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Vic Fangio is back as a defensive coordinator in the NFL as he officially signed with the Miami Dolphins last week after reportedly discussing the position with several other teams. Fangio, the defensive mastermind whom multiple teams use his scheme and defensive formations to compete in the modern NFL, worked as a consultant for the NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles

CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones first reported Fangio would choose Miami's offer leading up to the NFC Championship Game. NFL Media reported Fangio agreed to terms on a three-year deal that includes a fourth-year team option. That deal would make Fangio the NFL's highest-paid coordinator. This marks Fangio's fifth different defensive coordinator job at the NFL level.

On Monday, Fangio addressed why he returned to the NFL, rather than retire, saying he is far from done in his coaching career.

"That's who I am," Fangio said. "That's what I do. That's what I like to do. I still have a lot of coaching left and I don't you know, it's not like I'm thinking about retirement or anything. Somebody asked how much are you going to do this? Might be 10 years, if they'll have me here for 10 years."

Fangio went right to work when it comes to his plans for the team and making the most of each player's potential. 

"You try and improve every player as an individual," Fangio said (via The Palm Beach Post). "Hopefully you do that well enough to where their position group improves their position in the defense, so you really do it from the ground up. And there's a lot of good young players here that I think have room to grow and hopefully myself and the staff will get that done."

While he does see lots of potential in the team, he is realistic, wanting to get some time in with before he starts promising any championships. When asked if a Super Bowl is in the Dolphins' near future, Fangio asked, "Can we get one practice in?" 

The 64-year-old added: "I think the Dolphins are one of those franchises that the NFL is a better league when the Dolphins are relevant -- in the hunt. Hopefully, we can get it back to that."

When McDaniel was hired last offseason, the first-year coach notably retained Josh Boyer, who served as DC under Brian Flores starting in 2020. But the Dolphins defense ranked among the league's worst against the pass (27th) and in average points surrendered per game (24th) during a 9-8 finish this season. Boyer's unit finished 16th in points allowed per game the year before, regressing from a promising 2020 debut that saw Miami approach the top five in that category.

Fangio has extensive experience guiding top-10 defenses over the course of more than 30 years as an NFL coach. He spent his most recent seasons of NFL employment as the Denver Broncos head coach from 2019-2021, amassing a 19-30 record. In that role, he faced the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs twice a year as the head coach of a fellow AFC West team. Fangio has led top-10 scoring defenses in four of his last five seasons as either the Broncos head coach or the Chicago Bears defensive coordinator. 

Scoring defenses under Fangio (last five seasons as coach)

SeasonFangio (Coaching Role)PPG Allowed NFL Rank


Broncos (Head Coach)



Broncos (Head Coach)



Broncos (Head Coach)



Bears (Defensive Coordinator)



Bears (Defensive Coordinator )


In 2022, consulting former Eagles DC Jonathan Gannon's unit, he helped oversee Philadelphia's top-rated pass defense. The Eagles also had 78 sacks on the season, the third-most by any team in NFL history. 

Fangio is also well known for his previous stops as a coordinator, including with the Bears (2015-2018) and 49ers (2011-2014).