RENTON -- The Seattle Seahawks have parted ways with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell after seven seasons, sources tell ProFootballTalk.com and 950 KJR.
Bevell was told of the decision Tuesday night according to a source informed of the decision. The Seahawks missed the playoffs for the first time since Bevell's first year in Seattle in 2011.
The Seahawks had some of their most offensively prolific seasons in franchise history under Bevell. They led the league in rushing in 2014 and were in the top five in rushing offense in four of Bevell's seven seasons in Seattle, including both years they reached the Super Bowl.
Despite Russell Wilson leading the league with 34 touchdown passes this season, Seattle's offense struggled to find consistency all year. They were notoriously slow starters, failing to score an opening drive touchdown all year and holding a halftime lead in just four of their 16 games.
The struggles in the running game were the most glaring issue the team faced this season. Wilson was the team's leading rusher as Seattle's structured rushing attack was ineffective for most of the season. The Seahawks ranked 23rd in rushing overall, but 586 of their 1,629 rushing yards came from Wilson. Over 400 of those yards by Wilson came on scrambles.
Seattle also managed just one rushing touchdown all season from a running back - a 30-yard touchdown run by J.D. McKissic in Week 4 against the Indianapolis Colts. Wilson was responsible for the team's three additional rushing touchdowns.
Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin stumped hard for Bevell during the team's locker clean-out session last week.
"It's not play-calling," Baldwin said. "It's not play-calling. We go into a game knowing what the defense is going to give us, the situations that we're going to be in. We don't execute as a team. Offensively that's what we've seen countless time and time again is that we do not execute the way that we should. And that's on us as players. You guys can blame Bev all you want to but the truth of the matter is Bev is not the problem. Probably already said too much."
Baldwin's support ultimately wasn't enough.
The final play of Super Bowl XLIX continued to cast a large shadow on Bevell as well, despite head coach Pete Carroll saying repeatedly the decision to throw from the 1-yard line was his call.
It will be the first coordinator change of Seattle's own doing since Jeremy Bates was fired as offensive coordinator after one season with Carroll in 2010. Bevell replaced Bates in the job for the 2011 season.
Dan Quinn and Gus Bradley both left their defensive coordinator positions with Seattle to take head coaching jobs with Atlanta and Jacksonville, respectively.
The next question is whether Bevell will be the only coach to fall on the sword. Seattle's issues were numerous. Baldwin said he expected "several" changes to the roster and coaching staff this offseason. Additionally, Carroll seemed to be softening the ground for potential coaching changes in his final press conference of the year.
"I think a lot of respect is to be dealt to these guys," Carroll said. "They’ve got families and lives and careers and dreams and hopes as we all do, and we’ll see what happens. I’ve always been here to help our guys and I want them to go and do what they’re capable of doing and meet their challenges of their lifetime as well, and I’m up for that. When it works out, I do everything I can to help them. We’ll see what happens, but other than that there’s not much to be said about that at this point."
Bevell is the first. Are there more coming?
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 6: Darrell Bevell congratulates Doug Baldwin #89 of the Seattle Seahawks after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter on December 6, 2015 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)