Vic Fangio has a different vibe than most rookie head coaches
Denver Broncos rookie head coach Vic Fangio is anything but a rookie coach, which gives him a totally different vibe than other first-year head coaches.
Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio is not your common rookie head coach in the NFL.
First of all, he’s 60 years old and will be 61 before the start of the 2019 NFL season. He’s already in the top five in the NFL in one category — he’s tied with Andy Reid (also 60 currently) as the fifth-oldest head coach in the NFL.
And yet Fangio has zero experience as a head coach.
At any level.
And Fangio has coached at every level — high school, college, and pros. He’s paid his dues, he’s done a great job, and he’s even worked with two NFL expansion franchises in their inaugural years (Panthers, Texans).
None of Fangio’s remarkable work has resulted in his getting an official, formal offer to be anyone’s head coach, although the 49ers are probably kicking themselves for hiring Jim Tomsula instead of Vic Fangio after Jim Harbaugh left for Michigan.
No, Fangio has never been a head coach at any level, so why does it feel like he’s come in and stabilized the Denver Broncos, a franchise in disarray (grading on a curve with Denver’s standards, obviously)?
It feels like it because, well, he really has.
The Broncos haven’t played a single game yet, but the vibe from the organization already feels like it’s changed significantly.
Devontae Booker, a backup running back for the Broncos, talked at OTAs about the way Fangio and his staff hold the team accountable every day.
"“Last year, I felt like accountability was a word that was thrown out a lot and a lot of people felt like a lot of people weren’t being held accountable. This year, there is none of that. I feel like this is going to be really good for our defense to be in those meetings, meet together and work together.”Devontae Booker (quotes via Broncos PR)"
Fangio sets a high standard, that’s for sure. That will happen when you have coached for four decades (this is literally Fangio’s 40th year of coaching) and you’ve seen everything under the sun, under every rock, and every version of football the last few generations have known.
Fangio knows football. He knows how successful organizations operate. Perhaps more importantly, he also knows how dysfunctional organizations operate and he understands how to get teams out of those dysfunctional ruts.
This is a quality that makes Fangio a unique head coach. It’s also a quality that makes him uniquely qualified to be one of the few rookie head coaches in NFL history to — yeah, I’m going to say it — lead his team to the Super Bowl.
Fangio was with rookie head coach Jim Harbaugh in 2012 when the 49ers had the Ravens within an inch of their lives and on the cusp of a Super Bowl.
This is a rare situation where Fangio should not be discounted for being a rookie head coach. It’s a new job for him, to be certain, but his standard will always be the same and he’s assembled a phenomenal staff to make sure everything on both sides of the ball is of the highest quality.
In the last decade, I can’t think of a team Vic Fangio was a part of that didn’t, at one point or another, contend for a Super Bowl.
The Bears’ offensive ineptitude is what got Fangio to the Broncos in the first place. Otherwise, John Elway may not have been willing to wait and might have just hired Mike Munchak, who knows?
Thankfully, Elway and Fangio got Munchak anyway.
It doesn’t feel like Fangio is a rookie at anything. Maybe he’s more nervous inside than he lets on with his demeanor, but every day seems like business as usual for him. Football is football, Fangio’s title just changed from coordinator to head honcho.
Although he’s a rookie head coach by name, Fangio feels like anything but a rookie in the way he operates.