The Denver Broncos have felt the impact of Lane Kiffin’s tumultuous career in a number of ways at this point. In the past they were able to benefit from his presence as the Oakland Raiders coach, but now the effect might not be so positive.
Since he left Oakland, Kiffin managed to fail upward all the way to filling Pete Carroll’s shoes at USC. It appears that the gig is finally up for him, as he was fired this week in what sounds like a bizarre situation. Anyhow, as the Trojans seek a high-profile replacement, Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio has topped a number of early lists of candidates.
Sources, guys. Sources. Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman had it first:
NFL team officials believe Jack Del Rio on USC head coach wish list Story: http://t.co/JYYQC4STPW
— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) September 29, 2013
ESPN’s Adam Schefter followed up with the following information.
Denver DC Jack Del Rio expected to emerge as a leading candidate for USC HC job, as @mikefreemanNFL said. Sources said Del Rio wants job.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 29, 2013
If Del Rio does “want” the job, it sounds like he does not have a Bobby Petrino-type mid-season exit on his mind. From the Denver Post’s Mike Klis:
Jack Del Rio will NOT leave Broncos D-Coordinator job during season
— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) September 29, 2013
Then things got a little silly, 2013 style. There were some reports that Del Rio was “spotted” in LA, rousing suspicions that he might be pursuing the job secretly and immediately. Also from Klis, Broncos head coach John Fox refuted that report:
John Fox on report last night Jack Del Rio was spotted at LAX: “He was not in LAX. He was actually at Del Frisco’s when that came out.”
— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) September 30, 2013
Del Rio’s importance to the Broncos cannot be denied. Those who were reluctant to hop on the Broncos’ bandwagon this preseason felt that way because of the missing pieces on defense. Through four games, it is the understated defense that has been almost as dominant as the Peyton Manning-led offense. It is hard to know how directly Del Rio influences those results, but suffice it to say that the Broncos would like to keep everything intact for a potential Super Bowl run this season.
At the moment, it looks like things will play out that way. For now, at least. For now…