In Broncos Country, there has been concern about the relationship between All Pro pass rusher Von Miller and rookie Head Coach Vic Fangio.
Fangio, who’s greatly respected for his defensive ingenuity, initially challenged Miller when introduced as head coach last January. Fangio said, “I think Von Miller can play even better than he’s played in his career.”
Then in training camp, Fangio spoke about Miller saying, “I think he’s got more to give; I think we can make him be a better player. He’s a guy that should be in the conversation for player of the year awards and stuff like that.”
Last week, the Denver Broncos earned their first win of the season against the Chargers, a divisional opponent.
Fangio’s defense finally recorded their first turnover, and ended the game with a total of 2 turnovers (1 interception, 1 fumble recovery). Although the defense didn’t record any sacks, Miller consistently disrupted Phillip Rivers and contained his side of the field.
On Monday, when Fangio was asked about Von’s performance he said, “I thought his rush was okay. He was close a few times. I think he’s capable of better, but he was coming free some and did help the pass defense in that way. His run defense was up and down a little bit. A lot of stuff was away from him. It was kind of uneventful.”
There are surely some growing pains between the rookie head coach and franchise superstar, as Miller only has 2 sacks for the season. Fangio can also appear to be uncomfortable at times on the sideline, with good reason as the Broncos sit at the bottom of their division (1-4).
But, there is no need to panic Broncos Country.
When asked about the perception that there is a rift between him and his head coach, Miller said, “That is crazy. Who came up with that? I would like to think me and Coach Fangio get along great. I feel like the type of energy that he sends toward me is different than everybody else. ... We have just that connection. We’re teammates at the end of the day”
Von added, “He wants to see me do the best. It might come off to the media a little bit different than what it is, but I know ... there’s not another coach I’d rather have right now pushing me to be the best I can possibly be. He’s going to keep it all the way 100. As a player you can appreciate that. ... If I’m not doing well, I want him to tell me. If I can work on something, I want him to tell me about that.”
Fangio was also asked later in the week about challenging the former Super Bowl 50 MVP and explained, “I wouldn’t view them as challenges, calling out. We just talk all the time. I think he’s doing a lot of things well for us, and some things that are better than maybe he’s done in the past. Now, obviously, his sack numbers aren’t what he would like and everybody would like, but he made a very nice play the other day on the third-and-3 where they tried to run it up in there for the first down. He was the main focal point for us winning that down and that was good.
The fact of the matter is, Von Miller and Vic Fangio have only worked together for 5 games. Both men realize they must improve, so that the Broncos can beat the Titans at home on Sunday.