Denver Broncos Head Coach Vic Fangio is becoming a bit known for being stingy with high praise towards players. He’ll say good things about guys, but usually comes with a subdued ‘he can always do more’ kind of line.
However, when it came to Bradley Chubb, Fangio had nothing but the highest of praise for the second-year edge rusher.
“He’s tailor-made for us,” Fangio said. “I think he’ll take the next step just because he’s a pro much like Phillip [Lindsay] already. He’s a very smart football player, very coachable, very intense. I see nothing but bright days ahead for him.”
We already view Chubb as the second-most valuable player on the roster behind Von Miller and for good reason, he is the second-highest drafted player on the roster that the Broncos have taken in the NFL Draft.
Fangio had Chubb very high on their draft board in 2018 too. Though they ended up with a very good player in Roquan Smith last season, it sounds like Fangio would have happily taken Chubb ahead of him, saying, “Yeah, he was high on our wish list last year.”
And don’t let outlets like Pro Football Focus fool you about Chubb’s overall run defense. In that post linked above, that theory was thoroughly debunked by our own Joe Rowles.
I rarely thought he was a bad tackler so it came as a bit of a surprise to me when PFF counted him for 11 misses and used that rationale for his poor run D grade. To try to gather context on that number, I did a little sleuthing. Sports Info Solutions credited him with 9 misses and 41 solo stops, so 18% of his attempts were broken. That’s a better rate than players like Derwin James, Landon Collins, Jason Pierre-Paul, Tremaine Edmunds, and J.J. Watt. In total, 98 defensive players had more tackles broken by SIS charting than Chubb did.
Defensive Coordinator Ed Donatell elaborated further on what Chubb is going to bring to the table under this new scheme and may explain why Fangio sees Chubb as a perfect fit for this defense.
“The edge players are very important in this 3-4 defense Vic and I have been running these for the last eight years,” Donatell said of Chubb. “You need guys that can compress the edge and then you need somebody who can rush the passer. He can do both of those and he’s very forceful in doing that. We’re happy to have him. We think he can be very productive in that role.”
If the 2015 Broncos taught us anything, it is that the value of having two elite pass rushers on the edge is an incredible luxury. For defensive minds like Wade Phillips, and now Vic Fangio, the possibilities are endless.