ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- When it comes to former employers in the NFL, Broncos coach John Fox has said; “every week somebody in your building is playing somebody they used to be with, a player, coach, scout, anybody. That’s just kind of how this league is, everybody worked with everybody it seems like.’’
Maybe so, and while many of the Denver Broncos' defensive players have privately said defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio hasn’t made a talking point out of facing the team this weekend that dismissed him as head coach 11 games into the 2011 season, they still believe Del Rio would enjoy a quality effort by his group Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“I think Coach Del Rio wants us to go every week and get it done, but maybe there’s a little something extra,’’ said cornerback Chris Harris. “Especially after last week, we all want to be better.’’
The Jaguars will bring the NFL’s most scoring-challenged offense to Denver this weekend -- Jacksonville has scored 51 points combined in five games -- and they will do it a week after the Broncos surrendered 48 points in a 51-48 win against Dallas. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo threw for 506 yards and five touchdowns, which has also added some spice to the preparation.
“And that’s what we’ve been talking about,’’ said Broncos defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson. “That’s not what we’re about, we can play better than that.’’
Asked Thursday if this week’s game meant anything more to him because it meant the Jaguars would be across the field from him, Del Rio played it close to the vest and simply said;
“(It’s an) opportunity to get our sixth win … Sunday can’t get here quick enough, [I] feel like defensively we’ve got a lot of work to do. We know we’re capable of playing a lot better, we need to play a lot better for our football team.’’
Asked a few moments later what he took away from his nine seasons as Jaguars head coach, professionally and personally, Del Rio then made it a point to acknowledge the Jaguars’ former owner Wayne Weaver.
“It was an honor to be the head coach there,’’ Del Rio said. “”It was a terrific place to raise my family, to live and to be the head coach. Very grateful for Mr. Weaver for giving me that opportunity back then, and just very appreciative of all that. Now, I’ve moved on, I’m here in Denver, I enjoy what I do, and that is helping this defense be as good as it can be and helping this team win games.’’