The day after the NFL regular season ends is known as “Black Monday” as it is notorious for multiple coaches losing their jobs all over the league. This season figures to be no different as plenty of teams will be making coaching changes.
The Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills will all be likely looking for a new head coach for next season as each team failed to meet their expectations in 2012. With at least six-eight jobs opening up there will be plenty of names floated around to fill those positions.
One of the biggest names that will surface as a potential candidate will be current Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.
Del Rio has done a phenomenal job with the Denver defense and if last season was any indication the defensive coordinator may be on his way out of Denver. Last season Dennis Allen was Denver’s defensive coordinator and he led the initial turnaround of an abysmal Broncos defense and it turned into a head coaching gig with the Oakland Raiders. If Allen can secure a head coaching job out of his performance as Denver’s coordinator, Del Rio certainly can.
Denver’s defense was middle-of-the-pack last season but this year it is ranked as the third best unit in the NFL in total defense. They have play-makers all over their defense with Pro-Bowlers Elvis Dumervil, Champ Bailey and Von Miller. The big names are also paired up with emerging stars in defensive back Chris Harris and linebacker Wesley Woodyard. It’s not all Del Rio’s doing but he has plenty of talent to work with.
Even though Del Rio had little success as a head coach when he was with the Jacksonville Jaguars he still seems like one of the top candidates available. Del Rio finished 69-73, including 1-2 in the postseason, in nine seasons with the Jaguars but his previous experience paired with his performance this season as Denver’s D-coordinator suggests that he’s prime to be a name at the top of everyone’s coaching search come Monday.
The question is, will Del Rio leave? I think if the right opportunity is presented to him he will likely take it. Head coaching money these days is hard to pass up and it would be hard for Del Rio to turn down.
It would be a shame if Del Rio did leave but the Broncos have enough talent to make the next guy in line’s job a seamless transition.