The hiring of New Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is already paying dividends, with Emannuel Ogbah and Jaelan Phillips offering positive endorsements.
Ogbah and Phillips appeared on the “Drive Time with Travis Wingfield” podcast, with Ogbah offering (at the 2:55 mark) his enthusiastic sentiments on Fangio.
“It’s been unique because he’s a genius on the defense,” Ogbah said. “So, he’s trying to put players in the best position available. So, I’m just one to listen and learn. And also, I’m taking notes, learning different position groups. So, I’m just ready to go.”
Later in the podcast, Phillips also delivered (at the 21-minute mark) plenty of praise and pointed to Fangio’s body of work as one reason for his excitement.
“I’m just excited ’cause you’ve seen all the success he’s had in the past, obviously with the D-line, linebackers, back ends,” Phillips said. “So, I’m just excited to see it all come together. I think we needed something fresh. And with the group of guys that we have and how close we are, I think that it’s just that one missing piece or a couple missing pieces. So, I’m excited to see what happens. We’ve been gelling great so far, and I think it’s going to be a great season.”
Prior to the Dolphins hiring Fangio, he was the target of a number of other teams who also were aware of the success his defenses have had over the years.
In five previous stints as an NFL defensive coordinator, the 64-year-old Fangio has seen his teams show improvement during his tenure.
Two of those instances came with expansion teams. In 1995, he was hired by the expansion Carolina Panthers and helped the team reach the NFC Championship Game in his second season.
After a three-year run with the Indianapolis Colts, Fangio was hired by the expansion Houston Texans in 2002. Despite some struggles in his four years with the Texans, Fangio was hired by the San Francisco 49ers in 2011.
During his time on the 49ers’ staff, Fangio was part of a team that reached the Super Bowl. He subsequently moved on to coach for the Chicago Bears and then served as head coach of the Denver Broncos from 2019 to 2021.
Ogbah will start his fourth season with the Dolphins and is hoping to avoid injury troubles that only allowed him to play in nine games last season. During his two healthy seasons, Ogbah collected nine sacks in each season. He also had 12 passes defended in the 2021 season.
Phillips is set to begin his third year with the Dolphins and hoping to continue his on-field improvement. In 20 starts over 34 regular season games, he’s racked up 15.5 sacks and is no doubt hoping to break into double digits in that category in 2023.
The Dolphins managed to reach the postseason last season without Fangio. However, the goal this season and beyond is to have deep playoff runs. Fangio’s resume is offering hope that such a scenario might become a reality.