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Jack Del Rio sounds interested in USC job

Jack Del RioJack Del Rio is serving as the interim head coach of the Denver Broncos while John Fox recovers from heart surgery, but he’s also interested in the USC Trojans coaching position.

Del Rio interviewed for the USC job during the Broncos’ bye week a little over two weeks ago. Reports have always said that he wants to fulfill his obligation to the Broncos this season — he’s regularly the team’s defensive coordinator — but it’s always been said that he has strong interest in coaching for his alma mater.

After the Broncos beat the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night, Del Rio addressed a report that said he interviewed with USC during the Broncos’ bye week. Ddel Rio said the report was accurate and emphasized that it was conducted in a professional manner with approval from the Broncos.

“That’s what took place. Now, my job continues. My focus is here. It’s an honor to be in consideration for something like that, but I also feel very honored to be here and be the defensive coordinator and interim head coach for the Denver Broncos. All of my attention, all of my efforts and energies are going into the Denver Broncos right now,” Del Rio said, via the Associated Press.

“Down the road who knows where that goes? But that’s certainly not anything that needs to be discussed other than, is it true? Yes. It did occur. But that’s really it.”

“Down the road who knows where that goes?” That sure sounds like the words of an interested coach to me. Of course, after winning five in a row including a victory over Stanford on Saturday, there is a lot of support mounting for Trojans interim coach Ed Orgeron. As a UCLA fan, let me just say I hope they hire Orgeron permanently instead of someone like Kevin Sumlin. Heck, I’ll even take Del Rio.

Jack Del Rio reportedly interviewed for USC job during Broncos’ bye week

Jack Del RioFormer Jacksonville Jaguars head coach and current Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio is one of the names that has been linked to the USC head coaching vacancy. Del Rio was spotted in Los Angeles shortly after Lane Kiffin was fired, leading to speculation that he was meeting with USC about the job. A report from FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer on Sunday lent credence to that theory.

According to Glazer, USC athletic director Pat Haden flew to Denver two weeks ago — during the Broncos’ bye week — to interview Del Rio for the USC coaching job. Glazer also noted that the meeting took place the day before John Fox was taken to the hospital with a heart issue.

We don’t know how the interview went, but Del Rio appears to be a leading candidate at this point. His name was mentioned several years ago when Pete Carroll left for the NFL. Del Rio was an All-American linebacker at USC and also played baseball for the school. His contract with the Broncos expires after this season. Del Rio is currently serving as Denver’s interim head coach while Fox recovers.

St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher has also been listed as a potential candidate for the USC job, though he seems uninterested. Del Rio has downplayed speculation that he could coach at USC next season, though all signs point to mutual interest between him and the school.

Jack Del Rio supposedly spotted in LA, meeting with USC?

Former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach and current Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio was spotted at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday, according to a tweet from University of Houston tennis coach Patrick Sullivan.

Here’s what Sullivan tweeted:

Jack Del RioSullivan speculated that Del Rio could have been in LA to meet with USC about the football team’s coaching vacancy, which is exactly how everyone should interpret the spotting.

The Trojans fired Lane Kiffin on Sunday morning following the team’s 62-41 loss to Arizona State on Saturday night. Del Rio’s Broncos crushed the Philadelphia Eagles 52-20 on Sunday in Denver.

Del Rio, who was an All-American linebacker at USC and played baseball at the school, has been mentioned as one of the candidates to fill the vacancy created by Kiffin’s firing. Del Rio was the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003-2011. His career record was 68-71, and he led the team to the playoffs twice, where they went 1-2. Del Rio was also mentioned as a candidate for the job that went to Kiffin after Pete Carroll left for Seattle.

The Broncos ranked fourth in the NFL last season after allowing just 18.1 points per game. The team’s defense has played well through four games this season despite not having top players Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil.

Del Rio’s contract expires after the season. He reportedly would stay with the Broncos through the season, meaning USC would have to wait for him to join the program if they want him as coach.

“There isn’t anything to say. It’s all speculation at this point, I’ve got a job to do here, my focus is right there,” Del Rio said Sunday, via ESPN.

In addition to Del Rio, Jeff Fisher has been mentioned as a candidate for the job. Like Del Rio, he is a former USC player and longtime NFL coach. He is said to be uninterested in the job. Vanderbilt’s James Franklin is also said to be a top target of the Trojans.

Fred Taylor Says Jack Del Rio is Not Fit to Be a Head Coach

Jack Del Rio had the Jaguars organization fooled from 2003 into 2011.  Why?  Because he was the Jags’ head coach.  According to former Pro Bowler Fred Taylor, Del Rio is not fit for that position.

“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.

Jack Del Rio Reportedly Lost Desire, Would Show Up to Work at 9 a.m.

Considering the Jacksonville Jaguars have not finished with a record above .500 since 2007 and are one of the NFL’s worst teams this year, it should come as no surprise that Jack Del Rio was fired this week.  The news has been accompanied by plenty of buzz, however, likely because Del Rio has been the coach in Jacksonville for the last eight years.  Not only that, but the way in which his release came about is particularly interesting.

According to CBSSports.com, Del Rio is rumored to have lost his drive once he received a fat contract extension in 2008 that would have kept him with the team through 2012.  Jags owner Wayne Weaver is not the type who would fire a coach in the middle of a season, but Del Rio was reportedly showing up to work at 9 a.m. most days.

With the way we hear coaches and players talking about tedious preparation and endless hours in the film room, you can understand why the Jaguars grew tired of Del Rio.  Showing up to work at 9 a.m. as a head football coach in the National Football League is insane.  It may not seem that way in a world where a 9-5 job is fairly common, but coaching a professional football team is not your average job.  If Del Rio really was strolling in that late, it’s no surprise the Jaguars have looked like one of the league’s most unprepared teams all season long.  After all, they did struggle against the Colts.  Perhaps watching more Curtis Painter film would have helped.