At the end of the 07-08 NFL season Jack Del Rio was considered one of the bright young coaches in the league. He was considered for coach of the year after his Jaguars had gone 12-4 and beaten the Pittsburgh Steelers twice in the same season in Pittsburgh (something that had never happened before). The Jaguars lost in the playoffs that year to New England and they looked to have a bright future. Del Rio was given a three contract extension. "Jack and his staff have made steady progress with this team, and our 12-4 record and return to the playoffs last season should be rewarded," Jags owner Wayne Weaver said.
With such a strong end to the season the talks began of the Jaguars being a Super Bowl contender. Then last season happened and the Jaguars were 5-11. After that there were talks about the Jaguars would have fired Del Rio if it would not cost the team so much. How does a coach go from top of the world to should be fired in one season?
Well let's take a look at that. Del Rio have been here six season with only two losing season. However he has only lead the Jaguars to the postseason twice. Both times losing to the Patriots. Del Rio also seems to always have a fight going with a veteran player. For a couple of seasons it was Byron Leftwich. The Jaguars ended up cutting Leftwich. Then it was Mike Peterson who also got cut. Now it seems to be John Henderson's turn. These three guys are or were a big player on the Jaguars when this happened. This is one of the biggest black marks against Del Rio.
The other thing I think Del Rio has going against him is the number of proven coaches that are on the street right now. Mike Shanahan, Bill Cowher, and Marty Schottenheimer. Shanahan and Cowher have won Super Bowls before and you know that sooner or later both will get back into coaching.
So what will it take to for Del Rio to keep his job? The expectation for the Jaguars are much lower this year and with that I think at least a 8-8 season. The Jaguars are in a rebuilding stage right now and I think that this year will be the judge if Del Rio is part of that or not.
I hope that Del Rio stays because I like the fact that he has the nerve to make decision that need to be made but most teams wouldn't make. Everyone points to the Byron move but also going for it on fourth down. I also like the tuff attitude he brings to the team. I hope this year the Jaguars get that tuffness back. That there is that attitude about them that they had two years ago. If they don't get that back then don't look for Del Rio to be back next season.