Is Jack Del Rio secure in his position with the Commanders?

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From a Tuesday tweet to a Wednesday morning doubling down to an apparently forced Wednesday afternoon mea culpa, Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio finds himself in a self-made mess.

Yes, he has the right to speak his mind. But the First Amendment guarantees freedom from governmental consequences for most words uttered in a public forum. It doesn’t guarantee freedom from private fallout.

Those consequences can include being criticized by others for those views. They also can include, in some situations, the loss of business opportunities and/or employment — especially if the person is employed in an industry that relies on, for example, locker-room harmony, fan support, and in some cases a quest for taxpayer money to build a stadium.

Del Rio’s factually misguided effort to downplay the January 6 insurrection by calling it a “dustup” necessarily exposes him to potential employment consequences, especially after Virginia state senator Jeremy McPike called the comments the final nail in the public-funding coffin. Our guess is that he chose to post an apology after being told to choose between apologizing or leaving.

The next question is whether his apology ends it. Will the Commanders consider their options at the position of defensive coordinator? Head coach Ron Rivera has a defensive background, making a late-offseason transition easier to accomplish. Besides, Del Rio as a defensive coordinator isn’t Bill Belichick as a defensive coordinator; the notion that talent-trumps-all simply doesn’t apply to Del Rio the way it would apply to others.

This isn’t a question of “cancel culture,” a phrase routinely used by those who prefer to have the power to speak and act without any consequences at all. This is a question of football business. Are the best interests of the Commanders served by keeping Del Rio, or by moving on?

They’re constantly making that same assessment as to the players at the bottom of the 90-man offseason roster. They’ll make those decisions as to many more when the roster cuts to 53.

It’s a constant question for every NFL franchise. What is in the best interests of the team? If the Commanders decide it’s in their best interests to part ways with Del Rio, they won’t hesitate to do it. And, unlike the shameful manner in which the Raiders secretly lined up Jon Gruden to replace Del Rio while he still had the job in late 2017, this time around it will be his own damn fault.

28 responses to “Is Jack Del Rio secure in his position with the Commanders?

  1. He would have already been fired for his mediocre defense if it wasn’t for him being one of Ron Rivera’s buddies.

  2. The way that defense played last year totally surprised he is still employed to begin with.

  3. Washington fan here. It’ll be difficult at this stage of the year to replace him with someone better, but his track record in Washington hasn’t been stellar either. The Virginia stadium support wasn’t going to happen regardless since they believe the return on investment isn’t there. The stadium will be built next to the current one. But Jack is messing up and I don’t get why he’s tweeting such stupid things.

  4. Del Rio’s an absolute idiot. He should stick to being an obscure ass’t football coach and leave the actual thinking to people who’re capable of doing so.

  5. Cowboys fans want Jack to keep his job! They put up 83 points against his “defense” last year.

  6. Everyone in favor of FREEDOM OF SPEECH until it is speech that they don’t agree with it. hahahahahahahahahah!

  7. Jack Del Rio was never secure in his position with the Commanders, even before his idiotic comments.

  8. After the job he did with the Raiders in 2017, the only shameful move would have been keeping him around.

  9. I have different political beliefs than Del Rio, but no coach should lose their job due to political beliefs. Then again, is there anyone in that organization that’s really safe from the unemployment line?

  10. People who refuse to support equal rights for all should not be coaching in the NFL.

  11. When has putting comments on Twitter been a good thing for any Coach or Player? Don’t play with matches and you won’t get burned.

  12. ghjjf says:
    June 9, 2022 at 11:25 am
    Why is a 59 year old adult sending dumb tweets as if he were a 12 year old?

    Exactly. He has a job which is not dependent upon social media. If it doesn’t make dollars then it doesn’t make sense. Get back to work, Jack!

  13. Almost everything in that column said about Jack Del Rio could be said about Colin Kaepernick. In both cases, angering half of the fan base is bad for business.

  14. This wasn’t Del Rio’s first screw up since he’s been in Washington, and for the guy saying it’s too late to replace him at this stage of the season with someone better…well, did you forget about the HC who was pretty damn good DC?

  15. redskins says:
    June 9, 2022 at 11:28 am
    Everyone in favor of FREEDOM OF SPEECH until it is speech that they don’t agree with it. hahahahahahahahahah!

    How many times do people have to be told that freedom of speech applies only to government efforts to suppress speech? You have absolutely no freedom from any consequences levied by a private entity as a result of your speech.

  16. Jack is on the wrong side of history but he works for Dan Snyder – a man also on the wrong side of history – so, I suspect good ol boy Jack is safe in his job for now. But, you know he will step in the mess again soon enough. Guys who think like Jack always show you who they are.

  17. You know what would be great for my career? Tweeting about controversial things that have nothing to do with football.

    Said no professional athlete/coach/GM ever.

  18. Perhaps a coach suffering from this degree of foot in mouth disease is a health risk to the team? Who knows. On a more serious note I just shake my head at this bleep.

  19. Why do we care about his politics? He’s more of a threat with an axe in the clubhouse than he is voicing his political opinions.

  20. He will be judged on his defense on field performance way more than his questioning about the lack of coverage of the inner city rioting.

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