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Jack Del Rio Speaks: What Did We Learn?

Five things we took away from Washington Redskins Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio's first meeting with reporters since mid-January.

Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio spoke with local media Thursday morning via Zoom. He discussed his wealth of talent on the defensive line, competition, communication, and entering the world of Twitter. 

Here are my takeaways from the media session:

1. Everything will work as one and each position group will rely on each other.

When asked about rookie Chase Young and how that can change game planning on defense, Del Rio talked about how Chase is still one player and one player that offenses will have to deal with. Coach then tied it to the pass rush and coverage has to complement each other. They are going to need coverage to hold up so when the defensive line does win, they can get there. “You can have the best rusher in the world, but without coverage, it’s not going to be positive for you.”

2. Improving on communication is on the forefront of everyone’s mind.

The lack of communication last year was pretty evident. So, it’s clear that this is something the players still on the roster, along with the coaching staff, want to improve upon. Coach talked about how they are working on identifying, understanding, and relaying any pre-snap adjustments based on the offenses alignment. Del Rio says this is key to putting offenses into third and long and eventually getting them off the field. Coach had also emphasized that, “in 2020, everyone on defense, they all put their signature on how they perform and put it out there. It [communication] is a collective effort and very important to stress that day one.”

It’s also not just the on field communication that Del Rio is stressing. He is working to communicate with everyone that because of depth on the defensive line that players may not play as much as they first thought or they might not be starters. He is relaying to everyone that those that earn it will get the playing time. This includes veterans like Ryan Kerrigan.

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3. The linebacker room is full of potential waiting to break out.

Del Rio addressed Ryan Anderson as a player that he excited to see get more opportunities based on the film he watched. Anderson is also someone that can benefit from the competition that is in the room. Additionally, when looking at the room as a whole, Del Rio mentioned Thomas Davis and Cole Holcomb, unprompted, as players that have stood out to him on film. This is a position group, including Reuben Foster, which has impressed him with how they’ve worked so far with the linebackers coach.

4. We’ll know more about Kendall Fuller and the rest of the secondary once they hit the field.

While there are still questions in who will play in the secondary, there still is more of an idea then the linebacker or offensive line group. Del Rio addressed the versatility of cornerback Kendall Fuller similarly to how head coach Ron Rivera described Antonio Gibson. Depends on the scheme. There is flexibility that is there that they are working on now while they “build the library,” but will get a better understanding of what does and doesn’t work once they hit the field. This will also allow them to see what they have in the way of Ronald Darby, Jimmy Moreland, Fabian Moreau through competition.

5. Del Rio trying to enjoy Twitter and fan interaction as much as possible.

Del Rio was asked about retweeting a photo on Twitter of Chase Young in an all-white uniform and if he has voiced his support for it. Jack does like the all-white look, and has made his opinion known, but fans shouldn’t read too much into it. He does enjoy interacting with fans when he does hop on the social media platform, but does obsess over it and has found that it can get pretty bad.

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Alan Lepore joins while still doing outstanding work as an editor/writer at or @FPC_Redskins. You can follow him on Twitter @AlanLepore or on instagram @leporealan. Alan is a Villanova University MPA Nonprofit Management candidate and is a fundraising/development professional.