Who could the Washington Commanders target as a potential replacement for defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio during or after the 2023 season?
Okay, I get the message. I wrote a piece a few days ago about how to fix the Washington Commanders' defense. It generated quite a bit of commentary. The comments mostly went like this:
“Fire Jack Del Rio.”
Some comments went into greater detail and included the potential removal of Ron Rivera, too. And some put forth the more radical notion of getting rid of everybody.
So I hear you. Let’s take a look at possible scenarios involving the coaching staff.
First of all, Rivera is not going anywhere. Josh Harris is not going to fire him, at least not anytime soon. There is a very strong likelihood that the new owner will look to bring in his own coach this off-season, but that was always going to be the case.
The last time Washington had a new owner, he intended to fire the inherited coach. However, Dan Snyder was foiled in that attempt because Norv Turner miraculously took his team to the playoffs in his first season. So he waited another year before bringing in the changes.
I suspect that even if Rivera pulls off a miraculous turnaround, Harris will look for someone new. But he will not fire him during the season. There is very little to gain from doing so.
Jack Del Rio, on the other hand, is on the hottest of hot seats right now. He has presided over a defensive rollercoaster during his time with the Commanders. And five weeks into a promising 2023 season, that defense is in its deepest trough ever.
Despite being loaded with high draft picks, they appear incapable of slowing down even the most mediocre of NFL offenses. No need to rehash the numbers. We’ve done that.
So, if the brain trust decides to shake things up by making a move at defensive coordinator, who might the Commanders turn to? Let’s look at this two ways: in-season and off-season.