After Jack Del Rio was fired by the Oakland Raiders to make room for Jon Gruden, he took a couple of years off from the football field. He had been linked to a couple of jobs, but nothing happened. Things could finally change for the former head coach and defensive guru as ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Del Rio could be joining Ron Rivera and the Washington Redskins.
If it wasn’t for Gruden making it clear he was ready to return to the NFL, Del Rio could very well still be the head coach of the Raiders. His first two years with the team were impressive and he only faltered in his third year. However, team owner Mark Davis wanted Gruden for years, so anything short of multiple playoff runs would likely have led to Del Rio getting canned as soon as Gruden became available.
“[Davis] was always very straightforward with the fact that he was in love with Jon, and if he had the chance, he was going to hire him,” Del Rio told the Monday Morning Quarterback back in September. “He said it every chance he got.”
What Del Rio Brings to the Redskins
It’s easy to forget Jack Del Rio’s success as a defensive coordinator due to how poor the Raiders’ defense was during his tenure as head coach. As Schefter pointed out, Del Rio has ushered some of the best defensive turnarounds in recent memory.
Ron Rivera is also one of the most respected defensive minds in the NFL. If everything falls into place, the Redskins are poised to have a huge defensive turnaround. The 2019 version of the Washington defense was sixth-worst in the NFL in yards and points allowed. Those numbers should get a big boost in 2020. The league is moving towards favoring offense, but the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots have proven this season that an elite defense can still win games.
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Could Del Rio Land a Head Coaching Gig?
An impressive turnaround by the Redskins defense could be the first step Del Rio needs in getting back to being a head coach. Most times, a twice fired head coach would probably not be in line to get any more head coaching gigs, but Del Rio’s situation is slightly different. He’s the only man who was able to get the Raiders into the playoffs since 2002. He was instrumental in helping turn the franchise around. Unfortunately, things ended too early for him in Oakland.
Despite getting fired by the Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars, Del Rio has had pretty good success as a head coach. His record is 93-94, which is for from the worst in NFL history. He’d actually make sense for the Cleveland Browns. They’re loaded with talent and need somebody with a strong personality to lead them. Del Rio has the right kind of swagger to get that locker room in order. That said, he’s not the most exciting name and will probably need a couple of years in Washington before he starts getting more head coaching consideration.