by Shawn Drotar (@sdrotar)
On Wednesday, the news broke that the Denver Broncos had hired their new head coach — former Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio — and as Broncos players flooded social media with their own thoughts on the hiring, safety Will Parks joined Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro of Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 to discuss them in person.
“It’s always good when you have a guy on your side of the ball and can take matters into their own hands,” Parks said. “He coached the No. 1 defense in the league this past year. You know, we’ve been the No. 1 defense here [in Denver]… we’ve been at that [level] before. We know what it takes, but when you have a guy like that who can add a whole bunch of different things on that side of ball, players get excited about that atmosphere; just being around that type of guy.”
Fangio, 60, will be a first-time head coach with the Broncos, but he’s well-respected around the league for his no-nonsense, straight-shooting style. Bears linebacker Khalil Mack called him “The Evil Genius” in reference to his ability to scheme against opposing offenses, and reinvent his playbook from year to year depending on the composition of his roster. “Congrats to ‘Coach Vic’ on getting the job, but it’s all work from here on out… It’s been a rough three years,” Parks said in what might be the understatement of the still very-new year.
The Broncos, since winning Super Bowl 50 in the 2015 season, have gone a combined 20-28 (.417) , including 11-21 (.344) under recently-fired head coach Vance Joseph, who was in charge of the Broncos’ first back-to-back losing seasons since 1972. “Ultimately, [general manager] John Elway and [de facto owner] Joe Ellis got someone that they think can get us into the win column as much as possible — and I think [Fangio’s] that guy,” Parks said.
“I think that’s great. I’m ready to work right now.”
Perhaps even more exciting to longtime Broncos fans is the knowledge that Gary Kubiak — the coach that led the Broncos to that Super Bowl 50 win — will serve as Fangio’s offensive coordinator. Kubiak, who was forced to quit the Broncos’ head coaching job for health reasons following the 2016 season, is now apparently fit enough to patrol the sidelines once again, and Parks is thrilled.
“I love ‘Kubes’,” Parks said. “I love that he’s back. I played for him in my rookie year (2016), and I still remember the way he got us ready for games; they way he got us prepared each and every day for practice… That’s exciting; I know the guys that play on offense are geeked up right now.”
Click here to listen to the full interview with Will Parks — including his relationship with fellow safety and 2016 draftee Justin Simmons and his Philadelphia connection to Fangio — or listen to the podcast in the player below.
Catch Afternoon Drive with Goodman and Shapiro every weekday from 4p-6p on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 or stream live any time for the best local coverage of Colorado sports from Denver’s biggest sports talk lineup. Download the all-new free Mile High Sports Radio mobile app for Apple or Android.