“At the end of the day, he’s not a head coach,” Taylor said according to The Post Game. “He’s a great defensive coach. But he’s not a head coach.”
If the rumors about Del Rio showing up to team facilities at 9 a.m. routinely are true, he was no longer fit to be the head coach in Jacksonville. As for whether or not he is fit to be a head coach at any level, that remains to be seen if he gets another opportunity. However, Taylor insists Del Rio had a way of mismanaging his players and not giving guys the benefit of the doubt.
“Why do you think I’m not there?” he asked. “There wasn’t any falloff in my production. I expressed my willingness to take a paycut. I just wanted to be there and be a part of the community. I wanted to finish my career there. Just because we had this new running back. All we had to do was switch roles. ‘Fred, Maurice [Jones-Drew] is going to be the starter.’ Fine, no problem. I wasn’t a virus in the locker room. I worked my ass off — everything.”
Taylor said it was a “gray area” in Del Rio’s personality that made him difficult to play under. Unlike Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin — former head coaches of Taylor’s that aren’t afraid to put any player in line at any moment — he said Del Rio would be your best friend one day and the next he would be cutting someone a month before the season began (David Garrard).
It is important to note, however, that there are players who supported Del Rio. Mike Sims Walker, who spent three seasons with Jacksonville before signing with the Rams and returning to the Jags after he was released, sent out a tweet on Tuesday praising his former coach. Clearly like any other player-coach relationship in the NFL, individual experiences have varied in Jacksonville.