Detroit Lions' decision to fire Brayden Coombs was about more than Sunday's rogue play call
Darrell Bevell, interim coach for the Detroit Lions, said the decision to fire Brayden Coombs on Monday was "excruciating" but became villain after the special teams coordinator in the fourth quarter with a false punt call against the Tennessee Titans was it was something he felt done for the team.
"If we want to say, 'Hey, we're going to do this,' then it's important to me that I can deal with it," said Bevell. "And sometimes, when it goes the other way, there are moments when you can really help yourself or hurt yourself and I thought that was a really important moment."
Bevell said he decided to fire Coombs late Sunday evening after much deliberation, and then put it to President Rod Wood for approval.
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According to team and league sources, Coombs' dismissal was mainly due to his lack of culture to fit into the organization, he was also late for multiple meetings in the past few weeks, and Sunday disobedience was the proverbial last straw.
Bevell declined to comment on other incidents. When asked if Coombs doesn't fit a culture, he said, "I don't want to use those words."
Coombs didn't return a call for comment.
Bevell said he wanted punter Jack Fox to kick the ball just over 12 minutes ahead and the fourth and fourth Lions from their own 31-yard line 14 points, and Coombs opted for the fake on his own .
Detroit Lions Special Team Coordinator Brayden Coombs will announce his philosophy regarding kicking or receiving the ball at the start of the Games on November 17, 2020.
"A decision has to be made there," said Bevell. "The decision for me was that I have to judge everything. I guess the quarterback is not good (having been hit in the last two games) and so with the score and where we were we had three time outs plus that Two minute warning and Jack scores really well. I thought it would be best to turn the field around and stay there, two points less. We'd get the ball back, you saw the offense go with a really good chance.
"If I try there I'll skip the offense and trust Matthew (Stafford) with the ball. And that didn't happen in the situation and there are some things that could be different. I would have been in a different place Being able to make really good decisions and not knowing what was going on led to bad things happening. "
Bevell said the Lions have had incorrect punts on the schedule in all three games since Matt Patricia was fired in late November, but have not used them based on predetermined parameters related to down-and-distance or game situations.
Safety CJ Moore (49) of the Detroit Lions is tackled by Nick Westbrook (15) of the Tennessee Titans for a take down on a false punt in the fourth quarter of the game at Nissan Stadium in December 20, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee.
On Sunday, Bevell said the Lions had at least three-thirds of the downs within the wrong punt parameters but converted and never got to play.
He declined to share the parameters or to say whether they included the fourth and fourth situations in which the Lions unsuccessfully carried out their forgery. Regardless, he said it was clear that he wanted to hit the ball.
Instead of a boat, the personal protector C.J. Moore took a direct look at the game and ran to the short side of the field, where he was stopped just before the first relegation.
The Titans took possession of the Lions' 34-yard line and scored six games later to break the game.
"In that situation, it was a stinging situation for me as I explained what the situation was like at that moment, with time outs, playing time, score and Matthew's situation," said Bevell.
Coombs, 34, and in his first season as a coordinator, helped transform the Lions into one of the NFL's best punt teams. Fox ranks second in the league with a net punting average of 45.3 yards, and the Lions have three blocked punts and one blocked extra point.
August 11, 2018; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals Broad Receiver A.J. Green, 18, works with Special Team Assistant Brayden Coombs on the practice fields next to Paul Brown Stadium during the Cincinnati Bengals training camp. Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar / The Cincinnati Enquirer via USA TODAY NETWORK
Some of the key Lions specialty teams expressed surprise at the change on social media.
"What we're doing, man," returnees Jamal Agnew wrote on Twitter.
"One of the best coaches I've played for in the NFL," wrote cornerback Tony McRae, who started at Gunner at the end of the season with a knee injury. "Team guy and player-coach on and off the field. Great energy and a man who challenges you week after week. I'm speechless. I'll be playing for Brayden every day!"
Bevell said he spoke to a few players individually on Monday about the move and will address the entire team when they get back together on Tuesday to begin preparations for this week's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"With the interim day, I fully understand my situation and I understand that I have five weeks to do this and I have been given the authority to lead the coaching team and work with these guys," Bevell said. "And so it was my decision to start first, but obviously it's one that I can't make on my own. I have a boss too, so I took her to Rod and then waited to hear from him what she was for Holding the best So I would say clearly that it was an organizational decision that I didn't make myself. But I had an influence on the decision. '
Contact Dave Birkett at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.
This article originally appeared in the Detroit Free Press: Why Detroit Lions Interim Coach Darrell Bevell Fired Brayden Coombs
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