Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph spent two seasons as a head coach in the NFL, compiling an 11-21 record.
Despite his poor record in two seasons, Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph never had a chance in Denver. Through his two years coaching the Broncos, Joseph had to deal with Brock Osweiler, Paxton Lynch, Trevor Siemian, Case Keenum, and Kevin Hogan at quarterback.
Listen, unless you’re the Cleveland Browns, you probably can’t name a bleaker group of quarterbacks since the 2000 NFL Season. Joseph never had a chance to succeed in Denver given the horrific quarterback play among other issues, and it showed.
And while many in Arizona Cardinals spheres like John W. Buckley of Revenge of the Birds don’t believe head coach Kliff Kingsbury is going anywhere, they are asking whether Joseph would make a better coach than the man currently in charge.
Vance Joseph is the best coach on the Arizona Cardinals
Joseph’s defense, which has no marquee pass rusher and next to Byron Murphy, a fringe group of corners, has bailed out Kingsbury’s “chuck and duck” offense in Weeks 2, 3, and 5 this season. Sure, they were terrible against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1, but that was a collective effort.
Had it not been for the adjustments Joseph made for the second half in Week 2, Kliff’s offense was not winning that football game. Heck, if Kliff had a quarterback not named Kyler Murray, he’s not winning that game because any other quarterback would have thrown an incomplete pass or had taken a sack on that first two-point conversion.
In Week 3, the Cardinals faced and lost to the defending Super Bowl Champions. And in Week 5, they played and hung with a team that is currently the NFL’s best in the Philadelphia Eagles. The common denominator? Joseph’s defense allowed just 40 points while the offense scored a bleak 29.
Interestingly, Kingsbury’s offense is statistically better than Joseph’s defense, ranking 15th in the NFL as opposed to 17th and scoring 21.0 points per game while the defense has allowed 24.6. But numbers alone can be deceiving.
Kingsbury has a former number one overall pick at quarterback. That pick’s college teammate at receiver, a top tight end in Zach Ertz, and the 13th best offensive line unit in the NFL. You might sit there and say, “well, he’s missing DeAndre Hopkins.” That’s an excuse. Marquise Brown and Ertz should give Kliff more than enough to succeed in Hopkins’ absence.
Joseph’s defense should be the worst in football
Meanwhile, who does Joseph have on defense besides Murphy, Budda Baker, and Jalen Thompson? He has an aging J.J. Watt, adequate at-best middle linebackers, no real defensive tackles or corners outside of Murphy, and no blue-chip edge rusher, though Zach Allen is making his presence felt.
You look at the lack of talent Joseph has on defense and you can’t help but shake your head. On paper, this should, by far, be the worst defense in the NFL. But besides their 44-point meltdown against the Chiefs, it is one of the league’s better defensive units.
Vance Joseph has taken a unit with mediocre talent besides what he has in most of the secondary and has turned it into one that will most likely keep the Arizona Cardinals in every other game this season. How good has this defense been since Week 1?
They have allowed just 19.8 points per game, which ties for the 13th best in football. The defense has also allowed just 310 yards per game, ranking sixth in the NFL. It takes a special coach to take a defense with hardly a shred of talent on it and turn it into one that will keep the Arizona Cardinals competitive.
Meanwhile, the incumbent is busy wasting the talent he has on the offensive side of the football, awaiting his savior in DeAndre Hopkins. Hopefully, for Kliff Kingsbury’s sake, Hopkins can pitch into bailing out the head coach and help the Cardinals return to the playoffs.
Article Source: Kliff Kingsbury isn’t really on the hot seat —but is he even the best coach on his own team? by John W. Buckley
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)