The Cincinnati Bengals are not allowing defensive backs coach Vance Joseph to leave for Denver's vacant defensive coordinator position, writes Fox Sports NFL Insider Alex Marvez. During practice at the Senior Bowl on Tuesday afternoon, Bengals owner Mike Brown told Marvez that he wanted to speak with Joseph before making any decision. While that was going on, Joseph was scouting senior bowl practices in Mobile, Alabama with head coach Marvin Lewis and defensive coordinator Paul Guenther.
This isn't the first time that Cincinnati has denied permission for an assistant coach to leave for a promotion elsewhere (that's not a head coach position). Cincinnati denied the Eagles an opportunity to interview former defensive backs coach Kevin Coyle in 2011, before he was allowed to take the defensive coordinator spot in Miami in 2012.
Naturally we speculated throughout the day that Brown, maybe, wanted to know Joseph's point of view. Had Joseph preferred to stay in Cincinnati, then Brown would publicly refuse permission and thus take all of the heat away from his coach. Again... speculation. Brown might be viewed as frugal but taking heat away from an assistant coach wouldn't be outside of his character. Additional speculation is that the team has greater long-term plans for Joseph.
Joseph was viewed as a prime candidate had Gary Kubiak, his former boss in Houston, accepted an offer to become Denver's next head coach. Kubiak agreed to a four-year deal while the New England Patriots were putting the finishing touches on Indianapolis' deflating loss Sunday night. After John Fox was fired, Denver's assistant coaches were told to look for other opportunities. Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio accepted a head coaching position in Oakland on Jan. 14. It's his second tenure as a head coach after spending nine seasons in Jacksonville and accumulating a record of 68-71, which considering where the Jaguars are now, is incredible.
Too many connections existed between Denver and Joseph. Viewed by many as a rising star in the coaching ranks, Joseph spent three seasons as Kubiak's defensive backs coach from 2011 through 2013. In addition to the connection with Kubiak, Joseph has ties in Colorado having played quarterback and running back at the University of Colorado ('90-'94) before joining Gary Barnett's staff as a graduate assistant in '99. Joseph also spent six seasons in San Francisco ('05-10) with the final five coaching defensive backs, before signing with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2014, pairing with Mark Carrier as co-defensive backs coaches. While Carrier worked with the safeties, Joseph worked with the cornerbacks and is viewed as having a significant role in Dre Kirkpatrick's development.