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Commanders fire defensive coordinator Del Rio

Scott Taetsch / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Washington Commanders fired defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio and defensive backs coach Brent Vieselmeyer, the team announced Friday.

The Commanders rank 29th in yards allowed per game (377.7) and 32nd in points surrendered per contest (29.2) after the team's 45-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving.

Head coach Ron Rivera said he'll focus on the defensive side of the ball moving forward and won't have much time for the offense, according to The Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala.

Rivera also stated that Cristian Garcia will take over for Vieselmeyer and that Richard Rodgers will remain the team's safeties coach and a senior defensive assistant, per Jhabvala.

Owner Josh Harris, who officially purchased the club in July, released a statement saying he's "disappointed and frustrated" with the team's performance this year. He also stated that the Commanders will aim to play "more consistent football."

Del Rio was in his fourth season as the Commanders' defensive coordinator. The team ranked within the top seven in points and yards allowed per game in both 2020 and 2022 but failed to replicate that success this year.

Washington allowed 30 or more points in seven contests this season, including two games where the unit gave up at least 40.

The 60-year-old Del Rio joined Washington in 2020 after being the head coach of the then-Oakland Raiders from 2015-17. He'd previously worked with several other NFL franchises in various capacities.

Vieselmeyer, 48, was also in his fourth season with the club.

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