Vic Fangio expected to return as Broncos coach in 2021

Despite another disappointing campaign, Vic Fangio’s job is not in danger.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Fangio is expected to return as Broncos coach in 2021. At 5-9, Fangio’s Broncos are out of playoff contention and need to win out just to match last season’s 7-9 finish.

Fangio’s status for 2021 has been determined for some time, NFL Network’s James Palmer reported, with Denver’s decision-makers respecting Fangio’s football acumen, which Palmer added hasn’t always been the case with other head coaches. Denver was dealt a bad hand early in 2020 due to injuries to key players, including starting quarterback Drew Lock, undercutting the Broncos’ chances of building early momentum in what was supposed to be a promising season.

Fangio earned respect for his ability to assemble a competitive defense that was better against the pass (T-11th in the NFL) than the run, and those in charge understood the unusual challenges Fangio’s staff faced trying to build around a second-year quarterback amid an ongoing pandemic that restricted offseason activities to remote operations. Denver needs to be better in a league that is built on and reacts to wins and losses more than anything else, but detonating the current regime in favor of starting over hasn’t been in the Broncos’ plans, per Palmer.

As for 2021, the grace period will likely be over. Denver will have to produce, and should again be excited about what’s ahead with a healthy team and an offseason that should be more conducive to improvement than 2020.

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