New Head Honcho: Part 4

With Andy Reid all but certain to be out of town, it’s time to look ahead toward some potential head coaching candidates. So far Pete Carmichael Jr., Jay Gruden, and Rick Dennison have been discussed as potential suitors. However, all of these coordinators have been on the offensive side of the ball and they’re terrified of the newest candidate:

Vic Fangio – San Francisco 49ers Defensive Coordinator


Fangio is going to be one of the hottest commodities on the market this offseason. He’s a phenomenal defensive mind and has been coaching that side of the ball for 26 years. To make things even sweeter for defense-craving Philadelphians, he’s from the Scranton area and began his coaching career at Dunmore High School in ’79.

Since then, Vic Fangio has coached on a variety of levels. After spending a year at the University of North Carolina as defensive coordinator, Fangio moved on to coach as a defensive assistant for the Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars of the UFL. After nine seasons as a linebackers coach for the Saints he coordinated for the Panthers, Colts, and Texans, coached the Ravens’ linebackers from ’06-’09, made the Stanford defense a top flight unit in ’10 and most recently followed Jim Harbaugh to do the same thing in San Francisco.

To understand the style of play that Fangio brings to the table, here’s a look at the numbers before and after he arrived in San Francisco.


Pts/G Yds/G 3rd Pct FF Fum. Rec Sacks INT TD
2010 21.6 327.8 39.0 14.0 8.0 44.0 15.0 2.0
2009 17.6 326.4 37.0 15.0 10.0 40.0 14.0 1.0
2008 23.8 326.0 38.0 27.0 16.0 55.0 19.0 2.0
Average 21.0 326.7 38.0 18.7 11.3 46.3 16.0 1.7


Pts/G Yds/G 3rd Pct FF Fum. Rec Sacks INT TD
2012 14.2 275.5 31.0 10.0 6.0 38.0 6.0 1.0
2011 14.3 308.2 35.0 10.0 5.0 44.0 5.0 0.0
Average 14.3 291.9 33.0 10.0 5.5 41.0 5.5 0.5

As you can see, Fangio’s defense isn’t very flashy. They’re a tough nosed team that gets after you and has is fundamentally sound. For example, between Patrick Willis and NaVarro Bowman the pair have 215 tackles. However, the truest embodiment might be Aldon Smith-the second year sensation who has 20 sacks on the season and 34 for his career. Incredible numbers for such a young player.

Also, it is important to understand how much of a feat it is to limit opponents to 14 points a game. In the NFL this season, the average points scored by a team per game is 22.9-or just over three scores per game. Fangio’s defense is again holding teams to barely over two scores per game, which is a big part of the reason that they are considered a true Super Bowl contender again this year.

Now, here’s where things become tricky with Fangio. Fangio has run the 4-3 in the past, like with the Indianapolis Colts from ’99-’01, but is better versed in the 3-4, which the 49ers currently run. Therefore, what would make or break Fangio coming to Philly could depend on the scheme he chooses to run.

If he chooses the 4-3, minor changes will be made to the team and Fangio may need some time to readjust. On the other hand, if he chooses the 3-4, Lurie will have to be OK with a season or two of rebuilding as the roster is turned over and reformed.

Regardless, one final aspect that makes Fangio particularly interesting has to do with the Eagles’ high draft pick. I can’t escape the feeling that pairing Fangio and Manti Te’o together could be a thing of beauty if the opportunity should arise.

Overall, Fangio is a fantastic candidate for the likely head coaching vacancy. The toughness that he would provide to the Eagles would make this a team the fans could love again and warm the hearts of those who yearn for the Buddy Ryan days. At the age of 54, he has an impressive 26 years of coaching experience under his belt and would be able to stay with the team long-term.

So, Philadelphia, keep an eye on San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. He might just be the new head honcho.

Posted on December 14, 2012, in Posts and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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