Seahawks OC Darrell Bevell excited for Jimmy Graham’s eventual return

Jan 14, 2016, 10:47 AM | Updated: 12:06 pm
offensive coordinator...
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and former Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell (AP)

The Seahawks offense that put up historic numbers over the final seven weeks of the regular season ran suspiciously parallel to tight end Jimmy Graham’s season-ending torn patellar tendon. But offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell put aside any suggestions that the offense is better off without him in an interview on “Danny, Dave and Moore.”

“I think he would have just been another huge part of us,” Bevell said of Graham. “I think he would have only helped. I’ve seen that, I’ve heard people talk about that, that we kind of took off after that. There was no issues with trying to force him the ball. I think there were people who wanted us to force him the ball, but we weren’t trying to do that. He was in the progressions, there were times when he was No. 1 and if it was there you’re gonna take it, if not you’re gonna move on through your progressions. But he was gonna be a huge part of what we were doing.”

Related: Beast Mode’s last ride? How Seahawks, Marshawn Lynch got to this point

With a major playoff matchup with Carolina days away, it’s certainly too soon to be looking ahead to next season, but Bevell is looking forward to his star tight end returning to the offense.

“We’re excited to get him back,” he said. “We hope that he’s able to come back from that injury and be 100 percent, and I’ve seen him in the training room. He’s working hard at it. He was a huge part of us. I think it was two weeks ago he was still the second-leading receiver behind Doug (Baldwin) on the team, until Jermaine (Kearse) I think finally passed him and maybe somebody else has since then. So we were able to get him involved. He does great things. He’s such a big target. He’s exciting for us to have. He was doing a really nice job of coming along in his blocking as well. So he’s a complete guy and… you can’t have enough of those outstanding talents on your team.”

Other highlights from Bevell’s conversation with “Danny, Dave and Moore”:

On what Marshawn Lynch’s return would mean: “We make it business as usual all the time. Even going into last week, Marshawn practiced pretty much the whole week, so we were evaluating that the whole time thinking that we might have him (vs. Minnesota). So the whole time we were just saying, OK, we’re going to do our stuff. Obviously there’s a few things for him if he’s in there, if he’s not in there. So the whole time you’re trying to evaluate everything and make adjustments where you need to.”

On the dramatic offensive progress from the first half of the season to the second: “While we were trying to make the adjustments up there up front (on the offensive line), we did some things in the passing game. A little bit quicker rhythm throws, some just take what they’re giving you, kind of just dump it off, get it out of (Russell Wilson’s) hand so we weren’t getting the quarterback hit.”

On Wilson’s game-changing pass to Tyler Lockett after recovering an errant snap vs. Minnesota: “You can notice that Russell, as he was running to the ball, I think he even put his mouthpiece in as he was running to pick up the ball. So, pretty savvy, pretty poised there.”

On his play-calling duties: “I’m never trying to call a bad play, contrary to probably popular belief. Every one that we’re calling we think is gonna go for something … The biggest thing is I want to make sure it’s on the card right; it’s gotta be on there correct. So I’m very meticulous about reading every line before it’s even printed to make sure that everything’s on there the way it needs to be.”

On what he’s learned under Pete Carroll: “Each person that you get to coach with or play under, you’re starting to take things from them. You watch them and you kind of say, ‘Oh, I really like that, I wouldn’t want to do that.’ About everything that Coach Carroll does it’s like, yeah he’s right on with that and I have a strong belief in the philosophy that he has. He’s probably helped me to kind of come out of my shell even a little bit more. I’m not a big flamboyant guy or anything, more mild-mannered, but it’s fun to be here because he lets people be who they are. If you’re a unique individual, he lets you be unique. And that’s something I’ve really appreciated from him. He’s very empowering. He always is telling me, ‘Hey, go for it, go for it, go for it.’ He’s really pushing me to make sure that we’re being as aggressive as we can be. I can talk for days about how much I appreciate him.”

On the continued success without Thomas Rawls, Lynch and Graham: “Coach Carroll always talks about us being a developmental staff. You have those star players, but what about the guys behind them? We still coach those guys hard, whether it’s all our guys from UW with Kasen (Williams) and Kevin (Smith) and those types of guys that we have that have come along and started to make plays for us. (Luke Willson’s) always been here and then you’ve got Cooper (Helfet) and Chase (Coffman). We try to coach up the next guys. I just think it shows that we’re doing the right stuff, as well. We have a base of our offense but we try to put the guys in positions to help them be successful.”

On working from 5 a.m. from Monday through midnight Friday: “We love what we do. It’s exciting and we study all kinds of tape, we look at all kind of plays that could help us to be successful. So we’re looking for things for our offense but we’re also breaking down our opponent and saying, OK, how are we going to be able to attack those guys? So there’s just all kinds of things that we can do.”

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Seahawks OC Darrell Bevell excited for Jimmy Graham’s eventual return