Broncos’ Jack Del Rio Ready to Coach Against Former Team


Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio before the preseason game against the St. Louis Rams at Sports Authority Field . (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

Broncos’ defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio didn’t necessarily want to head into the game against his old team giving up 48 points the week before. However, he’s looking no where but forward.

“Yeah, will I give you a little insight if I told you I don’t really care to look back anymore?” Del Rio said. “We’re looking forward to this opportunity Sunday.”

Del Rio coached the Jacksonville Jaguars for nine years (2003-2011) after spending a year with John Fox in Carolina (2002). With Jacksonville, Del Rio made two playoff appearances, which included a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 200 AFC Wild Card game.

Oh, how Jacksonville fans wish they could go back to those days.

“It was an honor to be the head coach there,” Del Rio said after Thursday’s practice. “It was a terrific place to raise my family, to live and to be the head coach. A lot of great memories. [I’m] very grateful for [former Owner] Mr. [Wayne] Weaver for giving me that opportunity back then and just very appreciative of all that. Now, I’ve moved on. I’m here in Denver. I enjoy doing what I do, and that is helping this defense be as good as it can be and helping this football team win games.”

In nine of his full 15 seasons as a position coach, coordinator, or head coach, Del Rio’s defenses have ranked in the top 6 in yards per game allowed. He’s coached 14 different players to even more Pro Bowl selections.

Denver was lucky to snag him before the 2012 season. The team finished 2nd in yards allowed per game, and third against both the pass and the rush.

This year, Del Rio’s defense is 29th in yards allowed per game, 31st in passing defense, but 1st in rush defense. Clearly, Von Miller’s absence is hurting the team when it comes to getting pressure on the quarterback.

Nevertheless, Del Rio’s name will be in the head coaching hat at the end of this season. For now though, he’ll be focused on stopping Maurice Jones-Drew and many other players that he coached not long ago.

A win against an 0-5 team will be just another win for the Broncos, but for Del Rio, it will be slightly more special whether he wants to admit it or not.

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