Good morning, Broncos Country!
Mandatory mini-camp is underway, and so far it’s a lot of the same as most years - Peyton Manning is still the most popular guy to photograph/tweet about (even when in street clothes); reporters still fan over the quarterback completing a long bomb down field; players still think the “new” scheme is super exciting and going to showcase their best talents; and the head coach is still very complimentary about his players and...
That last one isn’t the same at all.
Vic Fangio is doing no such thing. In fact, he’s almost doing the opposite. For instance, consider his comments about several marquis players:
On Von Miller:
“Obviously he’s got to learn a new defense, so that’s job one that you’re looking for. Two, we’re just trying to get him to do a little bit of the technique things a little bit better. Up from pass rush to dropping, if it’s a run play, and he’s done a good job of embracing that and I’ve seen improvement from him.”
On Chris Harris Jr.:
“He’s done fine. Chris has done a good job picking things up, but obviously he’s not in tune with all the details of it. But that will come with time on task both in the meeting room and on the practice field.”
On what he’s learned about Joe Flacco:
“Not a whole lot. He’s been what I remembered from when I was around him way back. He still has a big arm. The ball still comes out of his hand with a lot of liveliness to it. It’s a very catchable ball. I think the guys like playing with him, and I’ve been happy with Joe.”
On Brendan Langley at wide receiver:
“He obviously can run. Everybody sees that, and we’d like that to be part of the team. But he’s got to become a football player too. That’s a process and he’s working through that.”
On how young quarterbacks need to improve
“They need to be resilient. It’s OK to make a mistake or two. It’s not OK to repeat it, and it’s not OK to let it drag into the next play. These guys have been playing sports for a long time— at quarterback. They have to learn that.”
If we’ve written it once, we’ve written it a thousand times on here - Fangio is a no-nonsense coach. And as my good friend Larry Dyer III at “Bears Talk Underground” reminded me, “Fangio could give zero F’s what you think of what he’s doing.”
Jess Place, Tim Lynch and I talked about this on our podcast this week - Fangio’s approach is genuine - and it is such a relief.
The outtakes on this podcast might be among my favorites...but you should listen for our extremely serious discussion about why it's cool that @jezru, @timlynch1978 and I all love Vic Fangio right now. https://t.co/pbSu3xZ0Us— Doctor of Words (and tights and positive thinking) (@docllv) June 3, 2019
Because this time of year, as Broncos fans, we tend to get very optimistic about our team’s chances. The good, bad and ugly of the previous season has mostly disappeared, and the promise of a new season with a new approach, better scheme, good players added is staring us down, begging us to believe in a playoff-bound, ass-kicking team with a new QB who will take us to the Promise Land.
As Mancar noted, “the great thing about football is the rebirth of positivity and hype every year.”
But for the first time since Gary Kubiak became head coach in 2015 (and before that, who knows) - the excitement actually feels believable. Like, it’s not just the Kool-Aid; the team is actually good.
Because Fangio is getting it done, and it’s already noticeable in the attitudes of players - from not wanting to be the idiot whose screwup on the field is watched by everyone on film to believing they all have to earn their spot on the roster, no matter what their name is.
Ed Donatell, defensive coordinator who has worked with Fangio for years, said this is exactly who Fangio has always been.
“He really has never changed very much in eight years,” Donatell said. “It’s just what I thought it would be when he took over as the head coach. He’s really into the game management part of it and the details and the little things and that’s showing up in our football team.”
Rich Scangarello, a first-time offensive coordinator, said it has been exciting being part of “Vic’s plan” because of the details he worries about - and therefore prepares for - in situational football.
“He’s going to force the players and the coaches into uncomfortable situations that remind them of game day,” Scangarello said. “With that comes the task of thinking fast and putting guys in positions to make plays, and them having to think on their own on the field. ...I’m really excited about it and the guys have embraced it. I think it’s made us a better team.”
I certainly think so, but you can think what you want.
Either way, Fangio will give zero Fs what either of us thinks and just continue to coach football.
Horse Tracks - docllv’s picks of the day
Notes from Broncos minicamp, Day 2
Joe Flacco and Courtland Sutton connected for multiple touchdowns ... and game management and situational football continued to be at the heart of the team’s on-field work.
Observations from Day 1 of Broncos mandatory minicamp – The Athletic
Joe Flacco shows off his "cannon" for an arm, Vic Fangio sees improvement in Von Miller and much more.
Manning Men Visit Broncos During Day 2 Of Mini-Camp – CBS Denver
Denver's "sheriff" made an appearance at the Broncos' mini-camp on Wednesday.
Denver Broncos: Archie and Peyton Manning attended practice Wednesday
Archie and Peyton Manning watched the Broncos' second minicamp practice of 2019 in person.
Denver Broncos: Drew Lock ‘slowly making strides’ at minicamp practice
Broncos rookie quarterback Drew Lock is on the right track.
Scangarello: Lindsay is 'one of the more dynamic players' in NFL
Rich Scangarello can't wait to unleash Phillip Lindsay in the Broncos' offense.
Broncos RB Lindsay (wrist) to be ready for camp
Broncos coach Vic Fangio said Wednesday that running back Phillip Lindsay, who is recovering from right wrist surgery, will be ready for full participation when training camp begins next month.
Leaving a legacy: An inside look at how Von Miller is putting his stamp on NFL history via his Pass Rush Summit
If Las Vegas is an oasis in the midst of a desert, Miller’s third annual Pass Rush Summit may be the lone haven for defenders looking to make an impact in an increasingly offensively minded league.
Instant chemistry over cauliflower sold Gerald McCoy on Panthers - Carolina Panthers Blog- ESPN
The fellowship that Gerald McCoy felt with Panthers players over a vegan lunch last week put Carolina over the top.
Broncos' Ron Leary glad to be back at his preferred right guard position, and more from Day 2 of minicamp
Ron Leary said Wednesday he is back at home as the Broncos’ right guard, debunking the belief that left guard was his preferred position.
Ron Leary has 'no restrictions' in practice, Phillip Lindsay set to return for training camp
“I feel like I’m very close,” Lindsay said.
Denver Broncos news: NFL announces finalized 2019 preseason schedule
We now know the dates and times for all of the Broncos' 2019 preseason games.