New Broncos head coach Vic Fangio has coached in the NFL since 1986, with only a one-year stint as Stanford’s defensive coordinator in 2010 breaking up 32 seasons in the pro ranks. Over the years, Fangio’s worked with a myriad of coaches, including Super Bowl champion turned NFL Network analyst Brian Billick, who joined Nate Lundy, Shawn Drotar and Renaud Notaro on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 to discuss his former assistant.
“Vic is one of the best, smartest coaches I’ve ever been around,” Billick said. “When he was on my staff (in 2006), he was kind of in a consultant capacity… I was doing the play-calling, and so I kind of used him as my alter-ego; to keep me focused on head-coaching things that I needed to be focused on while I was play-calling.
“He’s brilliant. He’s an outstanding coach; he’ll do a great job. Great hire,” Billick continued. “I think he’ll take that defense to a whole other level.”
As for Fangio’s offensive line coach Mike Munchak — a finalist for the Broncos’ head coaching job himself — Billick calls him “the best offensive line coach in football.”
“What [Munchak] did for the Pittsburgh Steelers to bring them along was brilliant,” Billick said. “I think it’s a huge, huge, brilliant move for the Broncos.”
Fangio, at 60 years old, will be a first-time head coach this season, but Billick doesn’t expect the missteps that former head coach Vance Joseph made in his initial go-around. “There’s no learning curve for Vic,” Billick said, with a laugh. “He will hit the ground running. I think — as you can already tell — he knows exactly what he wants to get done.”
Fangio’s defensive background seems to go against the grain, given the offensive explosion in the NFL over the last two seasons, but Billick explained why that’s nothing to be concerned about. “We’re in this phase where everybody is looking for the next [Rams head coach] Sean McVay or [Bears head coach] Matt Nagy; we’re going to get the next ‘quarterback whisperer’ in here,” he said. “When you hire a guy, obviously, every one of them will get the job because of a perceived expertise on one side of the ball or another.
“You find out that you’re not an offensive or defensive coach — you’re the head coach.”
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