When a linebacker is voted MVP of the 1985 Rose Bowl, and then during his senior year he earns consensus All-America honors and is runner-up for the Lombardi Award, you get the feeling that the kid could be pretty good as an NFL player.
When he then leads his Professional Team in tackles for three consecutive years, either he's great or the team he's playing on sucks. Well, the team was the 1992 - 94 Minnesota Vikings (with HC Dennis Green & DC Tony Dungy) who won their Division two of those three years, and of course, you guessed it, the linebacker was Jack Del Rio.
When Jack finished his pro career, he immediately began honing his coaching skills with the Saints as the strength and conditioning coach, and in 1999, he took over as the Ravens linebackers coach. That 2000 Ravens' defense wasn't bad, and JDR was part of the reason why.
In his first season as DC of the Carolina Panthers, (2002) he turned them into the second best defense in the league.
The NFL notices when major improvements take place, and Jack was offered the HC job for the Jacksonville Jaguars. In his first season, (2003) he was able to improve a defense ranked 25th against the run to 2nd, and from a 20th best over all to 6th, vs. the previous year.
I have some fairly high expectations for what Fox and Jack are about to do with this team on defense, and with McCoy and "The Field General" preparing this team to get serious on offense, the future looks pretty bright!
A couple of questions:
1. How do you think the development of our current group of LB's is going to go? Jack has significantly improved the pass D at times as well.
2. Give me your best guess on the offense. Do you think that PM will play the full year without any significant injuries?
3. "Barring a major injury to any KEY PLAYERS", what do you think our W/L record will be this year?