Sean Payton tried to talk Vic Fangio into joining Broncos
The Denver Broncos hired Vance Joseph as their defensive coordinator last week, an interesting decision given that Joseph was fired as head coach just five years ago.
Joseph wasn’t the only ex-Denver head coach who was considered for the job. Vic Fangio, who replaced Joseph in 2019 and was fired in 2021, was also a candidate to return to the Broncos as a defensive coordinator.
Denver’s new head coach, Sean Payton, joked at the NFL combine earlier this week that members of the media scared Fangio away from a potential return.
“Vic was supposed to be part of the plan and then you guys scared him away,” Payton said on Feb. 28.
Fangio ended up joining the Miami Dolphins as DC, and he will coach against the Broncos this fall. Payton explained at the combine that he and Fangio had spoken about potentially teaming up together this offseason after taking a break from coaching in 2022.
“[The Dolphins are] getting a tremendous coach,” Payton said. “You keep hearing everyone’s running Fangio’s defense and then Fangio and I are retired, just sitting out there. I used to give him a hard time. I’m like, ‘God, Vic, half the teams in this league are running your defense and you haven’t met half of those people.’ Look, I consider him a friend. We’ve never worked together, but Vic Fangio is from Scranton, Pennsylvania, which is where my mom and dad were from. My dad went to the same high school as Vic Fangio, Dunmore High [School]. My cousin taught Vic Fangio sixth-grade math in Scranton. I’ve never lived in Scranton. They filmed ‘The Office’ there, I think, which was a good show.
“Do I think he would have been a great asset for us? Yes. So we were planning in this year away that if the rights scenario came up, that we’d work together. I think this one was just a little unique because it wasn’t too long ago that he was here. Certainly, I tried to talk to him and tried to twist his arm. I’m excited for his opportunity in Miami. I think he’s a talented coach. We went against each other for years — our teams — and it was always a challenge.”
Fangio, 64, would have been a high-profile candidate to replace Ejiro Evero, who left the team in a lateral move to become the Carolina Panthers’ DC. Instead, the Broncos landed on Joseph, 50, who will hope his second tenure in Denver goes better than his first.
5 Broncos players who could become cap casualties this offseason
5 worst coaches in Denver Broncos history
Did you miss Peyton Manning's Super Bowl commercial? Watch it here
Broncos coach Sean Payton kicks Russell Wilson's personal coaches out of facility
WATCH: Peyton Manning's son, Marshall, shows off strong arm at the Pro Bowl