Lions’ Bevell makes coaching debut vs. Bears
Longtime NFL assistant Darrell Bevell will make his debut as interim head coach for Detroit when the Lions visit the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon.
Bevell, who has spent 18 years in the NFL and most recently served as the Lions’ offensive coordinator, was promoted to the interim head coaching role last weekend after Detroit fired head coach Matt Patricia along with general manager Bob Quinn.
The offer was bittersweet for Bevell, who now will try to show what he can do in charge of the Lions (4-7).
“I hate the circumstances with which it happened, but it’s an opportunity,” Bevell said. “And you got to take full advantage of the opportunities that you’re given, however they come your way. So like I told the players, I’m jacked. I mean, I’m excited. I get a five-game audition to show what I’m capable of.”
The first game of that audition will come against the Bears (5-6), who have lost five games in a row since surging to a 5-1 start. Chicago is coming off a 41-25 defeat against the Green Bay Packers that head coach Matt Nagy — whose job security also is drawing scrutiny along with that of general manager Ryan Pace — termed as “flat-out embarrassing.”
The Bears have been outscored 134-88 during their skid. Their last victory came Oct. 18 at Carolina.
Nagy challenged his players to put in extra work this week to end the drought.
“When you lose five in a row like this, you’ve got to come up with different solutions, and then you’ve got to have that pride,” he said. “So, put all that other stuff aside, I have to worry about every day being the leader for these guys and this team and understand, ‘OK, where’s our warts?’ And then clean them up. And then, ‘What’s our strengths?’ and let’s do more of that.
“For me, there’s that pride that you have to have. Our guys do care. I know they care.”
Nagy said Wednesday that the team will stick with Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback for a second consecutive week after he completed 26 of 46 passes for 242 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions against Green Bay. Trubisky reclaimed his starting job after veteran Nick Foles injured his hip two weeks earlier.
Allen Robinson should be the Bears’ top target in the passing game. Robinson leads the team with 71 catches for 829 yards and five touchdowns on the season.
On the ground, Bears running back David Montgomery leads the way with 575 yards and one score.
Bevell takes over a Lions team that has lost two in a row and four of five. The Lions also have lost five games in a row against the Bears, including a season-opening 27-23 loss on Sept. 13 that saw the Bears score 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.
Detroit is led by quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has a 92.7 passer rating to go along with 2,876 passing yards, 18 touchdowns and eight interceptions. His preferred options include tight end T.J. Hockenson (45 catches, 530 yards, 5 TDs) and wideout Marvin Jones (43 catches, 503 yards, 5 TDs).
Stafford was limited in practice Wednesday with an ongoing thumb issue on his throwing hand.
Veteran running back Adrian Peterson leads Detroit with 444 rushing yards and four touchdowns. He is No. 5 all time in rushing yards (14,660) and No. 4 in touchdowns (115).
Chicago is 2-3 at home this season. Detroit is 3-3 on the road.
Bears starting LT Charles Leno Jr. (toe) missed practice Wednesday and starting RT Germain Ifedi (leg) was limited. Linebacker Khalil Mack (back) and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (hamstring) also missed practice.
For the Lions, star WR Kenny Golladay (hip) joined DL Da’Shawn Hand (groin), LB Christian Jones (knee) and CB Jeff Okudah (shoulder) on the sidelines for Wednesday’s practice. Running back De’Andre Swift (concussion) was limited, as was WR Danny Amendola (hip) and DE Austin Bryant (thigh).
–Field Level Media