There were no fans present on Sunday, but it was clear that the Washington Football Team's Week 1 comeback victory over the Philadelphia Eagles had many excited. A scroll through social media resulted in positivity and elation.
While a win is a win, it wasn't a perfect showing for Washington. The disastrously slow start was just one of the problems that will need fixing. The obvious struggles in some areas could lead to coaches not sharing in the same level of elation over the performance as outside supporters.
For Washington defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, that was not the case. Like many others, he was all smiles after the game.
“Fired up, are you kidding?” Del Rio said to NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay about his feelings after the win.
Del Rio, specifically, had plenty to be "fired up" about. His defense played a major role in the victory with the defensive line picking up eight sacks against Philadelphia. That's a good day of work for the coordinator.
The poor opening to the contest was something Del Rio acknowledged, but it was what the team did after that really stuck out to him. Trailing 17-0, they didn't crumble and allow things to get out of hand. Rather, they responded to the adversity by working harder and playing to their full potential.
“We played outstanding football," Del Rio said. "Early when we weren’t playing as well, we were gritty, and that allowed us to finish the way we did.
"Being strong mentally, not wilting after things didn’t go our way. To me, that’s part of growing as a football team. Understand you’re going to face adversity in the NFL," Del Rio said. "The other team is going to make some plays, sometimes things don’t go exactly right. You stay the course and you keep fighting, you keep competing and you don’t dwell on the negative.”
In his first game as a member of the Washington Football Team coaching staff, Del Rio saw his defensive front play at an elite level as the team rallied to take down a divisional rival. Early struggles aside, that's a pretty rewarding style of football.
So when the defensive coordinator sat down to decompress following the game, he was in the same state of mind as the Burgundy and Gold faithful.
“I was very satisfied sitting at home Sunday night watching the game knowing our guys kind of got through the first challenge," Del Rio said.