Sean Payton, the head coach of the Denver Broncos at the moment, and Vic Fangio, the former coach of the Broncos, were connected by Miss Corbett.
“We both have been doing it a long time,’’ Payton said this week in an interview with 9NEWS for the Broncos Huddle. “He’s also from the same hometown (Scranton, Pa.) as my parents and my cousin (Miss Corbett) taught him 6th grade math.”
The 65-year-old Fangio is now the Miami Dolphins’ 2-0 defensive coordinator. Payton and Fangio will square off this Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium (kickoff is at 11 a.m. MDT), with Payton overseeing the Broncos’ offense in addition to his full head coaching duties.
If the Broncos are to record their first victory, Payton will need to overcome the Fangio defense given the amount of yards (462.5 average) and points (30.0) the Dolphins’ offense has produced. And it won’t be simple.
Fangio is regarded as one of the top defensive coordinators in the NFL, and Miss Corbett undoubtedly played a role in developing his analytical mind. As a result, many clubs have hired his former assistants to implement the same method on other teams.
“No. 1, he forces you to go the long field,’’ Payton said. “It’s hard to manufacture plays past the cover. They do a real good job of staying on top of routes. And then they’re exceptional in the red zone. They play with very good technique. They’re extremely well coached.
“Vic’s done it a long time. I can remember back when he was with Houston, I was at the Giants. And then years later, San Francisco, Chicago, Denver, now Miami.”
Due to insufficient scoring from their offense, the Broncos fell to Las Vegas in their opening contest, 17-16. Additionally, their defense allowed too many points in their second game, which they lost against Washington 35–33.
Did Payton play the opposite side of the ball more this week with the Denver defense failing last week – penalties, both in number and timing, were the key issue – with the potent Miami offense featuring Tua and Tyreek up next?
“No, listen, we’ll meet as a staff,’’ Payton said. “I’ll go down to that end. We’ll talk about personnel. We’ll talk about the team, who it is we have to stop or take away, but those guys – we put together a great staff.
“I think one of the most important things is getting off the field on third down. A number of times, even last week, we’re off the field and there was a penalty. So the penalties have to be reduced that’s for sure. And if we can do that we’ll give ourselves a chance.”
In addition to the choices he makes on game day from the sidelines, Payton, the head coach, makes dozens more every week. like deciding whether to support a player who is having trouble. There was a rumor around the Broncos’ headquarters that Payton would have a kicker tryout the following Tuesday after new placekicker Wil Lutz missed an extra point and a long field goal in game 1.
Instead, by sticking with him, Payton gave his kicker confidence. No rivalry was introduced. Lutz reacted by making both of his two field goal tries and all three extra-point attempts in game two.
“I’ve seen all of it with Wil,’’ said Payton, who had Lutz as his kicker from 2016-2021 in New Orleans. “And most of it has been exceptionally well. He’s got great leg talent. He’s a confident player. He’s someone I know in critical situations I’ve always felt confident sending him out there and he performed well last weekend.”