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Has Jack Del Rio shown growth during his tenure as Washington’s defensive coordinator?

On the latest Trap or Dive Podcast episode, Commanders analyst Mark Bullock explained what he has seen from Jack Del Rio as Washington’s defensive coordinator

NFL: Washington Commanders Rookie Minicamp Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Jack Del Rio’s time as the Commanders defensive coordinator has rightfully provided mixed reviews. Things got off to a good start, though, finishing his first season as Washington’s DC statistically top 4 in both points and yards allowed. Unfortunately, Washington saw a significant dip in the same categories in the following season, finishing 25th in points allowed and 22nd in yards allowed.

In 2022 we saw the best and worst from the previous two seasons. The Commanders had several weeks in the season where they showed how dominant they could be on a weekly basis. Alternatively, the Commanders also had spurts early and late last season where they could not eliminate explosive plays. As a result, Washington’s defense finished as one of the worst teams in the NFL in 20+ yard plays allowed last season.

Mark Bullock, Commanders analyst formerly of Hogs Haven, The Washington Post, and The Athletic, shared his thoughts on Jack Del Rio during the latest Trap or Dive Podcast episode.

“I think if you look at the totality of the defense from when Del Rio took over and how frequently they have given up explosive plays, for me, that would have seen him fired,” Bullock said when asked if Jack Del Rio has shown growth as Washington’s DC. “But I think in terms of the overall scheme, I think for me what was impressive is when they lost Chase Young and Montez Sweat, how he adjusted the defense and the sim pressures [up front] using Casey Toohill in that role where he is the edge rusher, and drop him into coverage. They would bring Jamin Davis or Cole Holcomb up the middle [on a blitz], Kam Curl, or slot corner [on a blitz]. They would mix and match the different roles that they had; I think that spoke to how well Jack Del Rio adjusted without his top players.”

The analysis that goes into who is responsible (players, coaches, etc.) for allowing explosive plays is nuanced and does not fall at the feet of just one person. However, with a 3-year sample size of Jack Del Rio’s scheme and statistical production, what type of job do you believe Del Rio has done in Washington? In the comments, let us know your thoughts about Del Rio’s growth or lack thereof.

Check out the latest Trap or Dive podcast in full, where Bullock, AJ, Dre, and myself preview the Commanders defensive line heading into the 2023 season.

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