Continuity! Continuity! I invite all of you to play the Continuity Drinking Game.
Every time you hear a host at The Fan or other member of the media talk about continuity in the wake of the Rich Scangarello firing, please tip one back. You’ll be busy.
I guess I’m not that freaked out about my man “Wrinkles” getting the pink slip. (For the last time, I guess an explanation. During a preseason game with San Francisco last year, ESPN’s Booger McFarland kept talking about the wrinkles Scangarello would put on the offense after learning under Kyle Shanahan. Voila. Wrinkles the nickname was born.)
His hiring never made sense in the first place. He was a weak runner-up to the original choice, which was Gary Kubiak. He came with a shockingly thin resume. Prior to being put in charge of an NFL offense, he had called plays at noted juggernauts UC Davis, Northern Arizona, Wagner and my favorite, Millsaps.
This isn’t Scangarello’s fault. It’s John Elway’s. One would think after making the mistake of hiring a first-time head coach in Vance Joseph and not allowing the head coach to hire his own guy as his offensive coordinator would be a lesson learned. Apparently not. Elway hired Vic Fangio and when the Kubiak plan fell through, he convinced Fangio to take on Wrinkles.
The plan did not work. Scangarello’s inexperience showed, especially after the scripted portion of the game plan ran out. My buddy Joel Klatt once told me you never want your offensive coordinator chasing the game. Too many times, it felt that way with Scangarello. The reports of tension on the headsets during games makes sense now as well as Joe Flacco’s public blasting of the offense.
In the end, Vic Fangio did what was his right. He now has an offensive coordinator he knows and respects.
NFL coaches spend an inordinate amount of time with their assistants. They should be able to get along and share similar philosophies.
Yes, Drew Lock and the rest of this young core will be put into the unenviable position of having to learn a new offense. It’s not ideal. But any loss of continuity (DRINK!) is more than made up by the lack of tension that will now be felt in that building with Scangarello’s departure. In the end, it’s a positive move. Plus, no disrespect to Scangarello, but right now there is very little evidence the Broncos have moved on from the game’s next great coordinator.
So, this is a win for Fangio. But if I were him I wouldn’t get too comfortable.
The Broncos finished 4-1 down the stretch. They got to 7-9. At the end of the season, Elway spoke of feeling like the worst is over, that the Broncos have “bounced off the bottom.”
Elway is still in win-now mode. While I don’t believe he expects the Broncos to over take the Chiefs next season, I do believe he feels like nine to 10 wins and a wild card berth is realistic.
Failure to achieve that will lead to an annual rite of passage around UC Health training center. We just saw it again. Someone feels the wrath. Someone gets scapegoated. Miss the playoffs and the next victim could be Fangio.