‘Deal expected' for Vic Fangio to become Eagles' defensive coordinator originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Veteran defensive coach Vic Fangio, a consultant with the Eagles during the 2022 Super Bowl run, has emerged as the “top target” for the Eagles’ defensive coordinator vacancy and “a deal is expected,” according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jeremy Fowler.
Fangio quietly spent last year with the Eagles before becoming Dolphins defensive coordinator this past season. He and the Dolphins mutually parted ways on Wednesday, according to Schefter and Fowler.
Fangio very well could have become the Eagles' defensive coordinator after the 2022 season, but by the time Jonathan Gannon was hired as Cards head coach on Feb. 14, Fangio had joined Mike McDaniel's Dolphins staff as defensive coordinator.
In his 20 years as an NFL defensive coordinator – four years with the Panthers, three years with the Colts, four years with the Texans, four years with the 49ers, four years with the Bears and one year with the Dolphins – he’s had eight defenses ranked in the top 10 in points allowed and 10 ranked in the top 10 in yards allowed.
In his last 12 seasons as either a coordinator or head coach, he’s had 10 units ranked in the top 10 in either yards or points.
Fangio’s specialty is disguising coverages, limiting big plays and using movement after the snap to confuse offenses.
Fangio, 65, got his first career full-time coaching job in 1984 working under Jim Mora on the USFL Philadelphia Stars staff. He’s had stints since then with the Saints, Panthers, Colts, Texans, Ravens, 49ers, Bears and Broncos as well as a brief stay at Stanford.
He was Broncos head coach from 2019 through 2021, his only head coaching experience. The Broncos went 19-30 and didn’t reach the playoffs in any of those seasons.
Fangio is the third name associated with the opening. The Eagles have reportedly already interviewed Ron Rivera and Mike Caldwell, who both coached here under Andy Reid.
Whoever the Eagles hire will become the team’s fourth defensive coordinator in three years. Gannon had the job during the Super Bowl season and Sean Desai held the position the first 13 games this year before being replaced by Matt Patricia.
The Eagles ranked No. 2 in the NFL in overall defense and No. 1 in pass defense in 2022 but this past year they were 26th in yards allowed, 30th in points allowed, 31st in passing yards allowed, 24th in sacks per pass play, 30th in first downs allowed, last in 3rd-down conversions, 23rd in takeaways and 30th in red zone.
Over the last five weeks of the regular season, the Eagles did not get a sack from an edge rusher.
They allowed 30 or more points eight times, including five times in their last eight games. In the wild-card loss to Tampa and their 20th-ranked offense, the Eagles allowed 32 points and 426 yards.
The Eagles never formally announced Fangio’s hiring last year but word got out in the middle of the season that he had joined the staff in a consulting role.
“When he was around last year during the end of the season, that was a unique opportunity to have a guy help us look at some different things the way a defensive coach (looks) at it,” Sirianni said of Fangio in October, before the Eagles beat the Dolphins.
“Then Jonathan being able to bounce some things off of him and me being able to bounce some things off him as the head coach.
“So I really value the relationship that I was able to develop with coach Fangio. Great person. Great football mind. … A really good person. Really good coach. Value the friendship that we have and the time that we spent together last year.”