Vance Joseph won’t be returning to Cincinnati.
On Friday, the Arizona Cardinals chose Joseph to be the team’s new defensive coordinator. He was reportedly in the mix to become the Bengals’ next head coach. Had he not gotten the job, however, he reportedly wasn’t interested in becoming the team’s defensive coordinator.
Joseph was released from his duties as the head coach of the Denver Broncos for the past two seasons after failing to lead the team to a winning season. He had an 11-21 record during his time as the Broncos coach, but that could have as much to do with the team failing to find a quarterback who could help lead the team to wins.
During the 2018 season, Joseph’s defense ranked as the 13th-best scoring defense (21.8 points per game). However, They ranked in the bottom half of the league in total yards per game (22nd), passing yards per game (20th) and rushing yards per game (21st) despite having a very talented group of players on that side of the ball.
His time in Cincinnati as the team’s defensive backs coach was far more impressive. He held that position for the 2014 and 2015 seasons, and over that time, his defensive backs had 41 interceptions, which was the highest mark of any unit over that same span.
Joseph only spent one season as a defensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins. His most impressive accomplishment from that season was having the fourth-best third-down defense in the NFL, as they only allowed 36.2 percent of third downs to be converted.
While no one wanted to see Joseph become a head coach for the Bengals, or any NFL team for that matter, he would have been a good defensive coordinator option for Cincinnati.
This past season, the Bengals allowed opposing teams to convert roughly 48.8 percent of their third downs, which was the worst in the NFL last season. The Bengals also ranked 30th in scoring defense and 32nd in total yards allowed.
Luckily, whoever the next defensive play-caller is will have Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap returning after getting extended before the 2018 season. William Jackson, Jessie Bates III, Shawn Williams and Dre Kirkpatrick round out a pretty good looking secondary. The team should also be getting Carl Lawson back at some point during the offseason after he was put on injured reserve. Sam Hubbard is another rising star along the defensive line.