Jan 10, 2022 - Sports

Denver Broncos fire Fangio but the real problem remains

Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio. Photo: Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio. Photo: Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Head coach Vic Fangio is out, but the Denver Broncos' real problem remains firmly rooted.

State of play: The Broncos lost their final game of the season Saturday to division rival Kansas City.

  • The team ended the season with its fourth consecutive loss and a 7–10 record.
  • Fangio lost his job Sunday after his third losing season — the second coach in four years to get the boot.

Between the lines: It's not just the coach that's the problem. The Broncos still need a good quarterback to fill the shoes of Peyton Manning, who retired in 2016.

  • "The Broncos' strategy of replacing coaches until they get the quarterback question answered enters its third edition," ESPN's Jeff Legwold writes.
  • Fangio even noted after Saturday's loss that the Broncos are the only team in the division without a top quarterback.

What they're saying: Broncos general manager George Paton praised Fangio, but said change was needed, the Denver Post reports.

  • "We're going to take a critical look at every aspect of our football operation and it’s not just the coaching," he said.
  • "We've had five head coaches in nine years so something is not working and we all need to be better across the board and it starts with me," Paton continued. "We need to take responsibility."

Who's next: The coach search is underway with numerous contenders in waiting. Candidates include:

  • Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who helped turn around the Texas team's defense.
  • University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, who had an up-and-down tenure with the San Francisco 49ers.
  • Former Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson, who was ousted in 2020.

This story first appeared in the Axios Denver newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard. Subscribe here.

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