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The Fangio Honeymoon and other offseason observations

Jun 11, 2019, 6:35 AM | Updated: 7:24 am

• Everyone loves Vic Fangio. His old school, no-nonsense attitude has seemingly won over a fan base eager to dump the woes of the last two years in the lap of the overmatched Vance Joseph. “In Vic We Trust” should be the Broncos’ motto this year, not “Death By Inches.”

• I thought the reaction to the Broncos’ Field Day was a bit overwrought. The concept of the event may have been original, but giving teams some sort of reprieve at the end of the OTA/mini-camp season is not. Almost everyone does it. Heck, even Bill “No Days Off” Belichick canceled the last week of Patriots’ OTAs.

• The Fangio honeymoon is a direct reflection of fans’ hope that simply getting rid of VJ means an automatic bump from six wins to at least nine. I remain skeptical of that. I still believe there’s been a talent drain around Dove Valley that better explains the recent losing seasons. The good news? We’ll get our answer this year, won’t we? A jump to 10 wins points to coaching making a massive difference. Staying with the six- to eight-win status quo reflects poorly on the job John Elway has done building this team.

• I like old school. So I root for guys like Fangio. However, let’s pump the breaks before we crown him, shall we? There’s so much left for him to prove. How does he handle the speed of the game when it comes to making key decisions? How does he oversee a rookie offensive coordinator? How does he react with his players after a loss? Is he too fixated on his pride and joy defense? These are all questions we won’t know the answers to until we get into the crucible that is the regular season.

• For all the talk about areas of this football team that have improved, I only really care about the offensive line. To be kind, that group has been garbage the last few years. If the talent level has increased with the additions of Dalton Risner and Ja’Wuan James. If Connor Mcgovern can be an adequate replacement for Matt Paradis. If Ron Leary can remain healthy and really was a right guard instead of left under the old regime. If Garett Bolles can stop hog tying people. And if Mike Munchak really is the “Offensive Line Whisperer” he’s being heralded to be. Then, this is going to be one fun season.

• Give me even a slightly above average offensive line and I believe Joe Flacco will have a really nice year for the Broncos. “Nice” being around 4,000 yards passing, 26 TDs and about 11 INTs. Give me that stat line with what I know will be a commitment to running the football, then this will be a nine- to 10-win, playoff-contending team.

• I believe this defensive secondary is going to be a beast. For me, moving forward, it’s “The Secondary.” It’s not the cornerbacks and slot corners and nickel corners and free safeties and strong safeties. Those days are fading into the past. Today’s NFL is about flexibility and versatility. It’s position-less, hybrid football. The Broncos secondary is loaded with versatile athletes that can do a myriad of things that should mesh nicely with Vic Fangio’s mad scientist ways.

• I’m still a bit leery of the Broncos front seven, especially at linebacker and along the interior of the defensive line.

• The Broncos schedule is a major factor in their ability to get to nine to 10 wins. They must find a way to go 4-2 in their division. If 10 wins is the magic number, then four AFC West wins have to happen. If it does, Denver still has to go 6-4 in their other games. Doable. If they finish 3-3 in the West, that means 7-3 over the rest of the schedule; that’s no easy task considering on the road alone they play at playoff-contending teams like Green Bay, Indy, Minnesota and Houston. Plus, not exactly home gimmes against Cleveland and the Bears in the Week Two Fangio Bowl.

• All in all, it was another captivating and entertaining Broncos offseason – the type that re-enforces why they are king around these parts. Everyone enjoy the summer and buckle up for what should be a fascinating season!

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The Fangio Honeymoon and other offseason observations