Vic Fangio waited decades to become a head coach. Now that he's leading the Denver Broncos, expect him to take a long-term approach when it comes to building a contender.
Asked by Woody Paige of The Gazette whether he'd remain patient during his first season with the Broncos as they look to snap a three-year playoff drought, Fangio indicated his first campaign at the helm will be aimed at laying a strong foundation for future success.
"That's a difficult question," said Fangio, who was named head coach in January. "If I say I'm not going to be patient, you and everybody else will think I'm going to make some knee-jerk short-term decisions that won't have long-term benefits. What we've got to do, I believe, is let's go out there and evaluate this team, find out where we need help. Make some good choices for the future, not just for today, if I'm making sense.
"I'm not looking to go 4-12 or 5-11, thinking that we're rebuilding. But we must realize that two years from now, three years, that what we did in the 2019 season was why we are at that point.
"We have to establish a work ethic in the players here and work very hard in the acquisitions of players (in the draft and free agency).
Fangio also hinted that he wouldn't make any short-term moves that could dramatically disrupt his team's long-term future, pointing to his time with the Chicago Bears as a learning exercise.
"Here's what happened to the Bears before I got there. What they were doing was putting Band-Aids on every little problem, hoping they would be a good team the next year," he explained. "By the time we got there, they sucked. They were old, no young talent, no nothing. I've coached on two expansions teams in Carolina and with the Texans, and our roster on defense when I was hired was worse than those expansion team defenses.
"We can't let that happen here. We can't do everything to just get to 8-8 now and be 3-13 in 2021. Does that mean that we won't get a veteran in free agency that will help us for a year or two? We can do that. But we can't go and throw a bunch of (stuff) against the wall and hope it sticks."
It was a long wait for Fangio. Now it appears he wants his new team to exercise the same patience that helped him land his new job, focusing on long-term solutions as opposed to quick fixes.