Broncos Rumors: Vic Fangio's Status 'Up in the Air'; HC Not Expected to Return

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 8, 2022

Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio before an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
AP Photo/David Becker

Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio's future with the team is reportedly in question entering Saturday's season finale against the Kansas City Chiefs.

According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, Ian Rapaport and James Palmer, sources said Fangio has met with Broncos general manager George Paton in recent days to present his plans for the future, but Fangio's future is "up in the air."

League sources outside of Denver reportedly expect the Broncos to move on from Fangio, although no final decision has been made.

The 63-year-old Fangio is finishing up his third season as head coach of the Broncos, and he has yet to experience much success.

Overall, Fangio is 19-29 with no playoff appearances, and Denver is out of the playoffs once again this season with a 7-9 record.

Denver has now gone six consecutive seasons without a playoff appearance, as its last trip to the postseason was in 2015 when it beat the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.

Fangio is a defensive coach with a great deal of experience as an NFL defensive coordinator, serving in that role with the Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears.

As such, the defense has largely performed well during Fangio's tenure as the head coach in Denver. This season, the Broncos are ninth in the NFL in total defense and third in scoring defense.

The biggest issue for Fangio has been offense, as the Broncos were 28th in both scoring offense and total offense in 2019, 28th in scoring offense and 23rd in total offense in 2020, and 23rd in scoring offense and 19th in total offense this season.

Denver has cycled through several different quarterbacks over the past few years, with Teddy Bridgewater getting most of the starts this season and Drew Lock filling in over the past few weeks with Bridgewater out injured.

The Broncos boast no shortage of talent defensively and in terms of offensive skill-position players, with running backs Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon, wide receivers Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick, and tight end Noah Fant leading the way.

Denver may continue struggling to get over the hump and become a playoff contender until they find a long-term answer at quarterback, though, regardless of who their coach is.

Pelissero, Rapaport and Palmer noted that sources said Paton has a "strong relationship" with Fangio and "respects his work ethic," but due to a lack of results, Fangio's time in Denver may be running short.