In addition to breaking the news of Vic Fangio’s abrupt departure as defensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that a deal is expected for Fangio to take the same position with the Philadelphia Eagles:
Following the Eagles’ defensive collapse under failed coordinator Matt Patricia, Fangio should be considered a welcomed presence.
Fangio spent 11 seasons as an assistant under head coach Jim Mora for both the New Orleans Saints and the USFL’s Philadelphia Stars before becoming the defensive coordinator of the expansion Carolina Panthers in 1995. In just their second season, the Panthers advanced to the NFC Championship Game thanks to a defense that immediately clicked. Leading the way was Hall of Fame linebacker Sam Mills, whom Fangio had previously coached in New Orleans.
After stints in Indianapolis, Houston and Baltimore, Fangio resurfaced as one of the league’s best coordinators with the San Francisco 49ers. In 2010 — the year prior to Fangio’s arrival — the Niners ranked 16th in points allowed. New head coach Jim Harbaugh brought Fangio with him from Stanford, and San Francisco improved to second in that category in 2011. The 49ers would finish in the top 10 of fewest points allowed in each of Fangio’s four seasons with the team.
Fangio’s next stop was Chicago. It took two seasons for the defense to gel, but by 2017, the Bears surrendered the ninth-fewest points of any team. In 2018, they led the league in fewest points allowed.
This success in Chicago then led to Fangio’s first head-coaching opportunity in Denver. Although the Broncos didn’t make the playoffs in any of his three seasons as head coach, they had a top-10 scoring defense in two of those seasons.
The Dolphins defense under Fangio in 2023 delivered mixed results. While Miami allowed 30 or more points four times, it also surrendered 17 points or fewer in seven games.
Fangio is no stranger to the Eagles, either. He served as a defensive consultant for Philadelphia in its NFC championship season of 2022. It will take the work of a seasoned veteran to turn the Eagles defense around, and given his track record, Fangio appears to be up for the challenge.