ATLANTA – Michael Robinson knows exactly what the Lions are getting in new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.
Robinson earned a trip to the Pro Bowl as a fullback in Bevell’s first season as offensive coordinator with Seattle in 2011. The pair won a Super Bowl together a couple years later.
Robinson was one of the first people to reach out to Bevell after learning he’d been hired by Matt Patricia and the Lions to run Detroit’s offense.
“You’re getting a guy who is very serious about his job,” Robinson said Wednesday at the Super Bowl. “Very much attentive to details. Very much a guy that cares. He’s not going to be a guy that’s going to MF guys all the time. He’s not going to be a guy screaming and yelling in the quarterback’s ear.
“He’s going to be a calming voice. That’s what I always loved about coach Bevell. At halftime we can have all types of stuff going on. You got Richard Sherman yelling at the offense to get our stuff together, and Bevell would come in and just be that consistent calming voice to get us right.”
Bevell’s offenses have been a mix of everything from ground-and-pound to west coast to throwing the ball around a lot when he was with Green Bay and Minnesota early in his coaching career. His ability to mix a little bit of everything into his offense is one of the things that attracted the Lions to him.
“He makes concepts simple and easy,” Robinson said of Bevell. “And he can adjust to just about any personnel. I like the hire for Detroit.”
The run game has been a big part of Bevell’s offenses, especially in his last stop in Seattle. Robinson attributed that, in part, to having Marshawn Lynch in the backfield, but said Detroit was a perfect landing spot for him with GM Bob Quinn and Patricia’s mandate to be balanced on offense.
Bevell’s offenses have finished in the top 10 in rushing percentage eight times in his 12 years as an OC. During a four-year stretch between 2012 and 2015 as Seattle’s OC, his offense was top 10 in scoring each year and ranked in the top four in rushing.
But Robinson also thinks Stafford and the passing game will benefit from more balance. The two quarterbacks Bevell is best known for working with are Brett Favre and Russell Wilson. Both enjoyed career seasons under Bevell.
Favre had one of his finest statistical seasons in 2009 with the Vikings. He completed 68 percent of his passes for 4,202 yards (7.9 average) with 33 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. His 107.2 passer rating that season was the only time in Favre’s career he finished a season with a rating over 100.0.
The 2015 season saw Wilson throw for over 4,000 yards (4,024) for the first time in his career with 34 touchdowns and just eight interceptions for a then career high 110.1 passer rating.
“I would expect Matthew Stafford to continue to have a lot of those 5,000-yard possible years, but cut down on some of the turnovers, and not be as chaotic,” Robinson said. “That’s what Bevell, to me, does a great of. Calming you down in high-pressure situations.”