By Ron Johnson
Commanders Fire Jack Del Rio
It is hard to believe that it took this long for this to happen. The Washington Commanders, who started the season on a winning note, suffered one of their worst losses this season yesterday as they were decimated by the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving.
After weeks of misery, the Commanders decided to eliminate one of the ailments.
In a not-so-stunning move earlier today, the Washington Commanders announced that they have officially cut ties with defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. The move, while not surprising, comes less than 24 hours after the Commanders could not stop the onslaught in their 45-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. The team itself has lost three in a row and possibly taken themselves out of playoff contention with their latest loss.
One would have thought that after the loss to the Giants (which became a sweep of the season series), both Del Rio and head coach Ron Rivera’s days would be truly numbered. On Friday, fans of the Commanders were able to rejoice at the departure of Del Rio…until they found out Rivera would take over the defensive play calling for the remainder of the season.
Despite having the tools and credentials to be a head coach in the league, Eric Bienemy was selected as offensive coordinator for the team, and Rivera remained as head coach.
The defense ranks among the worst in the league in points allowed and yards allowed this season, versus last season when they were seventh and third in the same categories. In that three-game losing skid, they have failed to force a turnover, and considering that Dallas was not relying heavily on CeeDee Lamb yesterday, one would have figured they would have capitalized on the options.
The Commanders cleaned house on the defensive side on Friday as both Del Rio and defensive backs coach Brent Vieselmeyer were both let go.
To say that the Commanders are in their rebuilding stage still is an understatement. After getting rid of former owner Dan Snyder in the offseason, the team then dealt two of its most well-known defensive ends in Montez Sweat (Chicago) and Chase Young (San Francisco).
Del Rio has been a rather outspoken and controversial figure since joining the Commanders. His biggest claim to shame had nothing to do with football but everything to do with a soundbite from him. Del Rio caused an uproar and demand for his dismissal in June of last year by calling the J6 Insurrection a simple ‘dustup,’ while condemning the BLM Protests. This led to a $100,000 fine from Del Rio instead of giving him his walking papers.
It is safe to say that Del Rio will not be missed, and his defensive prowess now comes into question after watching the Commanders get beaten, victimized and conquered in three in a row (Seattle, NY Giants and Dallas).
We shall see if this change will be a positive one for the Commanders as they prepare for a visit from the AFC East leading Miami Dolphins.