41, was a four-year starting quarterback at the University of Wisconsin, leading the Badgers to a Rose Bowl victory as a freshman.

He was a college assistant from 1996-99 at Westmar University, Iowa State and Connecticut, then began a career in the NFL as an offensive assistant with the Packers in 2000.

Bevell will likely enjoy more freedom in Seattle than he did as the Vikings’ offensive coordinator under Childress, an offensive-minded coach. Childress handed play-calling duties over to Bevell in 2007, but Childress was still said to be involved in game planning and even some in-game play calling.

Under Carroll, a defensive coach, Bevell will almost certainly have more say in the offense along with newly hired offensive line coach Tom Cable, who is expected to have a lot of control over the running game.

 Bevell was reportedly going to interview for the Seahawks’ vacant quarterbacks coaching job early in the week, but once Bates was fired, he became a target for offensive coordinator.