By Danny Cox
Sure, there may be a playoff race going on in both the AFC and NFC, but there’s a lot happening on the sidelines and off of the field as well. Believe it or not, those things are just as important as the on-field action and could truly impact a great number of teams next season and even during the current year.
USC interviewed Denver Broncos interim coach Jack Del Rio
The Denver Broncos are currently without head coach John Fox as he recovers from heart surgery. Interim coach Jack Del Rio is doing a fine job, but there is the possibility that he may not be with the club too much longer. Back on November 1, 2013, Del Rio interviewed for the head coaching job of the University of Southern California Trojans.
USC did have the permission of the Broncos brass to speak to Del Rio, and the interview happened just one day before Fox fell ill while golfing in North Carolina during Denver’s bye week.
Del Rio has head coaching experience in the past as he went 69-73 during his eight-plus seasons as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. That is a part of the reason that the Broncos promoted him to interim head coach while Fox is out. He likely won’t leave before the year is out, but the chance of his departure is possible when the season ends.
Head coach, general manager have the support of the Atlanta Falcons owner
With a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons fell to 2-8 and dropped into the cellar of the NFC South. Each loss brings about more concern for head coach Mike Smith’s job, but Falcons owner Arthur Blank confirmed that he supports both Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff.
“We love our head coach and we love our general manager,” Blank said. “It’s up to them to candidly look at everybody – candidly, honestly, critically – and see what we have to do. There should be nobody that escapes that critique. That’s their job, and I have confidence they’ll do it. And they are doing it. And they will do it.”
The Falcons team that went 13-3 last season and came one game away from the Super Bowl is nonexistent this year. With only six games left in the season, the Falcons can finish no better than 8-8 if they win out. No matter what, it will be the first time that the Falcons have finished .500 or below since Smith arrived in 2008.
A lot of eyes are on the offensive line of the Miami Dolphins
There is no surprise that there’s a lot of drama going on with the Miami Dolphins and the issues between offensive linemen Richie Incognito, Jonathan Martin, and others. The NFL has already made it known that they are keeping their eyes on the team right now, but a lot of focus is moving to offensive line coach Jim Turner.
Turner is apparently a person of interest in the NFL’s investigation of the bullying scandal and harassment claims from Martin. The Dolphins O-line coach is known for being loud, insulting, and using profanities with his players. The league is aware of the way he coaches and that means they’re looking to speak with him about the culture of the locker room.
Martin has already spent a lot of time meeting with investigators and this situation is far from over.
For more NFL news and updates, visit NFL Central.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.