Good morning, Broncos Country!
It’s been noted several times since Vic Fangio took over as Broncos’ new head coach - his “no-nonsense” approach to football has been as advertised.
Whether it’s how he answers questions from the press (like when some idiot asks him on day one who his starting o-line is), talks to the team or coaches his players through the install, Fangio is doing it his way.
Tom McMahon on how Vic Fangio runs a practice: “Direct. There’s no wish-washy stuff. He’s the driver of the bus.”— Ryan Koenigsberg (@RyanKoenigsberg) April 18, 2019
Is that appreciated?
“No question. No question.”
The latest example came this week during voluntary veteran minicamp when he insisted players wear game jerseys.
Fangio knows it’s unusual, but he’s actually been suggesting this to head coaches much of his career. Only Jim Harbaugh in San Francisco tried it out.
But it isn’t just because Fangio prefers polyester.
He wants good fundamentals - and believe it or not - jerseys make a difference.
“The whole reason we do that is to cut down on the grabbing,” he told reporters Tuesday. “When you wear the loose shirts, it’s very easy—almost unavoidable—for the players to grab each other when they’re going against each other. Whether it be wideouts, DBs, the interior linemen, it’s just so easy to grab those loose jerseys.”
But if a player relies on that lazy technique now, when game time comes, he won’t be able to tackle properly.
“It’s not easy to grab in the game because they’re tight,” Fangio said. “So we want to make it game-like as much as we can. That’s why we practice with them.”
This move is one Fangio has been wanting to do for years but not being head coach, he didn’t make the decisions.
“[Game] jerseys, for one. That’s one right there,” the coach said when admitting what he’s been waiting to do as a head coach. “And just alternating the way practice went other than clumping it all together, just keeping it moving around.”
Fangio has also been evaluating his new team from the same lens - and whether they’re depth players or superstars, he’s looking at how each can improve.
And that includes Von Miller.
Two weeks ago the stud edge rusher mentioned adding 10 pounds to his overall bodyweight this offseason so he could be stronger, more powerful when going up against the 300-pound plus linemen he faces every game.
“It’s a totally different player from being 245 to 235. It’s a totally different game,” Miller said. “I just wanted to get back to 245, and I’ve been doing it that way.”
Fangio’s response this week to reporters as to whether that’s a good idea was basically, “I’ll see.”
Not, “If Von likes that weight, great,” or “I’m sure it is fine.”
Nope. He’ll decide for himself.
“I don’t know yet. I haven’t been around [Miller] enough. I’d like to watch him play some more,” Fangio said, adding that he didn’t think the extra weight would hurt Miller. “I just like guys to weigh—if they’re training right, eating right, resting right—whatever they, weigh they weigh. Especially for a guy like him. I don’t know. I’ve got to learn more about him.”
Aiming to hit 20 sacks in his ninth NFL season, Miller will be looking to his new coach - by all accounts a defensive guru - to help him get there.
“I feel like I haven’t even made it halfway yet,” Miller said Wednesday. “We had Bruce Smith at our pass-rush summit and I talked to him about it a little bit. He played 20 years and averaged 10 sacks a season. That’s right where I’m at with it. Hopefully I can get one of those 20-sack seasons. If I can get one of those in, it’ll put me ahead of the pace. I’m still feeling good.”
And Fangio isn’t showering Miller with automatic compliments over past accomplishments; instead he’s telling Miller that while he has all the tools, he can still sharpen them a bit.
“If [Miller] does all the little things that are necessary to do that [20 sacks], he’s definitely got a great chance to do that,” Fangio said. “But the little things are going to make the difference for him. It’s not just on the field, it’s off the field. Preparation, rest, all those things, being attentive to the details and technique. If he does that, yes, the sky is the limit.”
And I am so here for it.
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