Agreed, SA. Only time will tell whether Elway's gut was right. I think it will turn out to be one of the best decisions Elway ever made, hiring Fangio.
I love the hire. Fangio is a brilliant defensive strategist who constantly confuses the O, and Donatell is the perfect Igor to his Frankenstein. The addition of Jones and the maturing of Walker (in degree) will add fuel to the fires that Von and Chubb create and we put good money into a secondary that needed it. Scangarello and Munchak also look promising, while the player upgrade has been substantial. High times.
The Fangio hire reminds me a lot of the John Fox hire in a way because the organization needed to be stabilized coming off of back-to-back losing seasons. After McDaniels wrecked the franchise, Fox was brought in as a highly experienced coach that commanded a lot of respect with his track record. Fangio, while not versed in the head coaching aspect, is a very well respected entity throughout the entire league.
I'm excited to see what he brings to the club based on that perspective. It seems the players are being held more accountable, and that's a huge and necessary change from the last regime.
Also, the scheme he brings in fits so well with not only the players already in tow, but the players that were brought in defensively. Bradley Chubb is going to take off this year, as if he didn't already last year. We'll likely see a lot more turnovers from the secondary as well by getting them off the ball and into coverages where they can get their eyes on the football, then drive on the play coming vertically towards the line of scrimmage.
I'm excited, but cautiously optimistic. Until I see it all unfold with this personnel package, I'll wait to declare him the "McVay of defense".
There are things that I am excited about with this hire and things that have me a bit nervous.
The nervous side first...
- I have liked that he isn't afraid to call out players even those like Von Miller. There are times though I wonder if he takes it a bit far. Such as with Walker after this past game. The kid was obviously excited about his game yet the coach went out of his way to embarrass the kid in front of the media.
The excited side...
Too many teams are hoping to hit gold with the young coaches. While yes it is incredible when it happens the odds are getting less and less with more teams trying to find that McVay. So going with a great defensive mind like Fangio to coach the defense and finding a young mind to coach the offense seems like an idea that can be sustainable.
So much of what he does just seems like such a "no duh" move but so few coaches do them. He really does notice the little details when it comes to coaching.
Just having been at training camp about 1/2 of the practice is completely spent in position groups allowing the coaches to actually coach. He has hired people that he trusts to actually coach these guys up and at least from the first game there were some noticeable differences between last year and this year. Tackling, intensity, and discipline all showed up through most of the game.
Overall I loved the hire. I've been pounding the table to get Fangio for a long time. Wanted him more than Wade and still to this day believe he is a better DC than Wade. Cannot wait to watch this defense force turnovers all over the field.
I'm excited for Fangio, but talk is cheap this early. This is the honeymoon phase. Lets see where this goes. However, even if Fangio is putting this team in the right direction, they gotta keep improving the roster. I remember listening to a podcast this offseason with Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah and a quote of theirs really stuck with me; "Hall of Fame Players make Hall of Fame Coaches."
I've become more of a fan of the hire during the offseason. Sure, Fangio needs to prove himself by making good coaching decisions and ensuring the team is competitive and in a position to win games -- and, yes, winning more games is part of that picture.
But what I like about Fangio is he has a no-nonsense approach. He's approachable like John Fox, but he's not too laid back. He calls things as he sees it all the time, rather than sugarcoating, which was a trap that Vance Joseph fell into. At the same time, Fangio will give credit where it's due and will talk to people, rather than falling too much into a "my way or the highway" mindset that Josh McDaniels had. And while he commands the respect of players in a way that Gary Kubiak did, Fangio doesn't seem to be inflexible, a problem Kubiak sometimes had.
I don't think it's a guarantee that we have the right head coach in place. But we do have somebody who shares a few similarities with other past Broncos coaches, but brings his own style, too, and one that I think was needed here.
There's plenty of work ahead, but an important step is getting the coach who recognizes that, but realizes that you can't fix everything at once -- and that while Hall of Fame players may make Hall of Fame coaches, great coaches find a way to get the best out of every player, whether they are Hall of Fame or not.
Just ask yourself how many Hall of Fame players really played under Bill Belichick in his time with the Patriots -- the list is actually short. Yet the list of players who maximized their talents under Belichick -- that's a longer one.
If Fangio can be that type of coach, I think the wins will take care of themselves.