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Bengals name Vance Joseph as defensive backs coach

The Cincinnati Bengals are close to completing their coaching staff for the 2014 season.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals have announced on Tuesday that they've hired Vance Joseph to coach the defensive backs in tandem with Mark Carrier. It's the first time since 2002 that the Bengals will have two primary position coaches working in the secondary, writes Joe Reedy with the Cincinnati Enquirer:

For two seasons, when Dick LeBeau was head coach, Kevin Coyle was in charge of the cornerbacks and Darren Perry the safeties. That changed in 2003 when Marvin Lewis was hired and Coyle was retained. A specific position group isn’t being tied to Joseph and Carrier but judging by their areas of strength it is possible that Joseph would work mainly with corners and Carrier with safeties.

Joseph has spent the last three seasons with the Houston Texans as their defensive backs coach and five seasons before that as the secondary coach for the San Francisco 49ers.

"With the continued increased emphasis on the passing game in the NFL, it’s crucial for us to expand our coaching strength in this area," said head coach Marvin Lewis. "Vance has excellent experience and has coached a lot of good young players. We feel fortunate to have been able to sign him up for this important job."

Joseph, 41, spent six seasons (2005-10) on the San Francisco 49ers staff, the last five of those as defensive backs coach, before joining Houston. In his first two seasons at Houston, Joseph directed secondaries that played key roles for teams that won a pair of AFC South Division championships. CB Johnathan Joseph was selected for the Pro Bowl each year, the first two Pro Bowl berths of his career.

Last season, despite falling from the ranks of playoff teams, the Texans ranked third in the NFL in fewest passing yards allowed and seventh overall on defense. In 2012, the Texans led the NFL in lowest opponents’ completion percentage (53.0) and were 10th in lowest opponent passer rating (80.0). In 2011, Joseph’s first season, the Texans rose from 32nd to third in fewest passing yards allowed while holding foes to a completion percentage of 51.9 and an aggregate passer rating of 69.0.

"I’m happy for this opportunity, to join a team that’s on the rise," Joseph said, "and this team has a great group of players to work with. I consider myself a very positive coach in the way I work with players, and I put a lot of stress on great technique. I believe I can get those technique points across very well."

A native of Marrero, La., Joseph played QB in college at Colorado and made the transition to cornerback in the NFL, playing for the New York Jets in 1995 and the Indianapolis Colts in 1996. He coached in college at Wyoming, Colorado and Bowling Green before entering the NFL with San Francisco.