Darrell Bevell next up on historic Packers list

Lions interim coach and Rose Bowl-winning Wisconsin QB is 17th former Green Bay assistant to face Packers as leader of another team

Left: Former Packers assistant coach Darrell Bevell and former QB Brett Favre Right: Lions interim head coach Darrell Bevell

GREEN BAY – It's a list that includes some rather highly distinguished names.

Three have won Super Bowls. Another advanced to one. More than a handful coached in postseason games before they were done.

On Sunday, Darrell Bevell will add his name to the list. He'll become the 17th former Packers assistant coach in team history to become the head or interim coach of another franchise and lead that team in a game against Green Bay.

As the interim coach of the Detroit Lions, Bevell is the 10th former assistant to face the Packers in the Brett Favre-Aaron Rodgers era and the first since 2016. Seven on the list coached against the Packers prior to the Favre-Rodgers era (a hat tip and hearty thanks to team historian Cliff Christl for helping research them; the full list is below).

The firing of Matt Patricia has given Bevell his first opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL, and many in coaching circles don't believe it'll be his last. He's been the offensive coordinator for three different franchises (Minnesota, Seattle, Detroit) over the past 15 years, and this is his next natural step.

Bevell broke into the NFL coaching ranks with the Packers back in 2000, seven years after quarterbacking the Wisconsin Badgers to their first Rose Bowl triumph in three decades. A few short college stops preceded his arrival in Green Bay as a low-level offensive assistant on Mike Sherman's staff, and he stayed with the Packers for all six of Sherman's years at the helm.

The last three of those (2003-05), Bevell was the quarterbacks coach, getting to work with both Favre and Rodgers – for one year with the Packers' current QB, his rookie season after he was drafted in the first round.

The two shared some memories of that lone year together this week, as Bevell recalled giving Rodgers a tour of Lambeau Field on draft weekend, while Rodgers noted some early fundamental work he honed with Bevell, such as timing the footwork of his drop-back with his receivers making their breaks.

"To learn to tie my feet with the routes was my first important lesson in the league, and I do appreciate Darrell's help with that," Rodgers said. "That was quite an interesting year."

Partly because Rodgers said he spent a lot of time trying to find Favre in the building anytime Bevell needed to talk to him. But when the rough 4-12 season ended, the Packers were moving on to Mike McCarthy while Bevell was headed to the rival Vikings to join Brad Childress' staff, and his coaching career has progressed from there.

As for the historical Packers list he's joining, Bevell is the fourth to coach Detroit against Green Bay, following Marty Mornhinweg, Dick Jauron (interim) and Steve Mariucci.

Jauron and Mariucci are tied with former Vikings coach Jerry Burns, an assistant on Vince Lombardi's last two Green Bay teams, for the most games coached against the Packers, with 12 each.

Burns, Andy Reid and Tom Coughlin are tied for the most wins against the Packers, with five apiece. Coughlin's win for the Giants in the 2011 NFC Divisional playoff marks the last time a former Packers assistant coach beat Green Bay, though it took a last-second TD pass by Rodgers back in 2014 to beat Joe Philbin's Miami Dolphins.

Overall, the former Packers assistants are 28-54 against Green Bay, a winning percentage of just .341. That record includes a 4-4 mark in the postseason.

Bevell enters Sunday's game 1-0 on his personal ledger after a dramatic NFC North comeback victory over the Bears, during which the Lions were down by 10 points with 4½ minutes left and the ball on their own 4-yard line. A 96-yard TD drive, followed by a sack-fumble, another TD, and a defensive stop made for a more unforgettable debut than most.

The win has given the 5-7 Lions new life, and they're by no means giving up on the season despite the coaching change.

"They're a team that's right in the thick of this thing right now," Matt LaFleur said this week. "They're a game back within the wild card.

"You just watch the effort and see the mentality they displayed versus the Bears when it wasn't looking great for them, I think that tells you all you need to know. We know we're going to have our hands full."

Former Packers assistant coaches vs. Green Bay

as head/interim coach of another team

Coach, years as GB asst., position/title(s)

Record vs. GB, opposing team(s)

Ben McAdoo, 2006-13, TE/QB

0-2 (N.Y. Giants incl. 0-1 postseason)

Joe Philbin, 2003-11, '18, TE/OL/off. coord.

0-1 (Miami)

Andy Reid, 1992-98, TE/OL/QB

5-6 (5-4 Philadelphia incl. 1-1 postseason, 0-2 Kansas City)

Marty Mornhinweg, 1995-96, off. asst./QB

0-4 (Detroit)

Steve Mariucci, 1992-95, QB

3-9 (1-6 San Francisco incl. 1-2 postseason, 2-3 Detroit)

Dick Jauron, 1986-94, DB

3-9 (2-8 Chicago, 0-1 Detroit, 1-0 Buffalo)

Jon Gruden, 1992-94, off. asst./WR

3-3 (0-2 Raiders, 3-1 Tampa Bay)

Ray Rhodes, 1992-93, def. coord.

1-2 (Philadelphia)

Tom Coughlin, 1986-87, WR/passing game

5-5 (0-2 Jacksonville, 5-3 N.Y. Giants incl. 2-0 postseason)

Forrest Gregg, 1969-70, OL (player-coach)

1-1 (Cincinnati)

Jerry Burns, 1966-67, DBs

5-7 (Minnesota)

Norb Hecker, 1959-65, DB

0-2 (Atlanta)

Tom Fears, 1962-65, off. Ends

0-1 (New Orleans)

Bill Austin, 1959-64, OL

1-0 (Pittsburgh)

Nick Skorich, 1958, OL

0-2 (0-1 Philadelphia, 0-1 Cleveland)

Walt Kiesling, 1945-48, Line

1-0 (Pittsburgh)

Totals: 28-54 (.341), incl. 4-4 postseason

Packers team historian Cliff Christl contributed to this report.

Related Content