Coaches Explain How New Dolphins DC Vic Fangio Can Turn Offenses Into A ‘S**tshow’

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One year when Vic Fangio was running the defense for the Chicago Bears, offensive coaches led by quarterback coach Dowell Loggains sent the defensive coordinator flowers to apologize for making the defense look bad in practice.

“Sorry about today,” read the card that arrived with the flowers. “Hopefully tomorrow’s practice will be better.”

The flowers arrived before practice to mess with Fangio’s head and humor.

Fangio growled initially but ultimately enjoyed the prank. And his defense proceeded to kick the Chicago offense’s butt in practice that day.

So, yes, Fangio loves competition, even from his own team’s offense.

Dolphins Make Vic Fangio NFL's Highest-Paid Coordinator.
Former Broncos head coach Vic Fangio introduced as Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator

Vic Fangio Considered ‘Elite’ Hire

That’s what the Miami Dolphins are getting with their new defensive coordinator — a 64-year-old man who wants to compete with everyone, which isn’t different.

And has the ability to win at it more often than not, which the Dolphins desperately need.

The Dolphins interviewed Fangio, Sean Desai and Kris Richard for their vacant defensive coordinator job and Monday introduced Fangio as their leader on defense.

“You hire one of those three guys, you win,” one former NFL coach told OutKick. “The fact they picked the one guy who’s the elite guy of that group, that’s even better.”

So what makes Fangio “elite?”

Start with the obvious. He’s going to make life difficult for opposing offenses.

Dolphins defense improves under Vic Fangio.
ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 15: Duke Riley of the Miami Dolphins tackles Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter of the game in the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Highmark Stadium on January 15, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

Dolphins Defense About To Get Better

“Vic does these little things that are annoyances, but you never know when they’re coming,” said one NFL offensive coach.

“If he threw an oddball at me, like if he’s in base defense and I’m in 11 personal, for a lot of offenses that matters. So it can mess up your running game if you’re not prepared. And you don’t know what Vic’s going to do. You could be in 11 personnel and he could play the whole game in base. And now you can only run outside zone.”

Said another coach: “He’ll figure out your protections for sure. He’s the king of finding a way of messing with your back.”


“The back’s in protection, it’s a four-man rush,” the coach said. “Vic will blitz a linebacker but drops another guy. So now you’ve got five linemen blocking three guys and your back’s blocking one of the inside linebackers that can rush. And now you’re wasting your running back because he should be out on a route.”

What that leaves is Fangio now has seven defenders versus four receivers. And the quarterback has no check down.

“Now, your quarterback is holding the ball wondering where he should go with it and it becomes a s**tshow,” the coach said.

That would be the Vic Show for the Dolphins defense.

Dolphins offense benefits from Vic Fangio
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 11: Tua Tagovailoa of the Miami Dolphins calls a play during a game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on December 11, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Fangio Will Also Benefit Dolphins Offense

Fangio also should pay dividends for the Dolphins’ offense and, yes, even their young head coach Mike McDaniel.

“It’ll be really good for the offensive players because they’ll see a lot of [stuff] in practice,” another coach told OutKick. “And they’ll have to make adjustments. Last year was the first year Mike called plays right? There’s so many things you learn going through that experience. And to get that much more knowledge through training camp and spring, the value of that is through the roof.”

Fangio’s base defense is a 3-4 and he obviously also substitute to nickel at appropriate times. But now that you know that, forget it. Because there have been years in which he’s decided he can play nickel versus everything because that is what puts his best players on the field.

“We’re in charge of not letting the other team score and we will do anything and everything to do that,” Fangio said. “I’ve been places in the past where we pressured a lot. I’ve been places where we didn’t pressure very much.

“You’ve got to fit the scheme to the players that you have while also factoring in the opponents that you’re playing. So hopefully we’ll be a team that will keep the points down, make it hard for teams to score a lot of points and put our offense in position to score points for us.”

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero


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  1. Well, he put up a bagel against Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes when he was in Denver and he was a ‘special consultant’ to the Eagles for the Super Bowl when the Chiefs scored 24 points on four second half possessions–and the only reason it wasn’t 28 was because they wanted to run out the clock.

    Welcome back to the AFC, Vic. It’s Mahomes’ house, you’re just living in it.

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