But Denver fired Fangio following the 2021 season, and Chubb lasted just eight more games as a Bronco before joining the Dolphins by way of trade at last year’s deadline.
Now their paths have converged again in Miami, where expectations are high for the club in a stacked AFC East.
Although Chubb had just 2.5 sacks in his new home in 2022, he’s better entrenched in a skilled defensive front heading into Year 2, and he’s intimately familiar with his DC’s scheme — his preferred “form” of NFL defense.
Fangio, meanwhile, inherits a roster rich in playmakers despite Miami averaging a 21st-ranked scoring unit over the last half decade. From Christian Wilkins and Raekwon Davis along the interior to Chubb and Jaelan Phillips on the edge, he possesses a front that can get home in what will be his 20th year as a defensive coordinator.
And although the secondary took a hit with Jalen Ramsey’s meniscus tear that is expected to keep him out until December, it still boasts talents such as cornerback Xavien Howard and safety Jevon Holland.
Just as Chubb recognizes the possibilities from Fangio bringing his brand of football to South Beach, he sees the pieces that can make them come to fruition.
“Me and JP (Jaelan Phillips) been trying to take it and make it our defense and make it our assignment to wreck plays every time we can,” Chubb said. “Those guys on the interior, Christian and Zach (Sieler) and Raekwon, they do an amazing job of it, as well. The back end that we have is second to none.”
Many of these names contributed to a group that last year ranked tied for 14th in sacks (40) and surrendered the 18th most yards in the league, but the vibe has shifted under Fangio, who had a third-ranked scoring defense with Denver in his last year as a head coach and a first-ranked unit with Chicago in his last season as a DC.
Chubb is confident Fangio’s system is among the best in the NFL to operate in.
If he’s right and that side of the ball awakens the same way the offense has come alive, the reunion could carry well into January.