As we go through the season, I really get dialed into players, how games are called, what personnel choices are being made, and what games are coming up next.
But after two awful losses against AFC West rivals that have all but crushed the dreams of the Denver Broncos going to the playoffs, my thoughts are quickly shifting to the offseason. That picture is much wider and takes in a broader view of things.
It may not be the biggest thing that needs to get resolved this offseason (which would be solving the ownership crisis of course), but it is the most urgent issue: Do you bring Vic Fangio back next season to be the head coach.
I don’t think you do and here’s why
1. The Denver Broncos have historically been about winning. For those of us who have been cheering a long time for them, the reason this fan base is so die-hard is that the team after the 70s took a big step up and consistently gave us winning football.
Vic Fangio has had 3 years to right the ship and at the end of the day, it is likely he tallies up a 3rd losing season. That’s not meeting the standard.
2. As a head coach, he’s not improving at his craft. I am okay giving a first-time head coach a few years to find his way, but after three years of this team not being good enough you have to look at what the head coach is doing and if the ship is moving because the captain of it is improving or the roster is getting better. Fangio still is plainly horrible at clock management, when to challenge plays, and holding his coordinators accountable on the other phases of the game that he isn’t directly responsible for. Our Special Teams have been terrible for years and this year has been no different. Our Offense is putrid, the play calls for it is predictable, and there are talents being wasted because the coordinator won’t use the player's strengths to design plays.
3. The team overall just seems to have no serious fire about winning. When I’m watching the team, I don’t see coaches chewing into players or players chewing into each other...they just constantly trot off to the sidelines and seem to be just punching the clock in and out through the game. Leadership is lacking on this team (especially on the offensive side of the ball) and when you see it lacking all over, it usually stems from apathy learned by having a head coach who isn’t leading or at least holding people accountable.
Why the Broncos may not make the change
The kicker is that this team isn’t in a good place to change coaches. We just hired a General Manager who still answers to John Elway (surprise, surprise). Coaching decisions don’t seem to come from George Paton.
The Broncos are owned by a Trust which has been a total clusterfunk for years.
Any level of integrity the Broncos used to have about “The Broncos Way” has been completely lost in Dove Valley. Talk about it is worth about as much as the gum on the bottom of my shoe. It is now just used as fake PR to sound good to the fans of the team.
When a team is in this position (with no clear ownership), having a stable head coach even if he kinda sucks is very important. How many free agents want to come to a team that has no spine in the front office and play for a coach that may or may not have been a serious long-term answer for that team?
As much as we might believe that Vic Fangio is much like Wade Phillips in that they are both superb defensive coordinators, but can’t cut it as head coaches, the Denver Broncos may not have any serious choice to make until the ownership issue gets settled.
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