Jan 2, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA;  Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio looks on in the first quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Vic Fangio in the mix for Jaguars’ opening

Former Denver head coach Vic Fangio is a candidate for the same opening in Jacksonville, ESPN reported Thursday.

It was reported that Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich was the only finalist left standing for the Jacksonville post once Nathaniel Hackett (Denver) and Matt Eberflus (Chicago) went off the board Thursday. However, the Jaguars sent their private plane to Denver on Monday to pick up Fangio, per the report. He interviewed with the team this week.

Since being fired by the Broncos on Jan. 9, the only speculation regarding Fangio had been about defensive coordinator openings around the league.

Fangio, 63, posted a 19-30 record with the Broncos. He had never been a head coach until the Broncos hired him.

The Jaguars fired Urban Meyer on Dec. 16, putting an early end to his chaotic and disastrous first year. Darrell Bevell was named interim head coach after a late-night call from Trent Baalke, the team’s general manager who was retained for next season.

–Field Level Media

Jan 2, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA;  Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio looks on in the first quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos fire head coach Vic Fangio

The Denver Broncos fired Vic Fangio on Sunday morning after his three seasons as the team’s head coach.

The decision came one day after the Broncos dropped a 28-24 decision to the Kansas City Chiefs in their regular-season finale. Denver finished the season with a 7-10 record, marking its second straight last-place finish in the AFC West.

Fangio sidestepped addressing his future as the team’s coach on Saturday. When asked if he thought this was his last chance as the Broncos’ coach, he said “the whole focus was on our players and this team.”

Fangio, 63, posted a 19-30 record with the Broncos. He had never been a head coach until the Broncos hired him.

Fangio was named the 17th head coach in franchise history on January 2019 after accumulating 32 years of NFL coaching experience, including 18 years as a defensive coordinator.

General manager George Paton addressed the team’s plans going forward.

“Our search to find the next head coach of the Broncos will be a comprehensive, collaborative process,” Paton said. “We’re approaching it with an open mind and look forward to spending time with some outstanding candidates.

“With the foundation in place, the progress that’s been made and the resources we have to get better, I’m excited about the future of our team. We will find an outstanding leader and head coach for the Broncos and our fans.”

Team president and CEO Joe Ellis said Paton will drive the search.

“For the last three seasons, Vic put his heart and soul into coaching the Broncos,” Ellis said. “I want to thank Coach Fangio for giving his maximum effort to our organization day he was hired.

“George will have full authority to select the next head coach of the Broncos. This is his decision and his program. I have complete confidence in George’s ability to lead an exhaustive and successful head coaching search.

“We will give George every available resource and fully support him in hiring the very best head coach to lead the Broncos.”

–Field Level Media

Jun 1, 2021; Englewood, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) and quarterback Drew Lock (3) during organized team activities at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Teddy Bridgewater named starting QB for Broncos

Teddy Bridgewater won the quarterback competition in Denver and will start Week 1 for the Broncos on Sept. 12.

“Coach (Vic) Fangio informed our team this morning that Teddy Bridgewater will be the Broncos’ starting quarterback,” read a brief message posted Wednesday to the team’s official Twitter account.

Drew Lock started for the Broncos last season but faced competition in the offseason and throughout the preseason from the well-traveled Bridgewater.

The news for Bridgewater comes five days before the fifth anniversary of a devastating preseason injury to his left knee that forced him to miss all of the 2016 and all but one game of the 2017 seasons. He led the Minnesota Vikings to an 11-5 record in 2015 and was named to the Pro Bowl.

Fangio took a few days to make the decision following the Broncos’ 30-3 preseason win over the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday. In that game, Bridgewater completed 9 of 11 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown, while Lock went 9 of 14 for 80 yards.

Bridgewater, 28, passed for 3,733 yards with 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 15 games for the Carolina Panthers last season. He has started 49 games in his NFL career for the Vikings, New Orleans Saints and Panthers.

Denver acquired Bridgewater in an offseason trade with the Panthers in exchange for a 2021 sixth-round draft pick.

Lock, 24, has thrown for 3,953 yards, 23 touchdowns and 18 interceptions with a 59.1 percent completion rate in 18 starts over two seasons. He missed time in 2020 due to both a shoulder injury and COVID-19 protocols, and the Broncos only won four of his 13 starts.

The Broncos open the 2021 season on the road against the New York Giants on Sept. 12.

–Field Level Media

Jun 1, 2021; Englewood, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) and quarterback Drew Lock (3) during organized team activities at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos’ Vic Fangio still mulling team’s starting QB

Denver Broncos coach Vic Fangio isn’t ready to declare the identity of his starting quarterback due in large part to what he’s seen from both Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater.

Fangio was asked on Saturday if he’s closer to making a decision.

“I am. Because the calendar’s closing in on us,” Fangio said after the Broncos’ 30-3 preseason win over the host Seattle Seahawks.

As for when that decision will become public?

“The earliest it would be would be early next week, or we’ll let it go another week. Because these guys, both of them, Drew and Teddy, have done well, as you guys have seen, and they’ve made it a hard decision. So we’ll give it thorough thought. We’ve been discussing it with the coaches, with George (Paton, general manager) all along, and we’ll continue to do that.”

Bridgewater completed 9 of 11 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown on Saturday, while Lock went 9 of 14 for 80 yards.

Bridgewater, 28, passed for 3,733 yards with 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 15 games for the Carolina Panthers last season. He has started 49 games in his NFL career for three different teams.

Denver acquired Bridgewater in an offseason trade with the Panthers in exchange for a 2021 sixth-round draft pick.

Lock, 24, has thrown for 3,953 yards, 23 touchdowns and 18 interceptions with a 59.1 percent completion rate in 18 starts over two seasons. He missed time in 2020 due to both a shoulder injury and COVID-19 protocols, and the Broncos only won four of his 13 starts.

–Field Level Media

Nov 29, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio looks on before a game against the New Orleans Saints at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Team discipline for Broncos QBs ‘on the table,’ Fangio says

Additional discipline is possible for a trio of Denver Broncos quarterbacks who were held out of Sunday’s game because of COVID-19 concerns, head coach Vic Fangio said Monday.

All three quarterbacks — Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles — were inactive for Sunday’s 31-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints. The trio tested negative for COVID-19 on Monday, Fangio said, and will have to test negative again Tuesday before returning to team activities.

Fangio said the players still could face team discipline.

“We’re going to consider all that and, again, try to see what the league, if they have anything planned and if not, we’ll take our measures,” Fangio said.

That could include a fine or, less likely, a one-game suspension.

“Everything’s on the table, but right now I would say it’s more the fine mode,” Fangio said.

Each quarterback was deemed “high risk” after a meeting that included fellow quarterback Jeff Driskel, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. None of the quarterbacks wore masks during the meeting.

The Broncos were forced to turn to practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hinton to play quarterback against the Saints. Hinton, who played quarterback for three seasons at Wake Forest before changing positions, finished 1 of 9 for 13 yards and two interceptions.

Fangio was asked whether the team might quarantine one if its quarterbacks to avoid another situation like Sunday’s. He said the team would consider that option going forward.

“But I think if we just follow the protocols, we’ll be fine,” he added.

–Field Level Media

Dec 29, 2019; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio in the third quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos’ Fangio defends not using TOs on Titans’ final drive

Denver Broncos coach Vic Fangio defended his decision against using any of his timeouts during the latter stages of the team’s 16-14 setback versus Tennessee Titans on Monday night.

Stephen Gostkowski, who had missed all three of his previous field-goal attempts, capped a 12-play drive by drilling a 25-yard chip shot with 17 seconds to play in the fourth quarter. Prior to that, Tennessee entered the red zone on a 13-yard run by Derrick Henry with 1:28 left to play, only to see Denver watch as the clock ticked down before Ryan Tannehill snapped the ball.

Fangio then elected to keep the timeouts in his pocket as opposed to icing an already-cold kicker.

“It was two-fold,” Fangio said. “One, their field goal kicker obviously been having his problems so I didn’t want to extend the drive where they could get closer. No. 2, we would have used a timeout, but we got the running back out of bounds. We would have used a second timeout, but they threw an incompletion which would have given us one when we got the ball back so that was part of the thinking there.”

The Broncos (0-1) will look to rebound on Sunday (1 p.m. ET) when they visit the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0).

–Field Level Media

Dec 22, 2019; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) on the bench in the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos’ Fangio not counting out Miller for season – yet

The devastating ankle injury sustained by Denver Broncos star pass rusher Von Miller leaves little room for optimism, however coach Vic Fangio said the team isn’t ready to count him out for the season.

“There’s a chance (that he misses the 2020 season). It’s too early to say for sure. He’s definitely out for a while,” Fangio said Wednesday.

Miller is seeking a second opinion from noted foot/ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson on Thursday in Green Bay, Wis. Miller likely will need surgery, which Fangio said would happen “sooner rather than later” should the second opinion agree with the initial diagnosis.

“It was a normal play,” Fangio said of when Miller was injured during Tuesday’s practice. “He just rushed around the edge and never hit the ground and never looked bad. If you saw the video, you’d think nothing happened, but it did.”

Broncos quarterback Drew Lock said the team was devastated by Miller’s injury.

“Without a doubt, it’s a punch in the gut for everybody just knowing how good of a teammate he is and how good of a leader he is for this team,” Lock said. “Personally, for him, I talked to him a lot in the offseason. He was gunning, he was ready to go. He was extremely excited. It was a new focus from Von.

“I think when you almost hit double digits (in seasons), it becomes real life for you, and he was excited. It hurts our team and our spirits with just how much we cared for the guy. Life goes on. He’s going to work to get back on the field as fast as possible and we have to work to win games.”

Miller, 31, has a base salary of $17.5 million this season, the fifth of a six-year, $114 million deal he signed in July of 2016.

The eight-time Pro Bowler and former Super Bowl MVP has a franchise-record 106 sacks for the Broncos in nine seasons since being the No. 2 overall choice of the 2011 NFL Draft. Miller also has 490 tackles, 26 forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries and two interceptions.

Miller has two career touchdowns — one on an interception and one on a fumble.

Last season, Miller had eight sacks. That total was the second lowest of his career. His high was 18.5 in 2012.

The Broncos open the season on Monday night against the visiting Tennessee Titans.

–Field Level Media