I think the headline for this is interesting because once you have proven yourself, that should be it, right?
But not so in the National Football League.
Every time someone goes to a new team, a new city and a new fan base, that individual is challenged once again to demonstrate what is not necessary — to wit, that they can play, or coach, to satisfy the denizens of the new city.
And so Vic Fangio of the Denver Broncos came into 2021 with the usual set of question marks that hang over the head of someone who has had two straight losing seasons.
Dan Reeves, our longtime head coach in years gone by, once told me, "I always feel like I am three straight losses from getting fired."
So the concept is not new.
Regarding Vic, one thing easy to say is that everyone who has met him likes him. One local columnist has described him as "Uncle Vic." But beneath that real nice-guy personality is a heck of a football coach.
Those who knew it are not surprised, and those who had questions have had a lot of them answered already.
The offseason not only involved the usual heavy amounts of hard work, but with the added factors (and pressures) of a new general manager and a quarterback situation that was discussed and questioned nationally. Then Teddy Bridgewater came in and worked really hard to be named the starting quarterback, and he has more than rewarded the faith placed in him by General Manager George Paton and Fangio.
Everything is one step at a time, and Fangio's team not only raved about the head coach, but won all three preseason games. Then the regular season began, and Denver has not only won, but has dominated, in the first three games.
It is a big mistake to point to the abilities, or lack of, that defines the opponents. They are the only guys on the schedule, and it is always about you.
You are good enough to win, or you are not.
You prepare, study, practice and execute like a good team, or like a bunch of knuckleheads.
Fangio's team has been just about flawless.
He is a 42-year coaching veteran with 34 seasons of NFL experience, and it shows.
There is no substitute for talent, and the Broncos have a lot of it. Talent matters, but somebody still has to cook up the ingredients. And Fangio is doing that as smoothly as someone who has been around Italian kitchens all his life, which he has.
Now the Broncos embark on a part of their schedule that is considered more challenging than the first three-game set, but they also are more experienced at what they are doing, and way more confident in their team, coach and quarterback than they were just three weeks ago.
Winning breeds winning, and when it starts, there is no telling how far it will go.
With Vic Fangio cooking up the ingredients, this season has the same kind of potential that has led Broncos teams to winning seasons and playoff campaigns in the past.
And Bronco fans are deciding that they like the meatballs that Vic is cooking up every week.
Excitement abounds in Denver, and the head coach is proving to be a big part of that in Broncos Country.