In fact, he believes Joseph is a rising star who could climb the NFL ladder while he's in Cincinnati. By blocking Denver from hiring him as their defensive coordinator, Lewis says the Bengals could very well have Joseph as their head coach.
Appearing on ESPN's NFL Insiders show on Thursday, Lewis provided some interesting quotes on Joseph, who will remain with the Bengals as their co-defensive backs coach next season.
"Vance Joseph is an excellent young football coach," Lewis said. "My boss and owner sees him as a star, and a guy that, as I told Vance, he could be sitting in my chair very quickly. Anytime you're in that situation as a coach, the very first thing should be ask if I can be released from my contract.
"As you look across the league, some are and some aren't, and that's part of the process. As Mike reminds me, his number one devotion is to the Cincinnati Bengals and what's best for his club."
While Lewis didn't talk about defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, it's also possible that Joseph replaces Guenther next year if his defense continues to regress as it did this past year. From beginning to end, there was more regression throughout the defense then there was improvement.
Some of that can be attributed to injury, but Guenther needs his unit to step up next year, especially when you've got a guy like Joseph waiting in the wings.