Jack Del Rio confirmed his hiring as Washington’s defensive coordinator to Les Carpenter of the Washington Post.
Del Rio also confirmed an expected change: The team will go back to a 4-3 defense.
Washington hasn’t had the 4-3 as its base defense since 2009 when Jim Zorn was head coach and Greg Blache was defensive coordinator. In 2010, when the team hired Mike Shanahan as head coach and Jim Haslett as defensive coordinator, it switched to a 3-4.
Washington has used the 3-4 as its base defense since but has not ranked higher than 10th in yards allowed or 15th in points allowed.
In his 16 seasons as a head coach or defensive coordinator, Del Rio’s defenses have ranked in the top 10 in yards allowed seven times and in the top 10 in points allowed six times.
Del Rio has several young defenders to build around, including first-round picks Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and Montez Sweat. Washington finished 27th in both yards allowed and points allowed in 2019.