Darrell Bevell knows he has a sizable challenge ahead. The Seattle offensive coordinator will play a major role in the game plans for Super Bowl XLIX, and he’ll help guide quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense against a New England defense that appears to be peaking at the right time.
According to Mike Clay of Pro Football Focus, including Sunday’s AFC title game, the Patriots have now allowed 14 touchdowns in nine games (an average of 1.55 per game) since their Week 10 bye. That included four against Baltimore last week in the AFC divisional playoffs. Maybe more importantly, the defense has been best when the game has been on the line — New England has yielded just two second-half touchdowns since its Week 11 win over the Colts in the regular season.
Bevell said Wednesday he’s not shocked at all when it comes to the level of success the Patriots have enjoyed, and anticipates a terrific challenge from New England when the two teams square off in Glendale.
“[Bill Belichick is as] good as they come in terms of game planning for an opponent, and he’s going to have a specific game plan for us. You don’t even know what it could be, so you kind of have to really be ready for everything,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “Fronts, coverages, all different kind of things and you have to be able to anticipate some of the things that they might do and you have to be able to adjust. During the game. there’s definitely some unscouted looks that are probably going to come up. So we just have to be ready to make those adjustments on the sideline as they come.
“I think you really have to be on your toes and really be prepared,” he added. “Like I said. almost every single guy on their secondary, you’ve seen them on tape in the games. There’s all the D-linemen, all the linebackers, they use them really all over the place. They can use them as down linemen, they can use them as linebackers, they use their safeties as corners, they’re all over the place. There’s definitely going to be some unscouted looks to come up.”
Bevell knows that the Seahawks‘ greatest challenge will come when Wilson and the Seattle passing game goes against the Patriots’ secondary.
“They use all of their guys — just about all of the depth that they have on the back end, you see them on tape,” Bevell said of the New England defensive backs. “I think they’re all solid players, but when you start with [Darrelle] Revis and [Brandon Browner] — we know about BB and Revis is one of the best in the business. I think [Devin] McCourty is playing just about as well as you can play at safety, he’s very active. So it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be a good challenge — one that we’re looking forward to.”
Bevell also broke down what it means to specifically face Revis and Browner. Bevell acknowledged that Revis was “as good as they come” when it comes to the cornerback position.
“He does everything well,” he said. “I know that they feel confident that they can just put him on an island, but they can put him over there one on one and the other guys can help the other side of the field and he’d be able to take care of that, or at least he’s been able to in his past. So he’s a solid player — he can play bump and run, he understands concepts, he can jump routes if he needs to, he can play the deep ball. So he’s a solid player.”
As far as Browner, there is some familiarity there, as he spent the last three seasons with the Seahawks before signing with New England this past offseason.
“It’ll be fun — we used to compete hard against him in practice,” recalled Bevell. “So that will be fun to see him.”