Vic Fangio sitting out season, however why are so many NFL groups, together with Broncos, utilizing his defensive system?


For the primary time since he began teaching soccer at his highschool alma mater in 1979, Vic Fangio might be an observer this fall, selecting to gather the ultimate yr of his Broncos contract as a substitute of pursuing a defensive coordinator put up.

But Fangio’s presence might be felt all through the NFL.

“Vic’s imprint is probably 25% of the league, right?” Broncos defensive backs coach Christian Parker mentioned.

Slightly extra, truly.

Playing “Six Degrees of Vic,” the coach and/or defensive coordinator of six groups have a direct connection to Fangio: Coaches Brandon Staley of the Los Angeles Chargers (labored for Fangio in Chicago and the Broncos) and Robert Saleh of the New York Jets (Houston) and 4 defensive coordinators — the Broncos’ Ejiro Evero (San Francisco), Minnesota’s Ed Donatell (San Francisco, Chicago and the Broncos), Seattle’s Clint Hurtt (Chicago) and Detroit’s Aaron Glenn (performed for Fangio in Houston).

A second diploma produces three extra coordinators: Green Bay’s Joe Barry (labored for Staley with the Los Angeles Rams) and two coaches who labored underneath Saleh with the 49ers — Cleveland’s Joe Woods and the 49ers’ DeMeco Ryans.

Add it up and that’s 28.1% of the league.

“It’s a copy-cat league and when you have success, people look at it,” mentioned Tony Dungy, the Pro Football Hall of Fame coach who works for NBC. “(Coaches) study tape and they take the good things and they take the principles from it. Coach Fangio has had success with a number of franchises and those principles are good.”

So why is the protection that Fangio inherited from Dom Capers (now a Broncos assistant coach) and added layer upon layer to it through the years so helpful?

General supervisor George Paton: “It’s just hard on quarterbacks with the disguises, the two-high (safety) coverage. It’s also hard on quarterbacks if you’re good up front and can stop the run.”

Defensive line coach Marcus Dixon: “You can be multiple in your coverages and multiple in your front structures. And it allows you to put your best players in the best positions to make plays.”

Inside linebackers coach Peter Hansen: “You need to have extreme talent to be successful in a ‘Cover 3.’ When Seattle was really rolling, every position was talented. Obviously, it’s a talent-driven league, but there have been some years when medium talent with Vic and Dom and it still had success.”

In summation: The five-man entrance helps defend the run. … Inside linebackers are sometimes “clean” to make performs. … The pre-snap disguise consists of taking part in one kind of zone protection apiece on every half of the sphere.

Evero, in his first NFL coordinator alternative, might be tasked with inheriting the personnel Fangio helped purchase from 2019-21 and placing his stamp on the system to supply higher outcomes.

“There are definitely a lot of variations we want to do, both very small and on a major scale,” Parker mentioned.

Those adjustments, if they are often deciphered by the untrained eye, might be on show Monday evening in Seattle.

Will the Broncos stress extra? They rushed 5 or extra on 26.2% of the opponent’s drop-backs final yr, per The Denver Post’s recreation charting.

Will edge rushers Bradley Chubb and Randy Gregory be stationed as inside rushers? This ought to be a premium third-down look to match each gamers towards a guard or heart.

Will they journey cornerback Pat Surtain II with an opponent’s prime receiver? Evero joined the Broncos from the Rams, the place coordinator Raheem Morris moved Jalen Ramsey across the discipline.

Will their sub-package plan embrace extra dime (six defensive backs) than nickel (5)? Last yr, the Broncos used dime personnel 16 instances towards Washington, 18 at Dallas and 27 within the first Chargers recreation.

And will they be capable of cease the run higher? The Broncos completed fifteenth in rush protection final yr.

It all begins with the run recreation and to that finish, the Fangio scheme prioritizes our bodies on the line of scrimmage.

“As soon as you take five guys and put them at the line and two of them are really big, physical guys on the edge, you’re immediately creating 1-on-1 blocks for the offense and making it harder for them to work to the next level or work on double teams,” Broncos exterior linebackers coach Bert Watts mentioned.

In the Broncos’ base scheme, that might be Chubb and Gregory exterior and a defensive position of D.J. Jones, Dre’Mont Jones and DeShawn Williams.

The concept is to clog up the gaps and permit inside linebackers Josey Jewell and Jonas Griffith to roam free.

“In other schemes, you have a specific gap to cover, but in this scheme, you fly around, flow to the football and you use athleticism,” Griffith mentioned. “You can move east-west and then when you see the play, you can trigger.”

If the Broncos can cease the run, that may open up the playbook for Evero on third down.

“You can get exotic on third down and change your front look and your back-end disguise,” Dixon mentioned. “You’re not sitting ducks.”



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