With only two games left this season and already being eliminated from the playoffs for the fifth-straight season, Broncos Country is already looking toward 2021.
But for coach Vic Fangio, he wants to finish 2020 on a positive note against the Chargers this week and the Raiders next. In his second year as Denver's coach, Fangio has a 12-18 record as the man in charge. With year three right around the corner, some wonder what Fangio's future holds. It's likely he returns next year given that he has a relatively young roster, but after 2021 is anyone's guess.
Monday, following the Broncos' 48-19 home loss to the Bills, Fangio was asked if he's spoken to President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway about his future in Denver, which Fangio didn't expand much on, but implied he doesn't see any changes happening soon.
"Yeah, John and I talk often," Fangio said, "and I believe we're all on the same page there. I see no issues there."
Fangio was relatively positive about the team's future, noting that the roster has talent and has shown, at times, it can compete with some of the better teams in the league.
“I think at times we've played good football in all three phases," Fangio said. "We haven't done it enough together in enough games to translate into more wins, but I see a bunch of young players improving each and every week. I see a bunch of guys in the mid parts of their career still improving each and every week, and I think this team has a bright future.”
Aside from Fangio's future, the biggest question is what the Broncos will do with second-year quarterback Drew Lock.
Lock has started 16 games for the Broncos since being picked in the second round of the 2019 draft. He's 8-8, throwing for 3,350 yards, 21 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He's shown progress in the last two games, completing 69.5 percent of passes and throwing for a combined 412 yards and five touchdowns.
Still, similar to Fangio, many wonder what Lock's future is in Denver. Over the last two games, he has much to prove. And when Fangio was asked about what Lock needs to achieve these last two games, he said it's simple — win.
“I just want to see winning football," Fangio said. "That's all we're here to do is we all have to play good enough to win football games, and that's all three phases. That’s all 11 guys that are out there at any given time. We've proven when we play well enough and coach well enough that we can do that. We just need to see it more often from everybody.”
The results of the Broncos' games at the Chargers this Sunday and at home against the Raiders on Jan. 3 will certainly have an effect on their draft pick, currently sitting at No. 13. Six teams between picks eight and 13 are 5-9, meaning the Broncos are likely to move over the final two weeks of the season.
But in terms of what happens in 2021 and beyond, they could set the tone — positively or negatively — of the franchise future.
“We're all being evaluated — players, coaches, everybody," Fangio said. "We're just looking for improvement from each and every player individually, each and every unit offensively, defensively, and the various phases of the kicking game. We need to improve, and we want to keep improving.”