The war of words between Vic Fangio and Brandon McManus doesn’t seem to be dying down. After Sunday’s 23-20 win over the Chargers, the head coach and kicker played a verbal game of tennis through the media, exchanging jabs at each other about Fangio’s decision to not let McManus try a 65-yard field goal at the end of the first half.
After the game, the head coach said he made the choice because he thought the attempt at an NFL record could mess up the kicker’s mechanics, affecting him later in the game. McManus replied with asking if throwing a Hail Mary has a negative impact on a quarterback’s throwing motion.
Three days later, that wasn’t the end of it. When Fangio was asked about his kicker’s analogy, he was ready to pounce.
“It’s been proven in the past that if you take a big swing at one of those early in the game, it could affect your swing later in the game,” the coach explained. “I’m saying that’s why he made the 52- and the 53-yarder because he didn’t alter his swing for a 65-yarder.”
But does that rule of thumb specifically apply to McManus?
“There’s proof in his career that it happened to him already,” Fangio said.
Interesting. So the coach was using analytics when making the decision? He had past results to back up his choice?
Well, if he did, Fangio certainly didn’t apply it in the season opener. Against, the coach let McManus try a 64-yard field goal at the end of the first half, off of the dirt infield in Oakland. The kick was no good, but it didn’t negatively impact the rest of the game. In the second half, McManus was 3-for-3 on field goals and 1-for-1 on extra points.
So in the most recent example of this situation, with Fangio as the head coach, there was no negative impact from trying a long field goal. Yet, that’s not the history that was applied on Sunday?
That doesn’t seem to make sense. It doesn’t add up.
Once again, this is reeking of a situation where Fangio should simply wave the white flag, admit he was wrong and move on. Instead, he’s digging in his heels, trying to prove that he was right and only making the situation worse.
He’s the boss, so it was his decision to make. But trying to justify the choice with silly arguments is simply undermining his authority.
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