Blog Entry

Fred Taylor: Jack Del Rio's 'not a head coach'

Posted on: December 2, 2011 11:50 am
Edited on: December 2, 2011 12:38 pm
Taylor played for Coughlin and Del Rio in Jacksonville. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Jack Del Rio coached in Jacksonville for more than eight seasons. He went 68-71 and twice took the Jaguars to the playoffs. On Tuesday, after a 3-8 start, he was fired.

We joked on the Pick-6 Podcast that maybe Tom Coughlin should get the gig for 2012 (he was the Jags' first coach in 1995 and he led them to two AFC Championship games before he was canned in '02) and bring Mark Brunell, Jimmy Smith and Fred Taylor back with him.

Jack Del Rio Fired

It's unlikely (especially since Coughlin is still employed by the Giants) but Taylor, who spent 11 seasons in Jacksonville -- five with Coughlin, the last six with Del Rio -- spoke recently about the differences between the two coaches.

"With Coughlin, if you came in, if you overstep, you're screwed," Taylor told's Eric Adelson. "With Jack, you never knew what you were getting. You don’t know if you’ll get a hard-ass one day, a buddy-buddy one day. You never really knew."

Hours after Del Rio was fired, Jags running back Maurice Jones-Drew told reporters that Del Rio was "a players coach." Taylor agreed … to a point.

"He was able to take care of the players somewhat," he said. "After that, after the next five years, it was a lot of gray area, which later in my career I didn't buy into."

Adelson asked Taylor if Del Rio played favorites.

"Hell yeah," he said. "Why do you think I'm not there? … At the end of the day, [Del Rio]'s not a head coach. He's a great defensive coach. But he's not a head coach."

Taylor added that "there was a lot of gray area" on offense which went a long way in explaining the team's struggles to move the ball. It also shed some light on why Del Rio was in such a hurry to point out that he had no role in play-calling after a bizarre series ended the Jags-Browns game a few weeks ago.

Taylor spent the final two years of his NFL career with the Patriots where he was a part-time player on some pretty good teams.

"Ninety percent of my enjoyment in New England was due to Coach Belichick -- the respect he demanded," Taylor said. "If you were the vet or the first-year guy, he yelled at you the same, chewed you out the same. Same thing with Coach Coughlin."

Maybe it's a coincidence (it's not), but both those guys have Super Bowl titles and jobs.

The San Diego Chargers look to snap their losing streak as they travel to EverBank Field to square off against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday night. Join Jason Horowitz and's Pat Kirwan as they break down this upcoming game.

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Since: Nov 14, 2011
Posted on: December 2, 2011 1:58 pm

Fred Taylor: Jack Del Rio's 'not a head coach'

I agree because at the end of the day the head coach is ultimately responsible for the team and you are in charge of the play calling at the end of the game and also each player on your team should be held to a high standard and do their job and perform at a high level and if they aren't then its next man up! there is no loyalty in the NFL. You know the saying NOT FOR LONG and thats what's up!!!!!!!! Del Rio is a good defensive coordinator so come on over to philly and get our defense turned around and be part of a winning orginazation and lets go!!

Since: Mar 24, 2008
Posted on: December 2, 2011 1:26 pm

Fred Taylor: Jack Del Rio's 'not a head coach'

add Wade Phillips

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 2, 2011 1:12 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jan 6, 2008
Posted on: December 2, 2011 1:00 pm

Fred Taylor: Jack Del Rio's 'not a head coach'

Steve Spagnuolo, Jack Del Rio, Leslie Frazier, Todd Haley, Brad Childress, Marty Mohrninweg, Scott Linehan, Cam Cameron, Eric Mangini, Mike Nolan, Chris Palmer, ... I would add Pat Shurmur, but he was not even a successful coordinator.

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: December 2, 2011 12:48 pm

Fred Taylor: Jack Del Rio's 'not a head coach'

In today's game, X's and O's are a HUGE part of the job, but they are generally farmed out to specialists--i.e., coordinators.  The head coach's job, increasingly, is people management--keeping egos in check, maintaining a flow of communication between the various position coaches and coordinators, and then putting it all together.  Players win games, but coaches put players in position to win games, and being consistent and fair puts them in a frame of mind to win games.  You see the same thing in every sport--players who know what their job is, and how they are going to be evaluated and treated respond well.  Players uncertain of their role or how the coach is going to treat them play poorly.  Del Rio, I'd agree, was a great D coordinator--and probably will be again, very soon, for some team somewhere.  He just didn't manage people well, if they weren't LBs like him.

Since: Oct 9, 2009
Posted on: December 2, 2011 12:31 pm

Fred Taylor: Jack Del Rio's 'not a head coach'

With the "win now" attitude in the NFL, we see this trend over and over when a successful offensive or defensive coordinator immediately gets promoted to head coach and cannot thrive. Look no further than Norv Turner, Romeo Crenell, Wade Phillips, Josh McDaniels, Mike Martz, etc. These owners are wanting the hottest name out there in their camps without any consideration as to whether they can handle the job. Apparently the Xs and Os are just a small portion of the job, and there aren't many balanced teams in the league because the head coach tends to lean towards the side of the ball they understand.

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