The Broncos have hired Vic Fangio as their new head coach. Fangio, age sixty, spent the past four seasons as the defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears. This will be his first head-coaching gig.
Fangio has 32 years of coaching experience in the NFL, including serving as the defensive coordinator for the 49ers during the team's 2012-2013 Super Bowl runner-up season.
Vance Joseph was fired on December 31 after he produced an unimpressive 11-21 record during his tenure as head coach of the Broncos. Joseph didn't have much to work with at quarterback, shuffling through Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler, Paxton Lynch and Case Keenum, none of whom are going to carry a team to a Super Bowl. But excuses only buy so much time. The fans calling for Joseph's firing began voicing their complaints early on this season and continued speaking up until general manager John Elway gave Joseph the boot following the team's final game of the season.
After the team fired Joseph, the Broncos began a coaching search that included Vic Fangio and former Titans head coach Mike Munchak. Fangio ended up getting the nod, reportedly signing a contract for four years with a team option for a fifth year, according to the Denver Post.
With Joseph out and Fangio in, the Broncos will look to capitalize on the plethora of talent the team has on the defensive side of the ball. Future Hall of Famer Von Miller will continue giving fits to opposing quarterbacks and will be doing so with Bradley Chubb, an immensely talented 22 year old who racked up twelve sacks in his rookie season.
Fangio has turned Bears' defense into a ferocious unit, one that has echoed the legendary ’85 Bears squad. The defense ranked third in yards allowed this season, first in rushing yards allowed, and first in points allowed. The team also ranked at the top of the NFL in takeaways.
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But as is the case in the NFL, the Broncos won't be successful until the team finds stability at the quarterback position, aka the team's next Peyton Manning. With the tenth overall pick in the 2019 draft, the Broncos may be in line to snag a quarterback of the future.
Whoever is tossing the ball will get to work with Colorado native Phillip Lindsay, one of the most impressive young running backs in the NFL. Rookie wide receiver Courtland Sutton also showed flashes of talent throughout the year and will look to improve upon that in his sophomore season.
Fangio will be taking the helm of a franchise whose ownership is in question. Pat Bowlen officially ceded the team's operations to a three-person trust in 2014 because of his battle with Alzheimer's. Now his family is battling over which of Bowlen's daughters will take over the team. The fight has already resulted in lawsuits and publicized drama among family members.
But even with the ownership fight, Denver is clearly still an attractive option for coaches, given the team's young talent and the city's football pedigree. Here's hoping Fangio can exceed expectations and bring another championship to the Mile High City.