Bevell, 49, will replace Jim Bob Cooter, who was let go following the 2018 season. Bevell previously served as the Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator from 2011 to 2017. He was also the Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator from 2006 to 2010.
The hiring brings together Bevell and Matt Patricia, who was the New England Patriots defensive coordinator in Super Bowl XLIX. Bevell infamously called a pass that was intercepted by Malcolm Butler at the Patriots' goal line, giving New England a title while making Bevell public enemy No. 1 in Seattle.
The Lions will look to improve on an offense that struggled mightily in every aspect. Matthew Stafford was limited to 3,777 yards and 21 touchdowns, both lows in more than a half decade, and Detroit failed to produce a 1,000-yard rusher for the fifth straight season.
Football Outsiders ranked the Lions as the No. 23 offense in football.
"We're looking for someone that improves the offense," general manager Bob Quinn told reporters. "I think we want a balanced attack, like we talked about before. We want to be able to run the ball, we want to be able to use our quarterback because he has a ton of talent. So, we want to be diverse. We're not going to sit there and be in four wide receivers, shotgun every play and throw it 45 times. That's not good for anybody. On the other hand, we're not going to be three tight ends and run the ball 40 times.
"We need to do a better job of going into each week looking at the opponent and say, 'How are we going to beat this team?' If they have a great run defense and a poor pass defense, maybe we throw it 45 times and vice versa. So we want someone that thinks that way."
The Lions plan to bring Stafford back as their quarterback in 2019 and drafted two promising young skill-position players in Kerryon Johnson and Kenny Golladay. There could simply be some organic improvement through health, though the Lions are going to need a co-star for Golladay at receiver after trading Golden Tate at the deadline.