Vance Joseph could be using Cardinals as a stepping stone

(Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images) Vance Joseph
(Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images) Vance Joseph /

Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph could be well on his way to another head-coaching opportunity in 2022.

When most people think about the Arizona Cardinals, the first thing that comes to mind is the team’s high-powered offense. That is not overly surprising when you consider the fact that the club has superstar performers like Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, Zach Ertz, and A.J. Green on that side of the ball.

Being a bit overshadowed by that explosive scoring attack is a Cardinals defensive group that ranks fifth overall in the NFL. The much-improved unit is led by Vance Joseph, a 49-year old coordinator that just three seasons ago was the head coach of the Denver Broncos.

With the success that he is enjoying with the Cards this fall, there’s a fairly good possibility that Joseph could be in line for another head-coaching opportunity in 2022. Is there an organization that would offer the Arizona assistant such an important position after the unimpressive job he did as the head man in Denver?

In his two campaigns (2017-18) with the Broncos, Joseph compiled an unacceptable 11-21 record. He was fired by the franchise on December 31st, 2018, but did not stay unemployed for long. Just 11 days after his dismissal from Denver, Joseph agreed to join new Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury’s staff in the desert.

Vance Joseph could leave Arizona Cardinals if a head-coaching opportunity arises in 2022

Losing Joseph in the upcoming offseason would be a huge blow to the Cards coaching staff. Many fans of the squad, yours truly being one of them, didn’t want him to return as coordinator in 2021. But with his innovative schemes and outstanding use of the team’s personnel, Joseph has proven every one of his detractors wrong.

There could be several open head-coaching positions when the current campaign comes to a conclusion. There’s no reason to believe that Joseph wouldn’t be a candidate for each and every one of them.

Urban Meyer of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Robert Saleh of the New York Jets are both in their first season with their respective squads. Meyer’s Jaguars are 2-10, while Saleh’s Jets are 3-9. Could either of those organizations do what Arizona did to Steve Wilks in 2018 and get rid of their head coach after one ugly campaign?

Two other first-year head coaches who could be on thin ice include the Houston Texans’ David Culley (2-10) and the Detroit Lions’ Dan Campbell (1-10-1). Joe Judge of the New York Giants (10-18 in one-plus seasons) and Matt Nagy of the Chicago Bears (4-8 this year) could also be in trouble.

One of the biggest drawbacks of a franchise’s success is the outside opportunities it could create for its assistant coaches. The Cardinals would obviously wish Joseph the best if he left, but at the same time are hoping that he will stay. Only time will tell what will happen with the defensive leader of the Redbirds.

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