Thursday was Jack Del Rio’s 50th birthday and it got me to thinking about the Denver Broncos defensive coordinator. Those thoughts reminded me of something head coach, John Fox has said on more than one occasion. He doesn’t want to coach into his 60s; Fox is 58 right now.
Those two thoughts led me to a third thought; Del Rio is going to be the next head coach of the Broncos. It makes sense if you really stop and think about it. I don’t think Fox will quit on his 60th birthday, but I do think he will retire shortly after Peyton Manning hangs up the cleats. At that point, Del Rio will have been with the Broncos for three or four seasons and will be ready to be a head coach again.
Frankly, Del Rio is probably ready now, but it is my belief that he really enjoys being in Denver and with the Broncos. Think back to when all of the head coaching positions were open three months ago, there was no mention of Del Rio for any of those jobs. Maybe that’s because he just wasn’t far enough removed from his firing from the Jacksonville Jaguars, and maybe the offers will come next year if the Broncos’ defense is a top five unit again.
However, it would not surprise me if there was some sort of handshake deal between Fox, Del Rio and John Elway that states that Del Rio will be the head coach when Fox retires to the Carolinas. There’s no evidence of that, it is an educated guess on my part.
If that were to happen, it would be a fantastic move. Everyone remembers the last two seasons that Del Rio was with the Jaguars which were not good. However, his overall record was good, and he did it with limited resources. Del Rio never had an above average quarterback and still led his teams to the playoffs in multiple seasons.
If he were to get the head coaching job with the Broncos, Del Rio would have something he never had with the Jaguars. He would be with an organization where winning is the first priority, and he would be in a football town.
Del Rio came to the Broncos because he wanted to stay in the game, and the team was in need of a defensive coordinator. Maybe he took the job as an avenue to another head coaching position, but then he got to Denver and the same thing happened to him that happens to a lot of people. He discovered what a great city it is, and what a great organization the Broncos are. If he has a chance to be the head coach for the Broncos in two or three years, why would he leave? Throw into the equation that as he is waiting for his opportunity, Del Rio might pick up a Super Bowl ring or two.
Most assistant coaches want to be head coaches and if the right situation presented itself to Del Rio, he would take it. However, don’t be surprised if he takes over for Fox, whenever that day comes.
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