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Darrell Bevell is part of the problem

Seattle Seahawks v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

On Monday, I wrote an article about how Christine Michael is part of the problem for the Seattle Seahawks offense. The response was much bigger than I expected, and certainly much more negative. I got the obvious stuff: comments left on the blog, tweets, Facebook replies. But then some even took it further and sent me personal emails to tell me why I was wrong in my article that clearly stated that Christine Michael was the entire problem.

On Monday, I wrote an article about how Christine Michael is part of the problem

my article that clearly stated that Christine Michael was the entire problem

It’s fascinating to me how the human brain works, or how we all coexist in a society. Especially in a community that is naturally predisposed to be rooting for something together. It seems like we are more inclined to argue within a fan community than we are to argue against a different fan community. Perhaps that’s just part of being a family. Back to which unit of the Seahawks is responsible for their terrible running attack this season.

I already talked about why Michael isn’t an NFL lead back, but as the article stated:

You can blame Darrell Bevell. You can blame Pete Carroll. You can blame Tom Cable. You can blame the offensive line. You can even blame Russell Wilson.

You can blame all of those people. Maybe it’s the turn of phrase that came off as confusing, but let me try to say it again in a clearer way:

You should blame Darrell Bevell. You should blame Pete Carroll. You should blame Tom Cable. You should blame the offensive line. You should blame Russell Wilson. Positive outcomes are a team effort. Negative outcomes are a team effort. Football is a team effort. Football is the most “team sport” we have among major American sports. Of course I would never blame everything on a single player, the point of Monday’s article was to spotlight the fact that while the easy thing that everyone does is to blame the offensive coordinator or the line coach (two guys who you don’t really care if they lose their jobs and their livelihoods), it’s just as rational to give recognition to the player who has actually been carrying the ball all season long.

Christine Michael is not an ideal number one running back. It’s okay, for me at least, to acknowledge that. It’s just as okay for me to admit that Bevell’s track record as offensive coordinator has to come into question if the Seahawks offense falls apart without Marshawn Lynch.

Bevell’s offense was ranked 22nd in DVOA in 2011, his first year with the team.

Bevell’s offense is ranked 20th in 2016.

The thing about 2011 is that he didn’t have Russell Wilson. The thing about 2016 is that he doesn’t have Lynch. So all of the years in which Seattle was awesome at offense — 2012-2015 — he had Lynch and Wilson working together. Now, perhaps (if I’m right) the return of a healthy Thomas Rawls will “magically” make the Seahawks offense great again, but it’s still probably too late for Bevell to get away with the notion that the offense can be okay without great players.

Not in the way that Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels have managed to keep the New England Patriots third in offensive DVOA despite Tom Brady missing four games, Sebastian Vollmer and Dion Lewis and Tre Jackson missing all of the season, Rob Gronkowski being injured for a spell, and LeGarrette Blount quietly being a worse running back than Michael and many other starters.

You want better? Yes, the Patriot are better. You want to aspire to something, aspire to that. I think Pete Carroll is possibly the second best coach in the NFL after Belichick, and I’m okay with that, but if you’re aspirational, there’s the model.

I still think that Bevell should probably be promoted to a head coach somewhere else (even if it’s at a college) rather than fired, but if things don’t improve this season it could certainly be an opportunity for Carroll to make a change — but even Carroll himself acknowledged after the game that “I have to do better.” The playcalling at the end of games has been questionable, the results this season, less than desirable. Maybe the injury to Rawls, the best running back on the roster because he’s probably one of the top 10 in the whole league, has given the team a chance to reevaluate their personnel and staff. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. And that’s something to consider because above all else, I believe that blame usually starts up top.

I also would remind everyone that the Seahawks are 4-2-1, in first place in the division, the Arizona Cardinals are 3-4-1 and are unlikely to make a comeback because of their mounting injury report, and there’s nine more games to right the ship on offense while the defense remains a top-three unit in the league. If this is something to panic about, then let the band play on.

Let’s also remember that people are human beings. Tom Cable. Darrell Bevell. Christine Michael.

It doesn’t make me feel warm inside to write an article openly criticizing a person for doing their job to the best of their abilities. I also wouldn’t be a writer if I just avoided doing that. It comes with the territory. I have to recognize that Michael isn’t doing very good, but I also hope that he does better. I root for Michael to do better, and not just because I’m a Seahawks fan. I also root for Bradley Sowell and Garry Gilliam and Germain Ifedi to do better, and not just because I’m a Seahawks fan. It’s because I’m a fan of people doing better. I want them to be able to continue doing what it is they love doing and the timeline for football players is short and unforgiving. I also root for Bevell and Cable, and I think that’s a road less traveled. Simply pushing blame on someone else to avert saying something negative about the person you happen to like (and it’s easier to like the guy holding the ball while a touchdown is scored rather than the whole unit that made it happen) isn’t fair. If my piece came off as unfair to Michael, then I apologize. Christine Michael is only part of the problem.

Bevell is part of the problem.

The offensive line is part of the problem.

Wilson is part of the problem.

It’s a team sport. A “community” sport, if you will. Don’t communities do so much better when they’re working with each other rather than throwing stones at each other?

(Here’s another awesome video by our new video editor Jeff Collett. It’s more of a pair to the Christine Michael article than this one but I want the tenor of today’s Bevell article to remain the same: Everyone is contributing to a gutter running unit.)

Problems With The Seahawks Running Game

The Seahawks running game ranks near the bottom of the league in multiple stats so far this season. #seahawks Video Credit: Jeff Collett

Posted by Field Gulls: For Seattle Seahawks News and Analysis on Tuesday, November 1, 2016