For the third straight season, the Bengals will have a new defensive coordinator, and it’s looking like Jack Del Rio will end up being the one they hire.
After taking last year off from coaching, Del Rio would bring 16 years of head coaching and coordinating experience to a staff led by soon-to-be head coach Zac Taylor. At just 35 years of age, Taylor would ideally be surrounded by veteran assistants from outside of the Bengals’ organization, and Del Rio fits the mold of an experienced coach that Taylor can lean on.
Del Rio spent the last three years of his coaching career with the Oakland Raiders as their head coach. Before then, he was the Denver Broncos’ defensive coordinator for three years, the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars for nine years, and the defensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers for one year.
Before all of that, Del Rio entered the NFL ranks as the strength and conditioning coach for the New Orleans Saints. He spent two seasons there before becoming the linebackers coach for the Baltimore Ravens, and working under then defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis.
Del Rio and Lewis have remained friends since their time in Baltimore. When Del Rio became in-between jobs, speculation between the two reuniting in Cincinnati always seemed alive, but Del Rio never came onto Lewis’ staff.
In his four total seasons as a defensive coordinator, Del Rio’s defense were in the top five in total defense three times, and top five in points allowed twice. His latest run with Denver saw the beginnings of the unit that Wade Phillips took over in 2015 turn into one of the most dominating defenses in this century.
The history Del Rio has coaching linebackers could also be deemed a positive for the Bengals. Their defense has been plagued by poor linebacker play for the majority of Lewis’ tenure, no matter who was the defensive coordinator. If the Bengals couldn’t control Vontaze Burfict under Lewis, perhaps Del Rio can. If Burfict is not in their future plans, then Del Rio will have the chance to build his unit from scratch with the established building blocks in place such as Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap.
Is Del Rio the right hire to get the Bengals’ defense back on track?
Do you approve of Jack Del Rio as the Bengals’ next defensive coordinator
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