Broncos coaching search down to two

Chuck Pagano Bears

Some starters on the Denver Broncos defense are reacting with excitement to the hire of new head coach Vic Fangio.

Zigging while everyone else zags, the Broncos sought a general in Fangio who could run his defense, leaving the offense to Gary Kubiak and everything else up to John Elway as Denver looks to snap its three-season playoff-less streak.

Schefter said it will be a four-year deal plus a team option for a fifth.

Although Fangio, who turns 61 in August, has no National Football League head coaching experience, he has been an assistant for 32 years in the National Football League and 34 seasons overall, beginning with the Philadelphia Stars of the old USFL in 1984.

Much as former Denver defensive coordinator Wade Phillips used to draw praise from players less than half his age, Fangio was greatly respected in the Bears' locker room.

Fangio replaces Vance Joseph, who was sacked on New Year's Eve after posting the franchise's first back-to-back losing seasons since the early 1970s.

The Eagles had taken the lead when Nick Foles hit Golden Tate with a 2-yard touchdown pass on fourth down with 56 seconds remaining against the NFL's stingiest defense.

It's down to two for the Denver Broncos. Once again the Fangio effect was real, as the Bears made drastic improvements under his defensive tutelage ranking in at No. 14, 15 and 10 in the following three seasons.

Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks echoed those thoughts.

When word got out that Elway had chosen Fangio, Bears cornerback Prince Amukamar a tweeted the hashtag "curse words" and Chicago wide receiver Allen Robinson II tweeted the broken heart emoji.

Since arriving with John Fox's coaching staff in 2015, Fangio directed the turnaround of the Bears defense that ranked 31st in points allowed per game in 2014 (27.6) to first in 2018 (17.7).

Fangio has never been a head coach at any level. Kubiak retired after five seasons with the Broncos and a 25-year coaching career following the 2017 season citing health reasons.

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