Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Del Rio confident he'll be head coach again
By Jeff Legwold
JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- For starters, Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio likes his current job.
His team is in the Super Bowl, and he believes "his guys" are ready to "play well, compete well and try to win a world championship." So he says he doesn’t have one eye on the horizon as he goes about his business each day.
Jack Del Rio's defense hasn't allowed more than 17 points in each of Denver's past four games.
But Del Rio, who was the Broncos’ interim head coach during John Fox’s leave of absence this season, does believe he will be a head coach in the NFL again someday.
"At some point there will be a match," Del Rio said Wednesday. "It will be something where it will make sense for both of us and then we’ll do something. Until then I’m going to enjoy the heck out of helping this football team win a world championship -- 100 percent of my focus is on this team winning a world championship, having a great week of preparation and going out and playing our best."
Del Rio, who was the Jacksonville Jaguars' head coach for nine seasons, was interviewed by USC officials during the Broncos’ bye week this past season for that school’s head-coaching job. But with the Broncos -- and Del Rio -- poised for a deep playoff run, USC hired Steve Sarkisian.
Del Rio also drew at least some interest from the Cleveland Browns and Minnesota Vikings before those teams conducted their interviews and closed out their coaching searches.
Before, after and in between, Del Rio has gone about his business of simply trying to find the right combination on defense down the stretch. A group that finished in the top five in every major category in 2012 has struggled at times to find its groove after a rash of injuries this season. Champ Bailey played in just five regular-season games, while Kevin Vickerson, Chris Harris Jr. and Von Miller were placed on injured reserve.
But with Bailey’s return for the final two games of the regular season to go with the Broncos' two playoff wins, Denver has held each of its past four opponents to 17 or fewer points. And that’s Del Rio’s focus.
"I feel like for me, I’m really blessed to be part of an organization that is playing for the world championship," Del Rio said. "There certainly are opportunities each and every year ... and I’m not going to spend a lot of time wondering if there was a lot of talk, a little talk or those types of things. ... I’m part of the Broncos, so I’m going to do the best that I can to help us win. Maybe at some point, down the road, something occurs where I’m involved with someone else. But right now, I’m involved, 100 percent, with Denver."