3 Jack Del Rio replacements Commanders should have on speed dial
By Jerry Trotta
Replacing an important coach is not something we expected to be writing about before the conclusion of organized team activities, but Jack Del Rio has unfortunately given us no other choice after he defended a controversial tweet in which he compared the George Floyd protests to the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Yes, the Washington Commanders defensive coordinator is obligated to say whatever he wants, but the team is doing everything in its power to change its reputation both on and off the football field. Not only is it beyond unnecessary, but it puts Ron Rivera and the players — or anyone associated with the team who might have a difference of opinion — in an impossible situation.
Rivera and Jonathan Allen both reiterated the notion that everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but this is bound to ruffle more feathers if it persists. And based on Del Rio’s activity on Twitter in recent weeks, it’s likely not going anywhere.
While Del Rio’s job is safe, the following quotes from Rivera prove the head coach won’t hesitate to intervene if it spills over into the locker room.
Should Del Rio keep posing a distraction to the Commanders’ offseason workouts, or potentially clash with a player over his polarizing opinion, Rivera and Washington might have no choice but to relieve him of his duties. With that in mind, here are three replacement options the team should have on speed dial.
3 potential Jack Del Rio replacements for the Commanders
3. Chris Harris
The Commanders have several worthy internal candidates to potentially place Del Rio if things get out of hand, but defensive backs coach Chris Harris tops our list. A fast-rising coach and former eight-year defensive back in the NFL, Harris jumped into coaching after his first season out of the league back in 2013.
It didn’t take long for Harris to climb the coaching ranks. After getting his feet wet as a defensive assistant in Chicago for two years, the former sixth-round pick was hired by the Chargers as an assistant DBs coach before he took the same position with Washington in 2020, albeit on a full-time basis.
We kind of get the sense that Harris will leave for another promotion before long if he isn’t handed the Commanders’ DC dig. Last year, he took an interview with the Eagles for their defensive coordinator opening and he did the same with the Colts this year after Matt Eberflus was hired as the Bears’ head coach.
With the Commanders’ secondary headed for a turnaround in 2022 now that it has more continuity, Harris could be a hot commodity on next year’s DC carousel. If Washington chooses to go internal with its potential Del Rio replacement, taking Harris off the market would knock out two birds with one stone.