Vic Fangio didn’t move to South Florida to prep for a forthcoming retirement.
The Miami Dolphins’ new 64-year-old defensive coordinator insisted Monday during his introductory press conference he’s not making plans to step away anytime soon.
“I still have a lot of coaching left in me,” Fangio said. “It’s not like I’m thinking about retirement or anything. Somebody asked, ‘How much longer are you gonna do this?’ I don’t know. It might be 10 years, if they’ll have me here for 10 years. It’s just who I am, what I do, what I enjoy doing. I like the competition. I like teaching players. I like to see players improve as individuals. And putting something together is challenging and fulfilling.”
Fangio got his first head coaching gig with the Denver Broncos in 2019 after 33 NFL seasons as an assistant. He was fired after three seasons with a 19-30 record. The veteran defensive mind — whose former assistants litter coaching staffs across the league — spent the 2022 season in a type of “sabbatical,” as he termed it. The Philadelphia Eagles hired him as a consultant during the postseason to help their offense prep for the NFC Championship and Super Bowl.
Fangio brings a wealth of knowledge to Miami — head coach Mike McDaniel quipped that Fangio has been coaching football longer than he’s been alive.
The Dolphins’ defense boasts some strong pieces but hasn’t put together cohesive performances that underscore the talent on the roster. Edge rushers Jaelan Phillips and Bradley Chubb can cause havoc. Christian Wilkins is a stud on the interior, and Emmanuel Ogbah is an underrated disruptor. Safety Jevon Holland is a stud. Xavien Howard and Kader Kohou are good building blocks at corner, especially for a Fangio D.
Fangio spent three seasons with Chubb in Denver. The Dolphins traded a first-round pick for the edge rusher in 2022 and handed him a massive new deal. The DC said Chubb dealt with a litany of injuries that didn’t let him reach his potential in Denver.
“So, I’m anxious to get him rolling, keep him healthy, and see the Bradley Chubb that we all know he’s capable of being,” he said.
Asked about the Chubb/Phillips duo, Fangio noted — like much of the roster — there is potential, but it has to show on the field.
“They have great potential,” he said. “But potential, we got to see it. Talking about it is easy. Projecting it is easy. But we got to see it. And I’m confident knowing those two guys’ work ethic that they’ll do everything they can to put a good product out there on the field from the both of them. But they both have the tools. Both have the makeup to be really good players on the edges for us.”
If Fangio can raise the potential in Miami into production, the Dolphins have an intriguing combination with McDaniel’s already explosive offense.
“I think the Dolphins are one of those franchises that the NFL is a better league when the Dolphins are relevant — in the hunt,” he said. “Hopefully, we can get it back to that.”