Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio will not be taking his assistant coaches to Indianapolis for the 2020 Scouting Combine.
Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio is blazing a trail in 2020 at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, something other coaches around the league could wind up following.
According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, Fangio is leaving his assistant coaches in Denver this year and attending the combine alone as far as the coaching staff is concerned. It's an unconventional approach, but it's something Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams is also doing and Schefter seems to think other coaches around the league could soon follow suit with.
Initially, this is a move that seems to make little sense.
Why would Fangio leave his assistant coaches in Denver when they could help with the vetting process? Considering the fact that pretty much every assistant coach on the staff is a seasoned veteran of NFL coaching, wouldn't it make sense to get those guys as much exposure to the crop of incoming prospects as possible?
One important factor to note is that the coaching staff will be able to watch video recordings of player interviews, so they won't be cut off completely from seeing another side of these players off the field.
Fangio, according to Schefter's report, believes that his assistants will be better served spending their time watching tape of prospects as opposed to watching them work out.
Putting on my Vic Fangio shoes for a moment, I can see why this would make sense.
The Broncos don't have an entirely new coaching staff, but they have a new offensive coordinator in Pat Shurmur, which means the coaches are going to have to become more familiar with what Shurmur wants to run and how prospects would fit in that context.
It can also prevent coaches from becoming enamored by a guy who maybe really blows them away with a first impression or maybe doesn't give a great first impression, but is actually the right player to draft.
Every year, we hear about guys in the draft who were favorites of the coaching staff. While the hope is that most of that has to do with film study, it's possible that these guys just blow the coaches away with their personality but they may not be the right football fit.
The danger of this is that you don't get enough of the personality evaluation piece of things, and guys end up not being who you think they are.
The combination of John Elway, Matt Russell, and Vic Fangio should be enough to get to know prospects as people rather than just as football players.
Perhaps Fangio didn't like the way things went in the draft room a year ago. Perhaps Elway agrees or maybe this was brought on by Elway.
One way or another, Elway approved, and it appears as though Fangio has some sway with Elway. Elway, you'll recall, gave Fangio full credit for making the decision to hire Pat Shurmur and let go of Rich Scangarello.
Fangio has always been one to speak candidly and openly, and after a year in the building with the Broncos, he may have more sway than he had a year ago at this time.
Elway certainly likes the culture Fangio is building and developing, and it seems like Fangio has really earned his trust to be pulling off borderline unprecedented moves like this.
Maybe the Broncos will go back to the drawing board after this draft and realize they didn't like the new strategy, or maybe it will have some tangible impact that we can trace back directly to this decision.
One way or another, this move by Fangio bears monitoring.