Reports surfaced that Vic Fangio agreed to become the Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator before Sunday’s championship games kicked off. Fangio is widely regarded as one of the best defensive minds in football, as his influence is littered across the NFL.
Miami has yet to make an official announcement, but Dolphins’ reporters are convinced that could happen as soon as today.
Not so fast, according to Mike Silver of the San Francisco Chronicle:
For what it's worth, Vic Fangio told me late last night, "Nothing has been decided on my end." There is a huge amount of mutual respect between Kyle Shanahan and Fangio, a highly successful Niners DC under Jim Harbaugh. And it appears the 49ers will have an opening soon.— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) January 30, 2023
Silver wasn’t the only reporter to say Fangio has yet to commit to the Dolphins:
Spoke with Vic Fangio. Nothing is finalized with Miami at this time. Dolphins expressing strong interest in Fangio as defensive coordinator. #9sports— Mike Klis (@mikeklis) January 29, 2023
Fangio was the 49ers defensive coordinator from 2011-to-2014, where the 49ers ranked 3rd, 3rd, 13th, and fifth in defensive DVOA during Fangio’s four seasons.
As Silver says, San Francisco’s defensive coordinator position could be open as soon as Tuesday. And this isn’t the first time Fangio has been linked to a Shanahan:
I'm told word in coaching circles is 49ers DC Vic Fangio now wants out of SF unless he gets HC job... or Mike Shanahan does.— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) January 13, 2015
If the DeMeco Ryans to the Texans domino falls — he has a second interview scheduled with the Texans, could Fangio renege on his agreement with Miami and jump ship to the 49ers?
If Fangio is enamored with the Shanahan’s and has an interest in becoming a head coach again, the 49ers are an objectively better job than the Dolphins.
Recent history supports that notion as well. The Niners defensive coordinator has produced two head coaches during Shanahan’s tenure, and the cupboard will remain stocked full of talent.
One question many fans would ask would be if the 49ers revert to Fangio’s 3-4 defense. The Philadelphia Eagles run an odd front. That’s what the Niners defense would look like. San Francisco has the flexibility to run an odd front. It’s important to note that Nick Bosa would likely have his hand in the dirt on obvious passing downs.
Fangio is smart enough to not fix what isn’t broken. First things first, he has to get in the building. Fangio watched a 49ers mini-camp practice last offseason on a Friday. It’s safe to say he’s interested.