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HC Vic Fangio keeping team focused on game ahead despite outside noise

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — In the aftermath of Sunday's 27-16 loss to the Packers that dropped the Broncos to 0-3, Head Coach Vic Fangio told his team what would come next.

In the visiting locker room at Lambeau Field, Fangio told his players that they were going to have to deal with some unfavorable perceptions from outside of the organization.

"I said, 'We're going to have to deal with everybody thinking we suck,'" Fangio said Monday. "And all of us — not just players — coaches, the whole organization. And we need to deal with that."

The way the Broncos can do that, Fangio said, is by correcting the negatives that have plagued the team through three weeks, accentuating the positives — and by having "a strong upper lip."

The coaching staff, meanwhile, must determine what changes are necessary rather than reactionary.

"Any time you've been in this league 30-some years, it's not all a bed of roses," Fangio said. "You just fight through it. The easiest thing to do is just make wholesale changes, whether it be personnel, scheme, this, that or the other thing. There's the old saying, keep doing the same thing and expect different results, that's not very smart. But there's also a saying, too, change for just change's sake isn't very smart either. We've got to operate that fine line as a staff and realize what we're doing, if the mistakes we're making [are] correctable and then make a good, intelligent decision.''

And Fangio, to be clear, doesn't agree with the outside world's perception of his team.

"We've got the players here to win," Fangio said. "I believe in these players, I enjoy being around them every day. They're a bunch of good guys. They're trying their butts off. We just have to play a little bit better. Along with that, we have to coach better. We're breaking down fundamentally in certain areas at critical times. That's an indictment on us as coaches, too, not just the players."

As Fangio tries to turn the Broncos' fortune, he won't look any further than Sunday's game against the Jaguars (1-2).

"I'm just looking to get to this game," Fangio said. "I'm not looking at the entire season. We've just got to figure out a way to go out and play our best, cleanest game this week. And yes, I do think we can."


Through three weeks, the Broncos rank ninth in total defense and 17th in scoring defense. Yet while those stats suggest Fangio's unit is performing better than an 0-3 record would indicate, Fangio wants to see more.

Specifically, he's looking for sacks and turnovers that have eluded his unit through the first three games of the season.

"I don't think we've played terrible, but we haven't played good enough to win," Fangio said. "I know some of our stats may be OK when you look at them, but we've got to get more stops. Obviously the takeaways are a big thing that we're not getting, which would help our offense. … We expect more. The players expect more, and we expect more as coaches."

Fangio did say, though, that his pass rush got home at times against the Packers — even if the plays didn't end in sacks.

"We had some nice rush on a couple of the third downs yesterday, albeit they didn't result in sacks," Fangio said. "But they did result in incompletions. … That we've gone three games without [a sack] is highly unusual, I acknowledge that, but we've got to get better there."


There is "a chance" that fullback Andy Janovich makes his regular-season debut against Jacksonville this week, Fangio said.

"We'll see how he looks in practice," Fangio said. "I don't ever want to put a guy out there that's not completely ready to play."

If Janovich can return to the field, Fangio thinks he would bring a "steadiness" to Offensive Coordinator Rich Scangarello's unit.

"Besides being a good fullback from a talent standpoint, he's experienced," Fangio said. "Any time you have a good combination of talent and experience, that's a good thing."

Linebacker Josey Jewell (hamstring) and defensive end Derek Wolfe (ankle) were scheduled to undergo MRIs on Monday to determine the extent of their injuries.

Fangio said he did not have an update on cornerback Bryce Callahan (foot).


After missing the first two games of the regular season with a calf injury, linebacker Todd Davis played 56 of 57 defensive snaps against the Packers and recorded three tackles.

"I thought he did fine, considering the guy really hadn't done much since training camp started," Fangio said. "For him to go in there and play the amount of plays that he played, I think it's very commendable, and hopefully that will set him up to play even better moving forward."

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