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Vic Fangio Addresses Whether Broncos Will Make Any Coaching Changes After Ugly Raiders Loss

Vic Fangio is under the gun.

The Denver Broncos just got embarrassed at home by a reeling Las Vegas Raiders team whose head coach just resigned in disgrace on Tuesday. It wasn't just that the Broncos fell to the Raiders 34-24, it was how the loss unfolded as well as the fact that it came on Mike Shanahan's special day of being inducted into the team's Ring of Fame. 

Sadly, all the symptoms that have ravaged the Broncos since Week 4 were palpably present in Sunday's loss. From Vic Fangio's questionable game-management decisions to offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur's unbalanced and predictable game plan, to the defense's inability to get off the field on third down, it felt more like an episode of Broncos' Groundhog Day than a vibrant, vital AFC West throwdown. 

The players came out flat and seemed to quit on each other and their coaches in-game. Adding insult to injury, key players could be seen expressing their frustration on the Broncos' sidelines, throwing tablets and arguing vocally with coaches. 

This game had all the markings of a team with the wheels falling off. After the game, fans were apoplectic — as were many in media. 

When asked post-game whether he "anticipated making any significant coaching changes, or changes in coaching responsibilities," including to himself (shoutout to Darren McKee of The FAN), Fangio's reply was circumspect. 

"No," Fangio said post-game with a look of irritation on his face. 

Fans want blood. Heads must roll — that was the overwhelming sentiment I received on Sunday night during the Huddle Up Podcast's live stream (which carried 1,000 live viewers throughout the broadcast). Unlike Jon Gruden, Fangio isn't likely to fire himself. 

No, such a deed would have to come from GM George Paton. However, pressure is going to continue to mount from outside the building for the Broncos to make some kind of coaching change. 

Whether that comes in the form of Fangio giving up defensive play-calling duties to coordinator Ed Donatell or offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur being dismissed and replaced as play-caller by QBs coach Mike Shula, something has to give or else the Broncos are liable to face a throng of villagers with pitchforks at the gates of UCHealth Training Center. 

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Of course, those decisions could be usurped by Paton, rendering Fangio helpless if the GM were to fire any of Fangio's three coordinators — or even the head coach himself. Time will tell. 

With the Broncos set to play the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night, the short-turnaround week gives Paton or Fangio a plausible excuse to delay making a coaching change. Then again, if not now, when? 

Shula is just as accomplished as a play-caller in the NFL as Shurmur and knows the playbook like the back of his hand. Meanwhile, Donatell has been Fangio's most loyal capo and could conceivably take over defensive play-calling duties without many pitfalls. 

If the Broncos don't make any changes on the heels of this embarrassing loss, which completed a trio of ugly performances landing the team at 3-3 on the season, fans will have a decision to make: keep paying the money to park, attend games, buy merchandise and concessions, or stay home. 

That's probably the only message guaranteed to get through to Paton and his masters Joe Ellis and John Elway. And it brings me no pleasure to write this. 


Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen.

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