Del Rio's Seat Warming

There's an old saying that the fans fire the coach. But since the fans don't have $15 million to pay off the last three years on coach Jack Del Rio's contract, he may survive a season without the playoffs.

But since the fans don't have $15 million to pay off the last three years on coach Jack Del Rio's contract, he may survive a season without the playoffs.

Still, he's getting a lot of fan criticism in the wake of the team's second late year collapse in the last four years.

The Jaguars, who were 7-5 on Dec. 13, lost their third consecutive game Sunday by a 35-7 margin in New England, now may face a tougher time selling tickets to the fans who feel the team needs a new coach.

When Del Rio was asked if he could win the fans back, he said, "I think the most important thing for anybody in a leadership position is to continue to do the things that they believe in and be steadfast and I will do that."

Of the fan criticism, he said, "I really can't offer up anything that's going to sound halfway decent to you on that type of comment. I'm going to continue to do the things I believe in and that's what I'm going to ask of our players and coaches as well."

Del Rio, who has often talked about bringing a championship to Jacksonville, has just one playoff victory in seven years on his resume.

When he was asked if he's analyzed why things haven't worked out as well as he'd hoped, he said, "I haven't looked at that."

Del Rio has the job security of having three years left on his current contract worth slightly more than $15 million.

When running back Maurice Jones-Drew was asked about the fan criticism, he said, "No disrespect to the fans, but how many fans were here at the games? I don't know how to respond to that. It's a tough business and we understand that. I think we're on the right path. It just didn't happen this year."

The Jaguars also were on the cusp of the playoffs in 2006 with an 8-5 record, but lost their last three games to finish 8-8.


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