Jack Del Rio was fired by the Jacksonville Jaguars and it didn't take long for people to start piling on. Former Jaguar running back Fred Taylor threw Del Rio under the bus and put it in reverse for good measure.
In an interview with Eric Adelson, Taylor explained the differences between playing for Super Bowl winning coaches Tom Coughlin and Bill Belichick and playing for Del Rio. In the end, Taylor says Del Rio simply wasn't a good coach.
"With Coughlin, if you came in, if you overstep, you're screwed," says Taylor, who played for Coughlin in Jacksonville from his rookie year in 1998 until the coach was let go in 2002. "With Jack, you never knew what you were getting. You don’t know if you’ll get a hard-ass one day, a buddy-buddy one day. You never really knew."
Everyone knows about Coughlin's hardcore ways and he was dead on with that assessment. I don't know much about Del Rio but Taylor was there and played for both so he should be an authority abot the differences between the two.
Asked if he felt Del Rio played favorites, Taylor doesn't hesitate.
"[Expletive] yeah. Hell yeah," he says. "Why do you think I'm not there? There wasn't any falloff in my production. I expressed my willingness to take a paycut. I just wanted to be there and be a part of the community. I wanted to finish my career there. Just because we had this new running back. All we had to do was switch roles. 'Fred, Maurice [Jones-Drew] is going to be the starter.' Fine, no problem. I wasn't a virus in the locker room. I worked my ass off -- everything."
Sounds exactly like the way he handled his quarterback situations. From the releases of Byron Leftwich and David Garrard and the current handling of rookie Blaine Gabbert. Ironically, Taylor has some words about that also.
"Pulling that trigger was a bit premature," Taylor says. "If you make that decision, make it a month out. Quite honestly, that kind of thing can ruin careers." When talking about Garrard's release. I also think if he was going to cut Garrard, do it at the start of training camp, not right before the season.
The handling of Gabbert was also a topic. Gabbert was pulled from a game in favor of Luke McCown.
"You're 3-8," says Taylor. "Take him out and that is going to establish the season?"
All in all Taylor wasn't pleased with Del Rio's shortcomings on the offensive side of the ball. Trust me, most of the time the offense was offensive.
"At the end of the day, [Del Rio]'s not a head coach," Taylor says. "He's a great defensive coach. But he's not a head coach."
Well Del Rio's not a head coach, because he's unemployed. Personally he overacheived some of the time, but when the Jags had expectations they came up short. Way to kick a man when he's out the door Fred.