After flirting with a return to the college ranks, Jack Del Rio will be staying in Denver for at least two more years. The Denver Broncos agreed to terms on a two-year contract extension Thursday, according to the Denver Post. The new deal will keep Del Rio at defensive coordinator through the 2015 season. Via the Post:
"Jack did a nice job with our defense," said John Elway, the Broncos' executive vice president of football operations. "We had a lot of injuries on that defensive side, and Jack did a good job holding that side together. Even in the Super Bowl, our defense kept us in the game in the first half."
Admittedly, the Broncos were known more for their offense than their defense during their run up to a disappointing finish in the Super Bowl. Denver finished 19th in the NFL in total defense last season, which looks like a paltry performance next to an offense that set NFL production and scoring records. Injuries played a significant role in the middling finish, however, according to Broncos blog Mile High Report:
The defense did see it's share of major injuries. Starters Von Miller, Champ Bailey, Rahim Moore, Derek Wolfe, and Kevin Vickerson all missed significant time in 2013. The Broncos D mostly without starter Chris Harris did step up to the task in the postseason. In 2012 Del Rio lead the Broncos to have the 2nd ranked defense.
In the Super Bowl, the defense actually outplayed the offense, especially in the first half. The unit allowed just one touchdown on a short field set up by a Peyton Manning interception before intermission. The Seattle Seahawks scored nine points of their 22 first-half points off a safety and a pick-six. For the game, the Broncos allowed 341 total yards of offense -- a healthy total, but not one that typically goes with a 43 points.
Del Rio is still a hot commodity on the head coaching market. He was the favorite to take the open position at USC at one point, before the job went to Steve Sarkisian. Del Rio's name may pop up again on the NFL market, given his nine years keeping the Jacksonville Jaguars afloat and 3-1 record as the interim head coach while John Fox was in the hospital this past season.
In the mean time, Del Rio will be running the Broncos' defense.