Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, a returned Mormon missionary and former Wisconsin quarterback, is preparing for Super Bowl XLVIII.
Bevell, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is wrapping up his third season as offensive coordinator of the Seahawks, a team known for its dominant defense throughout the 2013 NFL season. Seattle was ranked as the No. 1 overall defense in the league this year, according to NFL.com, allowing just 273.6 yards per game in the regular season.
However, Bevell recently sang the praises of his wide receivers, according to the Seattle Times.
“Probably the best thing that I can say about all of our wide receivers is that they’re football players. I think that really sums it up because we ask them to do a lot of stuff, whether they’re returning kicks, whether they’re gunners on special teams, whether they’re catching balls for us, whether they’re blocking,” Bevell told the Seattle Times. “We really ask a lot of those guys and they really don’t flinch, they don’t blink, they just do whatever is asked of them. When they need to come up with a big play, they come up with a big play. If they have to block, they’ll do that. It’s just really a great bunch of guys to work with.”
Bevell will need to lean heavily on quarterback Russell Wilson against Denver on Feb. 2. Bevell told the Seattle Times that Wilson’s leadership and mild-mannered demeanor will be useful in the Super Bowl.
“I think it’s going to be critical to really manage your emotions," he said. "I haven’t been in this game before, talked to a lot of people that have and just all the things go on, whether how long you’re going to be out there in pre-game, you don’t want to be running up and down the field getting warmed up and there’s still 30 minutes before the game starts.
"Halftime is going to be extra long, and you’ve got to be able to manage that in there and not screaming and throwing stuff around the locker room and getting excited and then you still got 20 more minutes before you go out. So all those things are going to come into play, and he’ll be able to manage those because of his mentality.”
Sione Fua, also a returned missionary, will be part of the Super Bowl as a defensive tackle for the Denver Broncos. Fua was not activated for Sunday’s win over the New England Patriots, but remains on the roster for the big game, according to SFGate.com.
The University of Stanford tweeted out congratulations to Fua and his Broncos teammates after claiming the AFC Conference championship.
In other news, Eric Weddle of the San Diego Chargers was selected for his second NFL Pro Bowl. Weddle, a Mormon convert, will play as a first-string safety for Team Sanders in the 2014 Pro Bowl, according to NFL.com. Players for this year’s Pro Bowl were voted in by fans, at which point the teams, captained by NFL Hall of Famers Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice, were selected in a schoolyard-type draft. The Pro Bowl will be played in Hawaii on Jan. 26.