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Details on the cause of Vic Fangio’s split with Miami Dolphins serve as a warning for Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Vic Fangio
HAL HABIB / The Palm Beach Post / USA TODAY NETWORK

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni saved his job this offseason by bringing in two new coordinators. However, coming off a season filled with internal turmoil, it appears that’s the very same reason why new Eagles defensive coordinator Vic Fangio became available.

After being fired as the Denver Broncos head coach in 2021, Fangio spent the 2022 season on the Eagles coaching staff as a consultant. He assisted the team in training camp and later signed a two-week contract to help Philadelphia prepare for Super Bowl LVII.

Related: Miami Dolphins players happy to see Vic Fangio leave

When the Eagles were led to believe that defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon would stick around for the 2023 season, Fangio agreed to become the Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator. Despite a myriad of injuries on that side of the ball, Miami had one of the best defenses in the second half of the regular season.

Then, days after Miami was eliminated from the NFL playoffs, Fangio and the Dolphins mutually parted ways. Almost immediately after, he signed a contract to become the Eagles defensive coordinator as the replacement for Sean Desai and Matt Patricia.

It was originally reported that the highly-regarded defensive coach left Miami to be closer to family and because Dolphins’ head coach Mike McDaniel wanted someone he could work more collaboratively with. Now, new details have emerged explaining exactly why the Dolphins were just as ready to make a change as Fangio.

Related: Everything you need to know about new Philadelphia Eagles OC Kellen Moore

Why did Vic Fangio leave the Miami Dolphins?

Syndication: Palm Beach Post
JEFF ROMANCE/THE PALM BEACH POST / USA TODAY NETWORK

Fangio, the AP NFL Assistant Coach of the Year in 2018, is joining an Eagles franchise that desperately needs him. Heading into his age-66 season, the Pennsylvania native has received rave reviews over the last decade-plus for his defensive mind. In Miami, however, there were problems.

According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, Fangio was rather uncooperative with Miami’s coaching staff. The Dolphins’ defensive coordinator “insisted” on being the only voice in the room, tuning out those around him including McDonald and Miami’s defensive assistants.

It slowly created cracks in the locker room. First, per Breer, Fangio’s approach to coaching and his uncooperative style “chafed” other coaches in Miami. As he continued to stick to his ways, Fangio’s insistence on not collaborating with others resulted in him losing the support of several Dolphins’ defensive players.

While Philadelphia is elated to have Fangio’s mind and system in the building, a reputation of clashing with assistant coaches and players is particularly concerning. Even before the Eagles’ downfall late in the regular season, there was already finger-pointing in the locker room and it only worsened during the skid down the stretch with players questioning the coaching staff.

QB Rating allowedTD-INTCompletion RateRush YPGEPA per Play
Weeks 1-999.614-469.2%106.2-0.004 (23rd)
Weeks 10-1885.613-1164.3%86.8-0.065 (11th)
Miami Dolphins defensive statistics in 2023

Philadelphia’s new defensive coordinator also carries another reputation with him. Fangio’s system is one of the most complex in the NFL, often taking two seasons for players to fully master. There are expected to be first-year growing pains with the unit, which could prove problematic for a team with a head coach on the hot seat after losing six of their last seven games.

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