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Fangio is preaching the little things for the Broncos

That’s how the first-year head coach’s defenses have played so fast, and why the Broncos will as well.

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Good morning, Broncos Country!

The question was simple enough yet the answer told so much.

Vic Fangio was asked how his defense plays so fast. The man who has made gray sweats a fashion trend showed (yet again) why the Denver Broncos have the right guy at head coach.

“Getting them to understand their assignments and their technique so they can operate fast,” Fangio said in response to Mark Kizsla’s question. “We do a lot of things out there. It may not look like a lot but there’re a lot of little things to it. Once they master those little things, they play real fast. Hopefully we’ll get there at some point by the end of training camp.”

What impresses me the most about Fangio is how much he loves to teach. The answer you just read is the latest example of that. As Adam Malnati and I talked about on the MHR Radio Podcast (iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher), great teachers put their students in the best possible situation to have success. They give them the information they need, show them the path, and the rest is up to the student. If the student doesn’t thrive, it’s on them. There are no surprises or trick questions.

That’s what Fangio has brought to the Broncos. He’ll show his defense how to play fast and what it needs to do, but it’s on the players to make it come to life. The same is true for the rest of the coaching staff, and that’s even more exciting.

“Things have been going really good,” Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco told the media earlier this week at minicamp. “I think we’ve talked about it in the past, but Vic’s defense and the progressions that they’ve made, and the amount of stuff that they have in, it’s like a test to you every day. You go out there and you make some mistakes. I think we’ve been able to learn a lot from them.

“The other thing Vic does a good job of is situational football. We’ve practiced a ton of situations. We’ve already been in the red zone and two-minute (drills) — not just one or two times. We’ve been doing a lot of it. I think the fact that we’ve been able to do a lot of that stuff has kind of made the learning curve a little bit bigger for guys, and guys have adapted well to it.”

When a player gets in a situation like that, his confidence grows. The team’s confidence grows. Even in practice, you know if you do your job, you’ll not only succeed, but your unit and the team will as well.

“When you’re on the football field, you just start playing football and it comes,” Flacco said. “Building relationships with these guys off the field and stuff like that, I think this is a great team. I think we have a great group of guys. I think it’s really a credit to them how comfortable I’ve felt really since I’ve walked into the building. I felt great and it’s just oiling those things up on the field and gets things going. But I think we’ve got a great group of talented guys that want to win and want to work hard to do it.”

Fangio told us the days of “Death by inches” are over. How this defense plays so fast is more evidence of how he plans to do it, and why you should get this shirt (now only $10).

The question seemed simple enough, yet the answer told so much.

“Responsibility first, technique-driven second,” Fangio said. “When you have total confidence in those two things and you’re efficient, you will play fast.”

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