With rumors swirling around the future of Vic Fangio, could Dan Quinn be in line to be the next Denver Broncos head coach? On Thursday’s episode of PFN Weekly, Pro Football Network NFL Insider and Chief Draft Analyst Tony Pauline discussed the latest he is hearing around the NFL.
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Dan Quinn could be an option to replace Vic Fangio if the Broncos miss the playoffs
Pauline started off by clarifying that it is by no means a done deal that Denver would fire Fangio after this season.
“I think first we have to say that if Denver somehow gets into, squeaks into the playoffs — they are not going to fire Fangio. They are 7-8 right now and have the Chargers and Chiefs left on their schedule, so it is an uphill battle. First thing I’m told is there’s no animus. There’s no dislike between George Paton, the relatively new general manager, and Fangio. But Fangio is a coach that Paton inherited. So if they don’t make the playoffs, they go 7-10, they’re going to move on.”
That leaves a potential opening in Denver, and right now, the name Pauline is hearing is that of Quinn. “Dan Quinn — who worked with George Paton years ago in Miami, so they have a relationship working together — is the name that right now is being bandied about as a potential replacement for Fangio if Fangio is in fact fired at the end of the season.”
Quinn would provide a well-respected defensive coach to replace Fangio. However, it is intriguing to see the Broncos not turning to an offensive-minded head coach. With the Broncos’ offense continuing to struggle, it will be interesting to see who Quinn turns to as his offensive coordinator if he were to get the job in Denver. He will inherit a very good defense, but the offense needs a lot of work.
Quinn could be out of a head coach role for just over a year
After five seasons as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, Quinn was fired just five games into the 2020 season. After yet another slow start to a season, Falcons owner Arthur Blank ran out of patience and dismissed both Quinn and GM Thomas Dimitroff. Quinn finished with a 43-42 regular-season record as the Falcons HC.
Quinn was then hired as the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator ahead of the 2021 campaign. His appointment has brought immediate improvement. Dallas went from allowing the fifth-most points in a season to being the seventh-best scoring defense in one year. Additionally, Quinn has received credit for the development of both CB Trevon Diggs and rookie defensive star Micah Parsons.
Vic Fangio’s Broncos have failed to take the next step
For the last three years, the Broncos have seemingly been touted as the dark horse to compete with the Chiefs. Yet, each and every season, they have fallen by the wayside. In Fangio’s first year, a 7-9 record and second-place finish in the AFC West offered hope that they could quickly return to being a regular playoff team.
Unfortunately, in 2020, things unraveled as the Broncos finished 5-11. The most concerning element was that the defense — Fangio’s calling card — ranked in the bottom 10 for scoring. In 2021, the unit has certainly improved. No defense has allowed fewer points, but the offense continues to struggle. Entering Week 17, Denver is 7-8 and on the verge of playoff elimination. In Fangio’s three years in charge, the Broncos have failed to take a significant step toward being a contender.