What critical factors were the cataylst behind the Washington Commanders finally cutting ties with defensive coordinatorJack Del Rio?
When Jack Del Rio joined the Washington Commanders as defensive coordinator in 2020, he inherited a defense that ranked near the bottom of the league in most important statistics. When he was fired this past week, his unit ranked even lower in most key metrics.
It was a precipitous fall for a highly respected defensive mind. One that eventually led to his removal despite head coach Ron Rivera's previous loyalty to his staff this season.
It wasn’t always like this for Del Rio in Washington. During his first season, his defense showed significant improvement. But that improvement was fleeting.
He could not sustain any level of consistency. Although there were flashes of solid play, the Commanders experienced a general decline since 2020.
It wasn’t all Del Rio’s fault. But he certainly deserves a lot of the blame for both personnel and scheme moves that seemed confusing at the time and in hindsight look even worse.
We’ll take a look at the major failings of Del Rio’s tenure here in a moment. But first, let me give credit where it’s due.
Understanding what he got right in 2020 helps explain what he would get wrong in the subsequent seasons.