Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio prepared for a massive AFC West showdown against Jon Gruden and the Las Vegas Raiders. That was Monday.
Just two days away, Gruden is completely out of the league after retiring from his post as head coach of the Raiders. After a series of emails from the former Super Bowl winning coach leaked publicly in a New York Times article, “Chucky,” as he is affectionately known, was on loan.
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It was announced by Monday evening ESPN insider Adam Schefter, Gruden had left Las Vegas. He will be replaced by Rich Bisaccia, former special team coordinator, whose first key head will be defensive mastermind Vic Fangio. The third-year Broncos coach spoke to reporters about his thoughts on Gruden’s emails during his October 13 press conference. It’s fair to say that Fangio wasn’t embarrassed in his answer.
“I just think there is no place in the world, let alone in our league, for the opinions expressed and especially the words used to express those opinions,” said Fangio. “[The organization and I] are definitely against it. It was a bad situation. “
One wonders how the Raiders will fare without their now maligned former offensive game caller. However, Fangio has no illusions about how Raiders’ quarterback Derek Carr and his company will work.
“Your offensive will, I am sure, not only change schematically in what you are doing,” said Fangio. “Of course, the new Play Caller may focus on other things that they may not have used or studied that often. You have a lot of staff groups. It will be the same offense, but what it is called and how it is used will be different. “
What won’t have changed is the Pro Bowl 2020 tight end threat Darren Waller. The 29-year-old had two 100-yard games against the Broncos in his last three attempts, most recently 117 yards and a touchdown of nine catches. Vic Fangio needs to know that stopping Waller is a key to the Broncos’ first win at the Raiders since December 2019.
“He’s a wide receiver in a tight body,” said Fangio of Waller. “He’s big enough to play tight end, do the blocking they asked him to do, and be a regular tight end. He is talented enough and fast enough to drive receiver routes. He’s a special talent and one of the special players in this league. “
It’s not just Waller that the Broncos have to worry about. If they want to stop their slump and end week 6 with a win, the offense will have to overcome their terrible third down conversion percentage.
“Offensive – we had too many third-place finishes, but you have to be able to convert some of them,” said Fangio. “We haven’t been able to do that recently. We did it for the first few weeks. I think we were 50% on third and seventh plus in the first few weeks, but not so in the last two weeks. I don’t know if we got any or got one. We have to get more manageable third downs and no matter which third down we are in, we have to convert. “
Follow Patrick Djordjevic on Twitter: @Patdjordjevic