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Denver Broncos fire Vic Fangio

Updated: Jan 16, 2022

The Denver Broncos are on the hunt once again for a head coach, firing Vic Fangio Sunday morning as they search for their fourth new coach since the start of the 2016 season. The Broncos general manager, George Paton, fired Fangio after the Broncos 7-10 finish. This was their fifth consecutive losing season since they won the Super Bowl with Peyton Manning as their quarterback and Von Miller anchoring the defense, with Fangio going 19-30 in his three seasons on the job.

Paton said he wants the “right leader” to change the direction of the franchise to snap their six-year playoff drought. Fangio thanked president and CEO Joe Ellis, president of football operations John Elway, and general manager George Paton in a statement Sunday, saying it "was an honor and privilege" to serve as Denver's head coach.

Fangio also expressed his gratitude toward the fans by stating, “To Broncos fans: Thank you for your support, passion and how much you care about the Broncos. You are the reason Denver is one of the NFL's best football towns. The foundation is in place for this team to accomplish great things. The future is bright for the Denver Broncos, and I wish the organization nothing but the best."

Fangio wasn’t alone in getting fired, as the Broncos have also fired offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and special teams coordinator Tom McMahon. "Our search to find the next head coach of the Broncos will be a comprehensive, collaborative process," said Paton, who will conduct the search and has the authority to choose the next head coach. "We're approaching it with an open mind and look forward to spending time with some outstanding candidates. ... You can't keep recycling coaches and expect to sustain a winning culture. It's hard. We're going to get it right, we're going to get it right with this search, I'll guarantee that."

Paton also added he expects to formally ask teams for permission to speak to some candidates on those teams' coaching staff Monday. The Broncos' defense finished amongst the top 10 in most major categories this season while their quarterback Teddy Bridgewater threw for a career-best 18 touchdowns, despite missing the final three games with a concussion.

But Denver's consistently balky offense and inconsistent special teams play ultimately cost Fangio his job. Fangio, 63, finished the third year of a four-year contract he signed when he replaced Joseph in 2019.

Paton did once say that Fangio was the best football mind he had ever been around and his knowledge of the game was unparalleled, but he wants to win and expressed his desire for a leader in the next head coach when he stated, "The No. 1 quality is leadership, we're looking for someone to lead this entire organization. Obviously we want the best football coach. [I'm] not worried on what side of the ball, not worried about a play caller. We want leadership, that's our No. 1 priority."

Paton traded Miller earlier this season, and they will look to hit the jackpot on the 11 draft picks they have in the upcoming draft in April.

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