The Denver Broncos interviewed several defensive coordinator candidates this offseason and ultimately landed on Vance Joseph, who spent the last four years serving as DC for the Arizona Cardinals.
“Rex [Ryan], Matt [Patricia], Sean Desai and all of those guys were outstanding,” coach Sean Payton said at the combine last week. “In the end, there were a few things that I felt that Vance was going to bring.
“Not necessarily because he had experience in Denver, but really more what he was able to do — believe it or not — in Arizona. That was a tough job for a number of years. We’re excited to have him on our defensive staff.”
Arizona ranked second-to-last in points allowed per game last season (26.4), but Payton seems to believe that was more the fault of the roster and structure of the franchise than Joseph’s coaching.
With the Broncos, Joseph will take over a defense that was previously coached by Ejiro Evero and Vic Fangio. Denver will still run a base 3-4 defense, but Joseph’s philosophy differs a bit from his predecessors.
“[He’s] a little more attack-y, a little more aggressive to get up the field,” general manager George Paton said. “I do feel [that] our defensive line fits that mold. We watched a lot of tape with Vance and he has a vision for our defensive line and some of the pieces we have up front.
“I think our outside ‘backers are athletic, they can rush the passer. You can ask Vance, but he feels that our defensive front really fits what he does.”
Broncos fans, of course, experienced what a Joseph-led defense looks like when he served as the team’s head coach from 2017-2018. Coaches, schemes and personnel change over time, though, so fans will be eager to see Joseph’s squad when the games begin this fall.