Denver Broncos fans can go to sleep encouraged Friday night knowing that their defense is likely in good hands. Jack Del Rio has been named the team’s defensive coordinator; the seventh in seven years.
Del Rio was the defensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers in 2002 before being named the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003-2011. The former Pro Bowl linebacker has been at the helm of some underrated and impressive defenses while a coordinator and head coach. Here’s a quick look at what defenses have accomplished under his tenure:
2002 Carolina Panthers: 2nd in NFL in total defense, 5th in points per game (18.9)
What stands out most about his short stint as the Panthers’ coordinator, was that he inherited a defense that was last in the NFL in total defense and 28th in points per game (25.6) in 2001. That kind of improvement would be a welcome sign to a Broncos’ defense that made big strides this year.
As a head coach, Del Rio’s defenses were mostly strong units. Here’s a breakdown by year:
2003 Jacksonville Jaguars: 6th in total defense, 18th in points per game (20.7)
2004 Jacksonville Jaguars: 11th in total defense, 7th in points per game (17.5)
2005 Jacksonville Jaguars: 6th in total defense, 6th in points per game (16.8)
2006 Jacksonville Jaguars: 2nd in total defense, 4th in points per game (17.1)
2007 Jacksonville Jaguars: 12th in total defense, 10th in points per game (19.0)
2008 Jacksonville Jaguars: 17th in total defense, 21st in points per game (22.9)
2009 Jacksonville Jaguars: 23rd in total defense, 24th in points per game (23.8)
2010 Jacksonville Jaguars: 28th in total defense, 27th in points per game (26.2)
2011 Jacksonville Jaguars: 6th in total defense, 11th in points per game (20.6)
Statistics certainly don’t tell the whole story of coaching success, but they certainly don’t lie about it either. The Broncos’ defense looks to be setup very well for the 2012 season.