By Justin Adams

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– The last time the New Orleans Saints beat the Denver Broncos was back in 1994 and Vic Fangio was there – as the outside linebackers coach for the Saints.

(credit: CBS)

Fangio, now the head coach of the Denver Broncos, had his first coaching job in the NFL with the Saints from 1986 to 1994. He has fond memories of his first stint in the “Big Easy” and considers New Orleans a second home.

“It was very special for me,” Fangio said. “That was my first stop in my NFL career. I had nine great years there.”

The linebackers he coached were known as the “Dome Patrol.” The legendary unit included Rickey Jackson, Vaughan Johnson, Sam Mills and Pat Swilling. In 1992, all four linebackers were selected to the Pro Bowl, which was the first time in NFL history four players from the same team and position were chosen for the honor. On a personal note, Fangio also coached my cousin James Williams, who was a linebacker for the Saints from 1990 to 1994.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 15: Head coach Vic Fangio of the Denver Broncos looks on during the first half of their game at Allegiant Stadium on November 15, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)

“Coaching good players always makes it much more enjoyable. I’m still in touch with some of those players, they text me regular, which is very nice,” Fangio said.

The tandem also roughed up the Broncos under Fangio, beating Denver 42-0 in 1988 and 30-28 in 1994. Those are the only two wins the Saints have over the Broncos in their 11 meetings.

The game in 1994 was the final game in the career of Broncos greats Dennis Smith and Karl Mecklenburg career. It was also the final one for Fangio, who left New Orleans to become the defensive coordinator for the expansion Carolina Panthers in 1995.

Denver (4-6) has won the last five games against New Orleans (8-2) and Fangio is hoping to keep that winning streak going to keep and keep his current team in the playoff race. Kickoff is set for 2:05 p.m. at Empower Field at Mile High.

Justin Adams