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Dolphins DC Vic Fangio turns 65, says he's not close to retirement: 'Still can outwork these young coaches'

There are plenty of people who have moved to Florida to retire.

Vic Fangio isn't one of them.

The 65-year-old Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator isn't slowing down or thinking about hanging it up anytime soon.

"No, not yet," Fangio said, via team transcript, on his birthday Tuesday when asked if he was close to retirement.

Having first stepped onto the roller-coaster ride that is NFL coaching back in 1986 as a linebackers coach for the New Orleans Saints, Fangio has seen myriad thrills and spills, but retirement hasn't really crossed his mind.

"No, I really haven't," Fangio said when asked if he'd ever come close to retiring. "I still feel young. (I'm) 65 years young and still can outwork these young coaches."

The youthful Fangio is the oldest or second-oldest defensive coordinator in football, depending on how you frame it. New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, the Pats' de facto DC, is 71 years young.

Fangio is the eldest among those with the official defensive coordinator title, per NFL Research -- a couple years ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs' Steve Spagnuolo (63), the Washington Commanders' Jack Del Rio (60) and the New York Giants' Wink Martindale (60).

Fangio's got a motor rivaling that of his aggressive defenses, and he's now looking to steer the Dolphins' defense into better standing after Miami finished 24th in the NFL in points allowed in 2022.

He's encountered a pair of problems thus far that are out of his control: a hold-in by defensive lineman Christian Wilkins and a knee injury to defensive back Jalen Ramsey.

"There's initial frustration, but then you're used to it, and you move on," Fangio said. "It's just part of being in the league. Jalen is an unfortunate non-contact injury on grass. And Christian is an administrative deal, which I think will get resolved eventually."

Ramsey is unlikely to return until late in the season. As for Wilkins, Fangio believes he'll be ready to go on the field whenever his contract issues are remedied off the field.

"He had, I don't know the exact amount of days, but the first two weeks we'll call it, he was partaking in all of training camp," Fangio said of Wilkins. "He still does some stuff. I feel good that whenever that's resolved, he'll be ready to go."

Fangio is raring to go for his first season as Dolphins DC. It's a comeback of sorts after his first head coaching job, with the Denver Broncos, ended after a three-season run in 2021. So now he's back as a coordinator, which he's done well for six teams now.

As for getting to know a new boss who's 25 years his junior, Fangio's found that he and Mike McDaniel get along swimmingly, even if they keep the opposite hours.

"I think similarities are we kind of look at the schematic part of the game in a like manner," Fangio said. "Obviously, our personalities and way going about doing things is different. But it's no different than anybody else. You're similar in some ways, different in others."

As for perhaps the biggest difference, Fangio is a night owl, while McDaniel is an early bird.

"So, I stay late. I prefer to sleep in, if I could," Fangio said. "He's the opposite. He's here early and leaves early."

Fangio might not be early in his career anymore, but the birthday boy isn't looking at hanging it up anytime soon, either.

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