Despite a forgettable showing from his defense in Super Bowl XLVIII, Jack Del Rio will remain defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos.
According to The Denver Post's Mike Kils, the Broncos and Del Rio have agreed to terms on a two-year contract that reportedly will be finalized and made official on Friday, Feb. 7.
John Elway, the Broncos' vice executive president of football operations, had high praise for Del Rio, even after his team was embarrassed 43-8 by the Seattle Seahawks in the final game of the season:
"Jack did a nice job with our defense. We had a lot of injuries on that defensive side and Jack did a good job holding that side together. Even in the Super Bowl, our defense kept us in the game in the first half."
How would you grade this move by the Broncos?
Not only did the Broncos have "a lot of injuries," but they had a lot of significant injuries.
Superstar linebacker and pass-rusher Von Miller played just nine games during the regular season. Free safety Rahim Moore played 10. Defensive end Derek Wolfe played 11. Champ Bailey played in five and only started three.
During the postseason, Bailey was the only one of that group to play—and he never really looked the same.
Despite all that, Del Rio put together a defense that finished the regular season ranked 15th in yards per pass allowed, 10th in yards per rush allowed and 16th in takeaways.
Not exactly overwhelming numbers, but they were pretty impressive for what Del Rio had to work with.
Moreover, while Peyton Manning and the offense received most of the acclaim, the Broncos' defense came up big during the postseason, holding the San Diego Chargers to 17 points and New England Patriots to 16 points to reach the Super Bowl.
Of course, the Super Bowl undoubtedly left a bad taste in everyone's mouth, as Russell Wilson and the Seahawks were able to get pretty much whatever they wanted, but the Broncos' offense (read: Seahawks' defense) and special teams were also to blame.
Former Broncos wide receiver Ed McCaffrey applauded the decision to re-sign Del Rio:
Great to see Jack Del Rio re-up as Defensive Coordinator for the #Broncos for two years. Good coach and good man. Congrats!— Ed McCaffrey (@87ed) February 7, 2014
It may not have been an ideal end to the season for Del Rio, but all things considered, he did a tremendous job with what was an underrated unit.
Once he gets a chance to work with a full cast of healthy characters next season, it's not likely it will be underrated anymore.
Denver still will boast one of the most dangerous offenses in the league in 2014. After an offseason for injured players to get healthy, free agency and the NFL draft, the Broncos should be a top contender next season, and Del Rio will have the opportunity to build upon his success.