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Jack Del Rio gets game ball for keeping the Broncos going

Jack Del Rio AP

Jack Del Rio will go back to being an assistant today, but the job he did handling the Broncos in John Fox’s absence was noticed by his boss.

According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, Broncos executive John Elway presented his interim coach with a game ball last night, after he improved to 3-1 while holding the wheel while Fox had heart surgery. Fox will return to the job today after a four-week absence.

“It was special to have John Elway recognize the things I did, but I basically want to say that is just a representation of what we all did,” Del Rio said. “It wasn’t about me. It was a collective effort.”

Getting through the shock of losing the head coach for a month was one thing, but the Broncos also had to overcome a tough loss at New England by rebounding to beat the Chiefs on the road, and players said Del Rio’s experience was evident.

“He has great command in team meetings, addressing the team and you can tell he has been an experienced head coach,” quarterback Peyton Manning said of Del Rio, who he used to kick around in the AFC South when Del Rio coached the Jaguars. “Our team has faced a lot of adversity in just a short time. You never expect your head coach not to be with you the entire time. But coach Del Rio has done a great job keeping us together. It was a pretty tough four-game stretch he had to endure and the team responded. But we are certainly glad to have coach Fox back.”

Del Rio certainly didn’t hurt his stock for future head coaching opportunities in his short time in charge, though the memories of his long run of mediocrity in Jacksonville (69-73 in nine seasons) may make it hard for someone to hand him the keys to an NFL team on a full-time basis again.

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10 Responses to “Jack Del Rio gets game ball for keeping the Broncos going”
  1. richkotitte says: Dec 2, 2013 10:31 AM

    It’s amazing what you can do when you have a HOF QB driving the bus instead of Fat Albert (Leftwich) and company.

  2. Neftali Ramos says: Dec 2, 2013 10:34 AM

    Jacksonville would be more than happy to be mediocre at this point.

  3. ijahru says: Dec 2, 2013 10:37 AM

    Peyton Manning has always made average coaches look good. If he went 3-1 without Manning then I would be impressed. If he didn’t lose with a 24 point lead (he is the defensive coordinator right?) or make Alex Smith look like Manning then I might say good job. Fact is Manning makes that team go not anything the coaches have done.

  4. yourbassist says: Dec 2, 2013 10:42 AM

    Bravo JDR! You went 3-1 with a HoF QB having the best statistical season of his career! Have a game ball.
    Gee, if only he had Peyton in Jacksonville, maybe he’d still be a head coach.

  5. japmen says: Dec 2, 2013 10:49 AM

    Average coaches throughout the league always hoping to get to ‘coach’ with Manning. This is the same guy that bombed in Jax.

  6. logicalcomment says: Dec 2, 2013 11:04 AM

    P. Manning made jim caldwell look like a good coach.

  7. sbmcintosh36 says: Dec 2, 2013 11:13 AM

    I love how everyone seems to forget coaches don’t pick their players GM’s do, maybe you remember a certain HOF coach quitting a team and saying if you want me to cook the meals shouldn’t I be shopping for the groceries??
    Yeah Parcells couldn’t pick his players but Del Rio could,same situation with Rex in NY everyone loves to blame him for the joke of an offense they run out every week.
    There’s a lot of a decent coaches that have been given a steaming pile to work with..

  8. randomguy9999 says: Dec 2, 2013 11:18 AM

    the coach can be in a skybox eating a cheesesteak during the games with Manning on the field and they’ll go 3-1.

    All joking aside, Del Rio repeatedly got a bum deal in Jax, poor owner, poor GMs, poor draft picking, and not a lot of power in the organization. This stretch proved that in a solid organization with good recruiting, he can do a top flight job.

  9. baltimoresnativeson says: Dec 2, 2013 11:28 AM

    Yeah, Peyton Manning is the head coach. Anyone could be the figure head “head coach” and the Broncos record would be the same.

    This was proven with Caldwell having like a 14-2 record with Peyton and a 2-14 record without him.

  10. sarcasm says: Dec 2, 2013 12:02 PM

    Joke all you want, but I’d take Manning/Del Rio over Manning/Dungy, or Manning Dumbgy(Caldwell). Del Rio in Jacksonville never had a QB half of what Manning is/was and outcoached Dungy/Dumbgy more times than not when the games were competitive.

    At least Del Rio has some stones. He wouldn’t have pissed in the eye of perfection.

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