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The Importance of Jack Del Rio

Posted By Anthony Overbay On Jul 7 2012 @ 12:00 pm In Denver Broncos | 2 Comments

Continuing with part of my last article, I thought it would be good to go a little more in depth in order to show the true importance of the Broncos acquiring Jack Del Rio.

One thing to note, is that Jack Del Rio has experience on the field as a player. Del Rio, a Linebacker from USC, was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the 3rd round, 68th overall in the 1985 NFL draft. Del Rio also spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys, and Minnesota Vikings before hanging up his cleats in 1996 after being signed to the Miami Dolphins and losing his job to rookie Zach Thomas. Del Rio had his only Pro Bowl and All Pro season in 1994 with the Vikings.

Now I don’t want this article to go on forever, so I will give a brief look at Jack Del Rio’s coaching career. What I am most interested in, are his days as defensive coordinator and head coach and the defensive rankings that he obtained during those years. Jack Del Rio would not stay out of the NFL for long. In 1997, Del Rio was hired to be the strength and conditioning coach for the team who drafted him, the New Orleans Saints. After 2 season with the Saints, Del Rio accepted a position with the Baltimore Ravens where he lasted 3 seasons as their Linebackers coach. In Baltimore, Del Rio would win the only Superbowl in his career, Super Bowl XXXV.

So now we reach the part I am most interested in, and why I believe Denver scored big when they brought in Jack Del Rio. In 2002, Jack Del Rio was hired on with the Carolina Panthers to be the defensive coordinator under now Broncos head coach, John Fox. Good to know there is some familiarity between these two going forward. Del Rios first year and only year as defensive coordinator with the Panthers was a huge success. The Panthers defense ranked 2nd in yards allowed, and 5th in points allowed that season. After 2002, Jack Del Rio was hired on as the Jacksonville Jaguars 2nd head coach after Tom Coughlin was relieved of his duties. Jack Del Rio held his position for almost 9 full seasons before he was fired in the 2011 season by the struggling Jaguars. In those 9 seasons, Del Rios defenses ranked in the top 10 in yards allowed 4 times and in the top 10 in points allowed 5 times. Unfortunately, his reign as head coach achieved little success. Del Rio only had 1 play off victory in his 2 appearances.

When you look at Jack Del Rio and Broncos head coach John Fox, they both had struggles in their careers, but one constant was their defensive consistency. In John Foxs 9 years as the Panthers head coach, his defense was ranked in the top 10 in yards and points allowed 5 times each. Combine these two together on the same defense, and I have to say, we could easily have a consistently dominating defense. Here is to the return of the orange crush!

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