Eagles waste no time hiring Vic Fangio as defensive coordinator

Eagles waste no time hiring Vic Fangio as defensive coordinator originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

That didn’t take very long.

Vic Fangio is already on his way to Philadelphia to become the Eagles’ next defensive coordinator, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Thursday morning.

The news that Fangio was parting ways with the Dolphins broke during the Eagles’ year-end press conference with Howie Roseman and Nick Sirianni, so they weren’t very prepared to answer questions about their no-doubt top candidate.

“We've got a lot of good targets that we're working through,” Sirianni said awkwardly on Wednesday afternoon. “And there are a lot of guys that have done really well in their interview process, and I look forward to continuing on that process. We'll see what happens.”

It didn’t take long for this to happen.

The Eagles are hiring the 65-year-old Fangio, who has a ton of coaching experience in the NFL with several different teams. In fact, the Eagles will be the eighth different team for which Fangio has called the defense. He has previously been in charge of the defense for the Panthers, Colts, Texans, 49ers, Bears and Dolphins as a DC and the Broncos as a head coach.

There’s no doubt that the Eagles are hiring an accomplished defensive coach who will be able to take the reins completely on that side of the football.

In fact, the Eagles wanted to hire Fangio last offseason but the timing didn’t work out. They found out too late that former DC Jonathan Gannon was leaving to take the Arizona Cardinals job and Fangio had already agreed to become the DC in Miami.

So instead, the Eagles hired Sean Desai, who previously worked with Fangio. In fact, one of the big selling points when the Eagles brought in Desai was his relationship with Fangio.

Here’s what Desai said about that relationship during his introductory press conference last May:

“I had the good fortune of sitting next to him while he was doing that for however many, five years or whatever we were together, to learn it. I know why his frustrations are the way they are in terms of a lot of people talking about his scheme and his system because he should be very prideful of it because he established an identity for himself and his defenses over 30 years, and the reality is not everybody is doing it the same way he is. Everybody has got to add their own identity to that defense and apply it, and the reality is there’s only been a couple people that have really spent time with him and worked under him, and have really learned under him, and the other people, they’ve learned through different channels. It’s like the game of telephone. How many times if we go down the line, what’s the communication when you get down to the end. I think he should take a lot of pride in the way he’s done it because he’s had great success.”

The Eagles hired the student last season. This year, they hired the teacher. And that obviously seems way more valuable. For the last several years, the Eagles have been determined to use some of the philosophies that Fangio pioneered in the NFL. If you’re going to do that, you might as well get the guy instead of the guys who learned from the guy.

And that’s also where Fangio’s experience should come into play. He’s seen a lot in his lengthy coaching career, which began at the professional level as a defensive assistant for the Philadelphia Stars of USFL back in 1984. Fangio’s rise in the NFL began after that.

During the 2022 season, Fangio was a consultant with the Eagles, who mostly kept his involvement under wraps. But it’s important to note that Fangio already has established relationships with Sirianni and general manager Howie Roseman.

“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.”

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