McManus' Temper Tantrum & Public Contradiction of Fangio a Bad Look for Broncos

Chad Jensen

It's always odd when a kicker, and especially one who hasn't been very good this year, acts like a quarterback on the field and at the podium. Actually, if it were a quarterback behaving the way Brandon McManus did during the Denver Broncos' 23-20 win over the L.A. Chargers and after, I'd worry about that player's longevity with the club. 

First, I have to back up and set the stage for the initial conflagration. At the end of the second quarter, head coach Vic Fangio had the opportunity to kick what would have been a 65-yard field goal attempt. Instead, after an awkward sequence, Fangio chose to try one last play of Drew Lock chucking it down the field. 

McManus was livid, after initially trotting out onto the field to attempt what would have been an NFL record kick had he made it. Fangio pulled the kicking unit off the field after changing his mind and McManus could be seen on the television broadcast hollering before throwing his helmet into the sideline. 

Why was McManus so upset? Because he wanted a shot at the NFL record and he hits kicks from that distance regularly during warm-ups. Individual glory was within his grasp before Fangio yanked it for what he thought was in the best interest of the team. 

After the game, Fangio explained why he ultimately decided against attempting the 65-yarder, risking the wrath of his kicker.  

“I didn’t want to try the 65-yarder," Fangio said post-game. "At that point, I didn’t think it was desperation. I’ve seen many times where guys go out there and try extra-long kicks. They alter the mechanics and it affects him the rest of the game. I’m going to say that that decision not to let him go out there for the 65-yarder led him to making the 52 and the 53-yarder.”

McManus' reply to the notion that a missed kick can affect a kicker's technique? 

“Does a Hail Mary affect the way a quarterback throws the ball?” McManus queried rhetorically. 

Touche, you might say. But it's easy for McManus to say when he's not responsible for the ultimate success and failure of the entire team. 

On top of that, Fangio hasn't been able to trust McManus. Thankfully for the Broncos, McManus came in and nailed his two fourth-quarter field goal attempts, both of which were from 50-plus yards. Going into Week 13, though, McManus was 1-for-3 from 50-plus yards on the season. 

Sure, he's got a big leg and the air at Mile High is thin. But Fangio has to look at the big picture, weigh the risks and the rewards, before making a decision. 

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McManus just wanted the record. Contradicting his coach in the press after throwing a tantrum on the field shows perhaps what's most important to McManus; individual glory. 

McManus was a money kicker in his first couple of seasons with the Broncos. He earned that lucrative contract extension the Broncos gave him. But in clutch moments when the chips have been down, he's been a coin-flip type of kicker for the Broncos since 2017. 

He's well-loved and respected, especially for a kicker, within the Broncos locker room. But Fangio doesn't have the same shared experience with 'BMac' that the players do. And considering that the Broncos could save $3 million on the cap if they moved on from McManus next year, it would behoove the player to be a bit more diplomatic. Most NFL kickers come at a fraction of the $4.25M price tag McManus carries next year and they're seen, not heard. 

“I think we’re two grown men and we understand the ebbs and flows of the game," McManus said post-game. "He hasn’t been here that long to see my total range in training camp over the years and stuff like that. I knew I could make it. They’ve seen me make it in practice... There is one way that you can take the frustration and let it affect you later throughout the game, but I was just happy with myself to hone it in.”

McManus came through in the clutch for the Broncos, nailing the walk-off 53-yarder to give Fangio just his fourth victory as a head coach. But if McManus believes he's got enough credit, as it were, built up in the bank to contradict his head coach publicly, perhaps he has forgotten that the Broncos haven't made the playoffs in four years and that Fangio owes him nothing. 

Fangio still awarded McManus a game ball and allowed him to address the team in the locker room. But all that happened before McManus went out onto the podium and proceeded with the smart Alec routine. As of last night, McManus was of the opinion that all is well between he and Fangio. 

“Yeah (laughing)," McManus said. "One hundred percent. Like I said, kicking is a completely mental game. You battle the struggles the ebbs and flow of it, you know, head coaching. We deal with a lot of the same scrutiny. He has to make decisions and I have to make pressured kicks. At the end of the day, I’m mad because I didn’t get to kick, and in his mind, he made the right decision for the team. I have no problem with that, but like I said, I would love to have my name in the history books.”

At worst, McManus' behavior was insubordination. At best, it was publicly disrespectful to a head coach still trying to imprint on this team. Either way, it's a bad look for the Broncos. 

Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen and @MileHighHuddle.

Comments (22)
No. 1-15
Denverkewl
Denverkewl

What's BMac gonna do throw a tantrum every time he doesn't get his way? Set that as an example for other players or did Sanders already do that. Here's your game ball and a fine...by the way, by hook or fade, Fangio turnout to be right...and won...who is to say that the mechanics issue didn't show itself after he made that kick during halftime and then hit the upright on the later first FG??? Cab you imagine if the ball fell differently?

DKMI
DKMI

Should have never shipped Prater out of town. I understand the personal troubles he had scared the Broncos, but he was their most accurate kicker ever. He was even better than Elam. He has been money for Detroit. I’ve never really been enamored by McManus. He has had really good seasons, but I just don’t trust the guy.

Denver_guy
Denver_guy

You have to be the most obnoxious homer on here. Vic has no clout. He’s 4-8 and he was comically bad in that sequence

Studlee14
Studlee14

I completely understand why hes upset. Even if he doesn't make it, there would be no time on the clock and you would go into overtime with the same score. You just have to have special teams coverage in case the ball comes up short. No trust in his players is a bad look for the HC imo. And in all honesty his paycheck is irrelevant. If the broncos want to move on, they can, but someone else WILL pay him because good FG kickers are not easy to find. I can think of at least 4 teams who would gladly have a superbowl winning kicker on their roster right about now.

Chad Jensen
Chad Jensen

Editor

Could the Broncos do worse than McManus? Sure, bro! But to pretend he's one of the best kickers in the league is stretching it. He was among them from late 2014 through the 2015 Super Bowl year. Been all downhill since then. Plus, kickers are meant to be seen, not heard. Just ask Peyton. If the Broncos were smart, they'd start turning over a few rocks and at least start developing another option. They started to with Taylor Bertolet but he didn't do enough to impress.

macarthur1
macarthur1

Reminds me of how Flacco publicly was loose with his tongue after his last game, probably knowing it was his last. I wonder if BMac sees writing on the wall that his time is coming to an end in Denver, thus the insubordination tendencies.

22BA
22BA

Cooper Rothe -- Wyoming.

Colorado Kid who's one hell of a good kicker, oh and for pennies compared to Mcmanus.

Erick   Trickel
Erick Trickel

Editor

He was angry and frustrated and should've been given the chance to make that field goal. Doesnt excuse how he acted, as he cant act like that though. Doesnt change that the chance should've been there. One of the better kickers in the NFL should've gotten the chance. He is tied 9th with Matt Prater in FG % from kickers with more than 20 attempts. There are flaws but he has always got more hate than he should.

OurGMsucks
OurGMsucks

Audios——Good Bye ———Sayonara——-Auf Wiedersehen——- Au revoir Zaijian 🤪

CarlDumler
CarlDumler

I like that he wanted the big moment. He wasn't afraid of it. Yeah maybe went a bit overboard with his frustration, but I don't think things need to go beyond Fangio and him talking it out a bit as it seems like they did. Should be business as usual moving forward. And really I love that the Broncos have McManus. Wouldn't mind him sticking around for a long time. Now if they could just find a punter.

WORLDWIDEWACO
WORLDWIDEWACO

THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT I WANT TO SEE FROM MY FG KICKER... $$$ & CONFIDENCE & 100% AGGRESSIVENESS... kicks aren't missed by aggressive confident dudes they are missed by unconfident guys who don't want to LOSE the game rather than guys like McManus who want to WIN THE GAME for his teammates...

LOVE MCManus he is winning us games unlike all you morons who still blame Flacco for SCAMGrrrrrr....JELLO's BllSHT playcalling that cost us 5 games this season & almost a 6th last sunday! HE WILL GET LOCK INJURED just as he did Flacco... he will destroy our season next year just as he did LAST SEASON

WORLDWIDEWACO
WORLDWIDEWACO

siccut: this last season

Rljmtn
Rljmtn

Maybe this should be turned around, the coach should appreciate the passion from the McManus, he wanted to give it a try, really wanted it. I think it was a stupid decision not to try, it's like leaving points on the field, you never leave points on the field. Not only that but there were some other questionable plays called so let's not or too much on a guy who has no control.

Crazyfool1
Crazyfool1

Nothing against Vic. I like the guy and I'm hopeful for what he can accomplish in Denver. However; he should have let BMac make the attempt. He may have missed left or right, but he's never left a kick short. Furthermore, the Broncos are no longer in the playoff hunt and I would think the players could use the vote of confidence from their head coach regarding their individual talents at this point. Congrats on the win, but at this point in the season I'd rather see them lose and get a few highlights on sports center courtesy of Bmac's leg. Show some confidence in your players Victor!

Wizalongboy
Wizalongboy

Are we all talking about same game/kicker??? McManus wanted to kick a record breaking FG at the END OF THE HALF-NOT THE GAME! BRONCOS ahead, a few seconds left; right distance/no wind-how often will he have this perfect chance?? McManus a damn good kicker-who won this game, and many others. Fangio 'doesn't get it' if he can't see the import of giving his kicker this chance!!!!


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