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Jack Del Rio: We didn’t give up and should be proud of that

Jack Del Rio

Jacksonville Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio during the first quarter of an NFL preseason football game against the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass., Thursday night, Aug. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)


Hours after he was fired as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Jack Del Rio said he understands why he’s out of a job, but that he believes he can take pride in his team.

Del Rio told Channel 4 in Jacksonville that Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver warned him that this was a win-or-else season for him. Del Rio added, however, that he thought his players were continuing to play hard even at 3-8.

“Any time the owner makes a statement like, ‘You better be in the playoffs or else,’ and then you end up starting the year the way we started, it was tough,” Del Rio said. “It’s tough, but we never gave into that. Players have never given into that. I think when you look at the way the team is fighting and competing. I think we really should be proud of that.”

Del Rio said he just learned that Weaver is selling the Jaguars to Shahid Khan.

“I’m a little surprised, really,” Del Rio said. “Whenever I’ve asked Wayne directly, he’s always said to me that he intends to keep the team here and be the owner.”

After finding out today that he’s fired, Del Rio said, he briefly spoke to the Jaguars’ players.

“I told them that they need to continue to do [the] right things,” Del Rio said. “There’s something worthwhile there.”