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Broncos request interview with Bears DC Vic Fangio

Moving quickly to replace now-fired head coach Vance Joseph, the Denver Broncos put in a request to interview Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The Miami Dolphins are also courting Fangio, who cannot interview this week — by NFL rule — as Chicago readies for its Wild Card playoff game.

A football lifer who’s held stints in both the NFL and college ranks, Fangio is the driving force behind the Bears’ dominant defense, which finished the regular season tops in scoring and rushing, third in total yards allowed, and seventh against the pass. He’s the stabilizing presence on a cutting edge staff led by Coach of the Year candidate Matt Nagy, and the catalyst for Chicago’s 12-win, NFC North-capturing campaign.

“You’re talking about one of the best coaches in football,” All-World linebacker Khalil Mack said, per NBC Sports. “The ‘Evil Genius’ himself. At the same right, I want to keep him on my side where we at on defense. Even then, understanding that coach Vic Fangio is a hell of a coach and he understands his players and a real personable dude off the field.”

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Fangio has been Chicago’s defensive boss since 2015. Prior to his time in the Windy City, he worked prominent positions with the San Francisco 49ers (DC), Stanford Cardinal (DC), Baltimore Ravens (linebackers), Houston Texans (DC), Indianapolis Colts (DC), Carolina Panthers (DC) and New Orleans Saints (LBs).

The 60-year-old Pennsylvania native was recently named by ESPN as the league’s third-best head-coaching candidate. He’s aware, though, that offers could be few and far in between given his age and lack of experience under the big headset.

“People have a picture in their mind of what they want, what they’re looking for, and you know, obviously I haven’t met that criteria to those people who are looking,” Fangio said. “And I don’t take it personal. I don’t think I’m any less deserving or less qualified. I know I do a hell of a job, but I don’t take it personal.”

Hiring Fangio would allow Denver to keep its 3-4 defensive alignment in place, while his background with linebackers bodes well for the development of star rookie OLB Bradley Chubb.

In addition to Fangio, the Broncos reportedly requested interviews with New England Patriots DC Brian Flores and former Tennessee Titans and current Pittsburgh Steelers Mike Munchak.

Joseph was fired following two consecutive losing seasons, the first time that has transpired for the Broncos since 1972. He finished 11-21 overall and 4-12 on the road in 32 games as head coach. Denver was trounced, 23-9, by the Los Angeles Chargers in Sunday’s finale.

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