Retaining the coordinator of the NFL’s 32nd-ranked defense is a decision that could come back to haunt the Arizona Cardinals
It’s difficult to fathom what the Arizona Cardinals are thinking. Perhaps the club’s management was witnessing something different than the rest of us were over the past four months. One day after the final game of 2019, the Cards front office has already made what appears to be their first major mistake of the offseason.
On Monday, Arizona head coach Kliff Kingsbury announced that Vance Joseph will be back in 2020. If you are stunned by that news, rest assured that you aren’t the only fan who is scratching their head. The Cardinals somehow believe that bringing back the coordinator of the NFL’s worst-ranked defense will help them improve going forward.
Decisions like the one made on Joseph are a prime example of why the team has not been to the playoffs since 2015. General manager Steve Keim basically wasted a whole season by bringing in incompetent individuals like Steve Wilks, Mike McCoy and Al Holcomb to coach the squad in 2018. While it looks as if the Cards got it right with Kingsbury and some of his other assistants, the hiring of Joseph has been nothing short of a disaster.
Arizona concluded their most recent schedule with another awful defensive performance. The Los Angeles Rams shredded Joseph’s group for the second time this month. Whatever good vibes that were generated by the unit in recent wins over the Cleveland Browns and Seattle Seahawks were completely destroyed this past Sunday.
The Rams torched the Cardinals defenders for 31 points, 424 yards from scrimmage and 25 first downs. Quarterback Jared Goff, who’s been average at best in ’19, completed 29 of his 45 throws for 319 yards and three touchdowns. Los Angeles pass-catchers Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee and Robert Woods combined for 22 receptions, 250 receiving yards and three scores versus the Cards atrocious secondary.
In 16 contests this year, Joseph’s crew allowed an eye-popping 402.0 yards per matchup. If that’s not ugly enough, the Big Red defense gave up a whopping 27.6 points per game as well.
Keeping Joseph around is a move that could come back to haunt Arizona in a big way. It’s a horrendous beginning to what will be an extremely important offseason for the franchise. Keim will need to do much better with his evaluations from here on out if the Cardinals hope to return to the postseason any time soon.