But of the two, Coach Del Rio – the former USC and Minnesota Vikings Linebacker who posted a 69 win, 72 loss record with two playoff games and nine years with the Jaguars – this blogger has met, and can say that he’s a personable, intelligent, and engaging man who cares about his family and spends a lot of time with them. Here’s the AP video on Coach Del Rio’s ouster:
I can say that because I first met Coach Del Rio at Leigh Steinberg’s 2007 Miami Super Bowl Party, then ran into him again at Sam’s in Tiburon, where he remembered our talks, introduced me to his family, and talked more, about his beloved charity program benefiting Hayward High in Hayward, California.
I always rooted for Coach Del Rio to perform well, but his problem for years was Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts – or more appropriately Peyton Manning. And even when it seemed Del Rio mastered the art of Manning, his Jags forgot about the other teams in the AFC South Division of the NFL.
Coach Del Rio’s a well-respected NFL coach. He’ll quickly resurface, more likely as a defensive coordinator.
Quickly coming back as a linebacker coach in the NFL is not something now-former UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel is going to do. In fact, it’s hard to forecast where he may go next – Arizona’s got an opening.
But Rick’s problem at UCLA, more than anything, was his team’s inability to beat cross-town Southern California, then his team’s 21-28 record in four years. The problem was magnified after USC blew UCLA out of the stadium 50 to zip, and after Neuheisel, once the quarterback for UCLA, bragged that his team had “closed the gap” with USC.
Well, it looks like UCLA’s still got 50 points between itself and USC.
Here’s Rick after learning that he was released: