Report: John Elway is choosing between Vic Fangio and Mike Munchak

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As the head-coaching dominoes begin to fall, the Denver domino apparently will land in one of two directions.

Mike Klis of 9News.com reports that Broncos G.M. John Elway “appears to be deciding between” Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak.

Klis adds that Fangio may have a slight edge, making him the rare defensive coach who could get a head-coaching job in the current hiring cycle. But Fangio has a couple of things going for him. First, he’s a great defensive coach. Second, with Gary Kubiak expected to be re-involved with the team’s offense (possibly as offensive coordinator), the Broncos could hire a defensive coach without having to worry about the offensive coordinator quickly being pilfered as a head coach elsewhere, since Kubiak claims to have stepped away from being a head coach, for good.

As Klis notes, Elway may have tipped his plans last week, when explaining John Elway that he wants the next head coach “to be great on one side of the ball,” and “I look for greatness on that side.”

Fangio is great on defense, Munchak is great, as far as the offensive line is concerned. And the Broncos need to do great things soon, or great big changes could be coming at levels above the coaching function.

75 responses to “Report: John Elway is choosing between Vic Fangio and Mike Munchak

  1. Pretty simple formula going right now. Innovate offense, defense catches up / adjusts. NFL steps in and makes new rules for touching offensive players so they can move ball easier

  2. Things come in 3s. My two teams lost (Bears and Bama) so why not announce Fangio is the Broncos’ guy today and complete the sweep?

  3. Gross.

    If this is true, I feel bad for Broncos fans.

    Nothing says “innovating in 2019” like hiring a 60-year-old defensive coordinator as coach and having Gary Kubiak run your offense. Yikes.

  4. If hired, this would be a lateral move for Mike Munchak, from one clown show to another. No offense intended to Bronco fans. I really feel bad for him. I would love him to stay in Pittsburgh, but I can also understand why he wants to go.

  5. Fangio is the best hire. He’ll take over the defense and just delegate the offense to the coordinators and position coaches.

    if the Broncos get Fangio, that is a great hire. Fangio will basically have an elite pass rusher in place, and an emerging elite pass rusher. he will dump those old, slow linebackers and draft some young fast ones. he’ll likely get rid of their safeties too and revamp that position.

  6. I’d prefer Mike Munchak if I were a Broncos fan . I’d prefer Munchak because #1 I think he and Gary Kubiak would work great together & also because the guy’s a legendary offensive line savant as a OL coach. Munchak has been able to get the most out his lines without a bunch of big names getting the most out of his best 5 OL men coaching them up & making sure they know their assignment, fielding quality lines w/ multiple teams. You look at how utterly terrible the Broncos offensive line is & you can see they could really use a coach like Munchak in Denver. Munchak as HC paired with Kubiak as OC would be a good duo for Denver & would help Case Keenum.

  7. If Kubiak is OC (and maybe associate HC?), then Fangio is a great fit. It’s basically the reverse of when the Broncos had Kubiak as HC and Wade Phillips as the DC in 2015/2016.

  8. “What the Broncos need to do ASAP is find a QB.”
    ________________

    That’s what Elway thought last offseason and it was as wrong then as it is now. Their single biggest problem offensively is the line. It’s been that way for 3+ years. They’ve signed skill positions, changed coordinators, changed QBs, but as long as the line remains weak they struggle. I’m beginning to lose faith in Elway because this is such an obvious issue yet it NEVER gets the attention it deserves.

  9. My advice is to pick whichever one sounds less like a fungus that GIs brought back from Europe after WWII. Good luck!

  10. What the Broncos need is a REAL GM. They will continue to go nowhere but down so long as they stick with Elway. Clueless on all counts. Can’t draft, can’t trade, can’t manage. Enjoy reminiscing about the good old days with your legendary leader, it’s all you have as the Donkeys continue their inevitable inexorable descent towards being the worst team in the NFL.

  11. I don’t care how great the coach is: you win with players. The Broncos don’t have many stellar players on offense, their QB is average at best, and their defense is getting a little long in the tooth. Whoever takes the head coaching job is going to have a rough ride for a few years until/unless the team can draft or trade for some better players. Personally, I think the biggest problem is Elway, who is proving that he can’t draft well.

  12. Reasons for hiring Mike Munchak:

    (1) He can flat out coach. Le’Veon Bell/James Conner/Jaylen Samuels. That Steelers line protects Big Ben and makes every RB look great.
    (2) Loyalty. He was fired from his first HC stint because he refused to fire his assistants to save himself.
    (3) Street cred. If your HC became a Hall of Fame player based on his ability to push around opposing 300-pound behemoths, would he have your respect?

    Not saying Fangio isn’t a great choice as well. But someone hould be hiring Munchak.

  13. I thought it was a mistake when the Titans fired him…and he got fired because of loyalty to his staff…hoping Vrabel works out but believe eventually Munchak would have built a winner

  14. “I would love him to stay in Pittsburgh, but I can also understand why he wants to go.”

    He would want to go because his daughter and family lives in Denver and he likes the area. It’s also why he really isn’t pursuing other jobs that are open. He is Pittsburgh guy with ties to Denver. He will be in one of those two cities next year.

  15. The Broncos were the youngest team in football last year with an average tenure of just 3 years which begs to say they weren’t long in the tooth. The Broncos have talent all over the football field however the play calling and position calling was something left to be desired. How do you have Chubb playing the TE half the time versus pass rush and let’s not mention they had 13 starters out with injury last year. After week 9 the skill position guys were first year players. Now as far as which one to hire, Manchuk has the same degree as VJ as a head coach and that’s losing season after season. Vic at least has a pedigree in one side of the ball, just not one position.

  16. steelpenguin6687 says:

    If hired, this would be a lateral move for Mike Munchak, from one clown show to another. No offense intended to Bronco fans. I really feel bad for him. I would love him to stay in Pittsburgh, but I can also understand why he wants to go.
    ——————————————————
    A move from position coach to head coach is hardly “lateral.” A couple of disgruntled divas do not a clown show make. What fans think, based on their obsession with winning a championship every year or their personal issues with coaches, doesn’t necessarily reflect reality.

  17. “Skol loser(s), you have bigger fish to fry than the bears taking a step back…like the $84 million guaranteed elephant in the [QB] room”

    I’m not that worried. The Bears have had two good seasons in a row like once in the last 30 years. Usually every 4-5 years they come out of nowhere, get a bunch of turnovers that result in wins and then that dries up the next season.

    It’s just too bad the Bears wasted their one good season every 5 years just to be one and done in the playoffs.

  18. Whoever gets hired better rent instead of buy a home. With Elways’s track record he will be on the move within a year or two….

  19. I do not like either one. I think they should hire Zach Taylor, keep Kubiak as a mentor/assistance head coach role, they need innovative, not old and re tread

  20. That will be a good payday for one of these older guys. Hope they get five years guaranteed salary. I’m not expecting any coach to last more than 2 years until they get somebody up there that can evaluate QB’s. Both guys are great coaches. Tough to win without a QB.

  21. Deb says:
    January 8, 2019 at 11:44 am

    A move from position coach to head coach is hardly “lateral.”

    ************************************************************************

    Agree. Munch has a miracle worker reputation as an o-line coach and his players seem to really respect him, but his prior HC body of work isn’t nearly as impressive. Couple that with the fact that he’s been in 2 systems (Houston/Tenn + Pittsburgh) his entire playing and coaching career going back ~40 years. The broader perspective Fangio brings as a DC vs. an o-line background has to count for something, and Fangio also has experience in a number of different systems.

    Obviously biased as I’d like Munch to stay in Pittsburgh. If I were a Bronco fan, though, might be hoping for Fangio if I had to pick between the two.

  22. I think either one would be a great hire for the Donkeys.

    Neither one has ever done anything worth a crap as an NFL HC. Perfect. Hire them both, as co-HCs.

    And let me get this straight – Elway has already picked out the OC? Kubiak? What could possibly go wrong? The stars have aligned for DEN.

    -Raiders fan

  23. Bears going to take a big step back if they lose Vic, have no draft picks, and face a # 1 schedule next year (saints, cowboys, Rams, Chiefs, Chargers, Min & GB twice)

  24. They should def hire Fangio. Vance Joseph and Todd Bowles have proven that defensive HCs make you a lock for a championship. I mean, I have to tell ya, Dennis Allen and Jack Del Rio both did WONDERS for our franchise in OAK… Freakin’ WONDERS.

  25. The Broncos can’t go wrong hiring either of these guys, who both grew up in my hometown—Scranton, PA (technically, Fangio grew up in Dunmore, just outside of Scranton). They ought to hire both; Fangio as HC and Munchak as Asst. HC/OLine Coach.

  26. Elway has a bad history hiring head coaches. John Fox was terrible, and it wasted Peyton Manning’s years in Denver. Vance Joseph was worse and he kept Joseph around 1 year too long.

  27. ringheadcrusher said:
    “They should def hire Fangio. Vance Joseph and Todd Bowles have proven that defensive HCs make you a lock for a championship. I mean, I have to tell ya, Dennis Allen and Jack Del Rio both did WONDERS for our franchise in OAK… Freakin’ WONDERS.”

    Yeah, D Coordinators as coaches never work out…except Bill Belichick, Don Shula, Chuck Noll, Tom Landry, Tony Dungy, Pete Carroll, Ron Rivera…

  28. “Rather have Cousins at 84m guaranteed than Mack at $60m guaranteed who is invisible in big games.”

    Considering at least Cousins didn’t cost us 2 first round picks, just some billionaire’s money.

  29. I would love if they found a way to hire Vic as the HC and bring Munchak in as the OC with Kubiak having an undefined role (aka, be the real OC while Munchak fixes the OL). Hell, if they could steal Zac Taylor away from the Rams and bring him in that wouldn’t hurt my feelings either. I don’t altogether understand Elway wanting to go down the Kubiak path all over again. This isn’t 1998, that west coast style offense is a thing of the past. Please draft a QB in the 1st round and sign RG3 to bridge the gap and cut Keenum, he was dreadful and there are no excuses that can excuse his year.

  30. Deb says:
    January 8, 2019 at 11:44 am
    steelpenguin6687 says:

    If hired, this would be a lateral move for Mike Munchak, from one clown show to another. No offense intended to Bronco fans. I really feel bad for him. I would love him to stay in Pittsburgh, but I can also understand why he wants to go.
    ——————————————————
    A move from position coach to head coach is hardly “lateral.” A couple of disgruntled divas do not a clown show make. What fans think, based on their obsession with winning a championship every year or their personal issues with coaches, doesn’t necessarily reflect reality.

    ———————————–

    I agree, in name, it is an upgrade. However, if you are trying to tell me, that the Steelers are not a clown show at this moment, sorry, I don’t agree. Over 48 years as a Steelers fan, and I believe, over the last few years, this is the most dysfunctional team I’ve seen. So far, Tomlin, under his or someones else’s direction, has fired one person that deserved firing (Porter), and threw RB coach James Saxon under the bus. The people responsible for the train wreck are still leading the charge. So yeah, both teams, have leadership that aren’t leading, hence the reference.

  31. Packer Fans think Fangio is a GREAT hire! Wanted him in GB myself, and since they didn’t consider him… Bronco’s look like a perfect backup plan for the ever faithful cheeseheads 🙂

  32. If Denver hires Munchak that is bad news for the Steelers b/c he’s their best coach.
    In fact he’s their only quality coach worth keeping.

  33. As a Packers fan, I’d surely like Fangio out of our division. He did a wonderful job with the Bears and the Broncos have defensive talent for sure, so I imagine the job would be intriguing to him. Munchak is a good football man, too. Broncos should be getting better either way.

  34. There’s not anything wrong with a defensive minded Head Coach as long as he’s functional on the offense side of the ball. If the Defensive minded Head coach is depended on star O Coordinators to succeed instead of developing coaches into star coordinators then you have a potential problem.

    I think Lord Fangio is perfect for the Broncos defensive personnel.

  35. They need someone who can develop a quarterback, since the big kahuna (Elway) couldn’t draft a quality QB in a fantasy league let alone the NFL.

  36. Since the incompetent Elway is involved, I’m sure Broncos Country will be screwed regardless.

  37. I just don’t understand, why you just don’t make Gary Kubiak the head coach. I mean, if he is healthy enough to be the OC, why not the HC?

    Kubiak is a better choice that any of the others…

  38. ringheadcrusher says:
    January 8, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    They should def hire Fangio. Vance Joseph and Todd Bowles have proven that defensive HCs make you a lock for a championship. I mean, I have to tell ya, Dennis Allen and Jack Del Rio both did WONDERS for our franchise in OAK… Freakin’ WONDERS.

    _____________________

    A defensive minded coach has won 26 of the 52 super bowls, including three of the past five. As someone else already pointed out there are plenty of legendary head coaches that come from the defensive side of the ball.

  39. 1952vikefan says:
    January 8, 2019 at 10:45 am
    I root for Fangio anything to help the bears take a step back! Skol!
    ——————————————————————-
    Typical Vikings fan. Always worried more about other teams than your own! I’m an Eagles fan and I have to say that the Bear’s fans handled their loss to the Eagles with 10x more class than the Vikings fans did last year. Keep in mind that the Bears playoff run would still be going if they would’ve tanked and let the Vikings into the playoffs. That said…you SHOULD be worried about the Bears. They’re only going to get better. A great defense and very good young quarterback will keep them on top of that division for the foreseeable future.

  40. NFL brass never seem to get it — because McVay and Nagy succeeded all of a sudden front offices have to hire you and up and coming offensive minds, rather than just looking at good coaches (Andy Reid, Doug Pederson and Reich are all older, yet innovative). Look at Fangio’s defenses — the guy is a good, creative coach. He may not fit the mold, but he’s good.

  41. hawkkiller says:
    January 8, 2019 at 10:57 am
    I’d prefer Mike Munchak if I were a Broncos fan . I’d prefer Munchak because #1 I think he and Gary Kubiak would work great together & also because the guy’s a legendary offensive line savant as a OL coach. Munchak has been able to get the most out his lines without a bunch of big names…

    No big names? Pouncey has been a top 5 center since his rookie year and Decastro is one of the top 3 guards in the league. Foster, Villanueva and Gilbert would all start on other teams (or would have in years past). Only the Cowboys have more talent on the offensive line and that’s up for debate if Frederick doesn’t come back.

  42. Yes, steelpenguin6687, as a 40-year fan, I’m saying this isn’t a clown show. This is a team with a couple of divas who make nonstop headlines. One is now gone, and I’d like to send the other packing. Tomlin has a higher regular-season winning percentage than either Noll or Cowher–and higher than any other current coach in the league except Belichick, Reid, Nagy, and McVay. Of course, Nagy and McVay only have three years in the league between them and no playoff wins. The Steelers have not had a losing season under Tomlin. Yes, some tweaking is needed–particularly on defense–but I’m sure a lot of fans wish that’s all their teams required.

    mmmpierogi, yes, I’d take Fangio, too, but I’m biased toward defensive coaches as head coaches. And I’d like to keep Munchak in Pittsburgh doing what he’s proved he does best.

  43. broncospianoman says:
    January 8, 2019 at 1:20 pm
    I would love if they found a way to hire Vic as the HC and bring Munchak in as the OC with Kubiak having an undefined role (aka, be the real OC while Munchak fixes the OL). Hell, if they could steal Zac Taylor away from the Rams and bring him in that wouldn’t hurt my feelings either. I don’t altogether understand Elway wanting to go down the Kubiak path all over again. This isn’t 1998, that west coast style offense is a thing of the past. Please draft a QB in the 1st round and sign RG3 to bridge the gap and cut Keenum, he was dreadful and there are no excuses that can excuse his year

    Uh wow! You do know like in wild card weekend it was something like 70% of the coaches were bill walsh descendents,I mean they even talked about it on game day,now does bill walshes offense exactly work no but the original west coast background is used by most coaches especially the most successful ones. I think you need to look up exactly who’s offense Mcvay runs or Kyle runs lafluer runs McCarthy runs etc.

  44. Oh no! If the Steelers lose Munchak who will tell the players to hold and grab defenders by the face mask?

  45. Deb says:
    January 8, 2019 at 3:03 pm
    Yes, steelpenguin6687, as a 40-year fan, I’m saying this isn’t a clown show. This is a team with a couple of divas who make nonstop headlines. One is now gone, and I’d like to send the other packing. Tomlin has a higher regular-season winning percentage than either Noll or Cowher–and higher than any other current coach in the league except Belichick, Reid, Nagy, and McVay. Of course, Nagy and McVay…
    ———————————————

    Then Deb, we agree to disagree. Which is fine, everyone has their opinion. I just happen to be in the camp of those that do not like the loose ship (and the drama that surrounds it) run by Tomlin, and feel that he has wasted a lot of talent. I could go into specifics like, his in game management, adjustments, the fact he hasn’t won a challenge in over 2 years (falls on him, as he won’t hire a replay person), guys skipping/sleeping (in) meetings with no repercussions etc etc. Don’t get me wrong, I think Tomlin is a fine person, I just think both sides would benefit from him having a change of scenery. We will see what transpires next year, and as I stated in another article, IF they trade Brown, this will be the strongest signal sent to the players, that the party is over.

  46. steelpenguin6687, we agree to disagree on some things, but I am completely in agreement with you on both the replay issue and on how important it could be to morale/discipline to send Brown packing. No, I don’t care for the loose ship, either. Still believe he can right things, though. Time will tell.

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