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Mike McDaniel explains Vic Fangio's departure from Miami

Before the Eagles hired Vic Fangio, the Dolphins parted ways with him. HC Mike McDaniel explains why.

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Eagles would have hired Vic Fangio last year if they could but the timing didn’t work out.

So it wasn’t much of a surprise to see them hire him this offseason when they finally got the chance.

But why did Fangio’s time in Miami last just one season?

Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel was asked about the split — which was termed “mutual” when it happened — at the NFL Combine on Tuesday.

“I’d be lying if I said I was expecting that during the season at all,” McDaniel said. “And I think Vic would feel similarly. What happened was basically, I think it's important when the season ends for you to remove emotion and evaluate and have very, very good conversation with all people that you're depending on. With Vic and I, we had extensive conversations that was very healthy, and ultimately when push came to shove, it seemed like we both had the opportunity ... it'd be best for both parties involved to literally mutually part. 

“So it wasn't anticipated. It was something that I think was a factor of great communication between him and I where we feel like we're all best served if we go a different direction, which is something that we had mutual belief and excited for both parties moving forward.”

The split wasn’t a surprise to anyone who was paying attention. There were plenty of reports and whispers out of Miami that it could be heading that way. And from the beginning it seemed like McDaniel and Fangio were an odd pairing.

When Fangio became available, the Eagles pounced. The Dolphins moved on and hired Anthony Weaver to be their next defensive coordinator. Weaver is a first-time DC, while Fangio has over 20 years of coordinator experience in the NFL.

It seems that there were some interpersonal conflicts with Fangio in Miami, as highlighted in this story from the Palm Beach Post. And since the end of his one season with the Dolphins, we’ve heard about Fangio’s rough relationships with some players. Agent Drew Rosenhaus said in an interview that several players didn’t get along with the 65-year-old coach.

Fangio’s old-school approach seemed to rub some players the wrong way but his defense in Miami was relatively successful until injuries piled up late in the season.

The reason the Eagles didn’t hire Fangio as their defensive coordinator after the 2022 season was timing. Jonathan Gannon got hired as the Cardinals’ head coach after the Super Bowl and after Fangio had already agreed to join the Dolphins. So the Eagles eventually hired a Fangio disciple in Sean Desai, whom they demoted in Week 15.

There’s upside with Fangio. Instead of having the student, they know have the teacher. And this offseason, the Eagles have shown some deference to Fangio already. He has hired an almost entirely new coaching staff on the defensive side of the ball, including his former assistants Clint Hurtt and Christian Parker.

So it stands to reason that Fangio, because of his experience, will be given plenty of sway when it comes to personnel.

“I’m sure he thinks that,” Eagles general manager Howie Roseman joked.

Based on the last time the Eagles hired a veteran defensive coordinator — Jim Schwartz in 2016 — Fangio will definitely have some pull when it comes to the player acquisition phase of the offseason.

“Obviously, tremendous respect for Vic, known him for a long time, and he's had tremendous success,” Roseman said. “I think, when we talk about how we build a team overall, obviously that's something that's important to us, but by the same token, knowing what's important to the coordinator and the system so that it can be successful is important as well.”

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