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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — In his first days on the field with his team, Vic Fangio has been comfortable in his new role as the Broncos' head coach — and not just because of his all-grey sweatsuit.
As he wandered from one position group to the next during individual drills, Fangio often watched in silence, observing the techniques the players were learning and the teaching that the coaches were providing. With most of the team remaining outside as the quarterbacks, wide receivers, tight ends and running backs moved inside, Fangio mostly watched defensive players, but he also checked out the offensive line and tight ends.
When the defensive position groups assembled together after their drills, Fangio became more directly involved, as he helped install the team's new defense. But in other matters, he clearly trusts his staff, and between that approach and his general demeanor, Fangio has begun to shape the direction of culture of his team.
"[He's] direct," Special Teams Coordinator Tom McMahon said Thursday. "There's no wishy-washy stuff. He's the driver of the bus."
When asked whether the coaches appreciate that approach, McMahon was brief: "No question."
But stepping out of the way in some facets doesn't mean Fangio's been disengaged or disinterested, as Offensive Coordinator Rich Scangarello can attest.
"He's been there every step of the way," Scangarello said Wednesday. "He's got a lot going on. He's responsible for a lot of things, but Vic's very detailed. He's a first-one-in-last-one-to-leave coach. So, he's on top of everything and he demands a lot out of us. He's been great to work with, and he sits in our meetings — our install meetings — and he asks [questions] from the defensive perspective. He gives great input for myself to grow as a coach. It's been very, very good."
As each coach works to teach each player the necessary information to install new concepts on both offense and defense, it's imperative that Fangio trusts the position coaches to be successful.
"I think that it's a testament to Vic," Scangarello said. "He put together an extremely talented staff that's very detailed, great teachers and hard workers. I trust every one of them in every way. They've been great for me, and we're on the same page and really feel like we're moving all in the same direction. So, it's been pretty smooth in that sense."
But not all of Fangio's new routine has been completely natural — particularly because he liked to trade barbs with the offense when he solely had defensive responsibilities.
"If I was just the defensive coordinator I probably would've been talking some smack out there, but I have to refrain from that a little bit," Fangio said with a laugh on Tuesday. "I'll still be talking, both ways. I can be on the winning side either way now."