According to NFL Network and Fox Sports NFL insider Peter Schrager, the Denver Broncos are hiring Vance Joseph to be their defensive coordinator. The former Broncos head coach is returning to the team to coach the defense under Sean Payton.
The Denver Broncos are hiring Vance Joseph as their Defensive Coordinator, per source. @gmfb @nflnetwork @NFLonFOX— Peter Schrager (@PSchrags) February 23, 2023
According to reports, Joseph really impressed during his eight-hour in-person interview with Sean Payton last week and that obviously helped him get the job. Reports last week indicated that Rex Ryan was the favorite for the job, but Joseph’s interview clearly changed things there.
Rex Ryan, Matt Patricia, Sean Desai, Kris Richard and a few other candidates all were contenders for the Broncos' defensive coordinator position, but in the end, Payton decided to go with Vance Joseph. The Eagles wanted Joseph to coach their defense as well, but in the end, Joseph decided to return to the Broncos.
For most Broncos fans(myself included), this will not be an exciting hire. Joseph was not a popular head coach during his short tenure with the team and is not viewed as a top-notch defensive mind. With that said, he did have some success in Arizona with a defense that really lacked talent from top to bottom. In terms of DVOA, the Cardinals' defense was ranked 10th in 2020 and 6th in 2021. They were ranked 24th this past season, but the wheels came off that team entirely there during 2022. So, he has had some success as a defensive coordinator, so let us hope he can do the same with a talented Broncos roster.
Also, the Broncos' defense will not need a major upheaval under Joseph as well. He runs a similar 3-4 defense and the players they have now should fit into Joseph’s scheme.
As for the coaches under Joseph, the Broncos intend to keep two of their own. According to reports, the Broncos will keep defensive backs coach Christian Parker and defensive line coach Marcus Dixon. Both are highly thought of and viewed as up-and-coming coaches. Parker even interviewed for the Broncos' defensive coordinator position per reports as well.
Now, another intriguing name could be joining Joseph’s staff as well. Matt Patricia who we thought interviewed for the Broncos' defensive coordinator position yesterday is a candidate to be the Broncos' linebackers coach per reports. The former Patriots' defensive coordinator has had success on that side of the ball and could be helpful to Joseph. At the very least, it adds some experience to the defensive side of the coaching staff.
Former Broncos head coach and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has always been high on Vance Joseph, so hopefully, their careers follow a similar path. Wade was not the best Broncos head coach, but as a defensive coordinator, he helped lead the Broncos to a Super Bowl win. Let us hope that Joseph can do the same during his second stint with the team.