"My entire focus has been on what I can do to help the Jacksonville Jaguars," said Jack Del Rio Tuesday night on his weekly radio talk show on WOKV.
As owner Wayne Weaver, Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton, and assorted Jaguars players and staff were pumping up loyal fans during the "Team Teal" event on the field, Del Rio was inside the stadium's radio studio, looking to clear the air about the rumors of his leaving the Jaguars for the opening at the University of Southern California.
"It wasn't a part of our conversation," said Del Rio when asked if the rumors were addressed during his afternoon meeting with Weaver. Sure enough, as that meeting was happening, Tennessee's Lane Kiffin was finalizing a deal to take over at USC.
"We've all made mistakes here," said Del Rio, 46, "I know I'm a heck of a better coach now than when I first started," said the former Trojan linebacker. Since his first year with the Jags in 2003, Del Rio is 58-57 when you count regular season and playoff games. He has three years and $15-million left on his contract with the Jags.
Weaver first broke the news when he called a press conference “I came away from that meeting [thinking that] Jack is committed to doing the things that I’ve laid out that we have to do, in my opinion, to bring this football team to an elite level,” Weaver said. “I’ve made the best decision for the franchise. And, no, average is not acceptable.”