Will Vance Joseph return as the Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator?
Vance Joseph isn’t the most popular name among the Arizona Cardinals fanbase, but he might just return to the team in 2023 if given the opportunity.
Fans of the Arizona Cardinals have plenty of reason to dislike the possibility that Vance Joseph will return to the team in any capacity. We know the Redbirds talked to him about their head coaching vacancy, but even if Joseph doesn’t land the job, there is a possibility he isn’t quite finished in his stint with the franchise.
This is bad news for many in the Red Sea, as Joseph’s defense regressed down the stretch after his unit put up some solid performances earlier in the season. While injuries primarily on the opposite side of the ball didn’t help Joseph, we can point to a few defenses that held up well despite inept offenses.
Ejiro Evero’s unit excelled in Denver. Ditto for Robert Saleh’s and Jeff Ulbrich’s unit in New York. And those two units are just the tip of the iceberg, so there’s little excuse that Joseph’s defense gave up an astounding 449 points this past season, which translates to 26.4 per game. Even with a bad offense.
Vance Joseph cannot be a part of the 2023 Arizona Cardinals
Overall, Joseph’s defense didn’t fare well in any category, and were routinely giving up a high number of completions per game, the third-highest overall last season. They also gave up the third-highest number of touchdown passes at 29, and the second-highest number of first downs at 218.
Things didn’t fare much better with their rushing defense, as the unit gave up 21 touchdowns on the ground, tied for the fifth-highest in the league. Thanks to the high number of points their defense allowed overall, 41.6% of all drives they faced ended up with the opposing team scoring, which accounted for the third-highest in the league.
The only real upside of Joseph returning is that the Cardinals would likely see a familiar system. But as bad as his defense has been over the past two seasons, the new regime could be starting behind the eight-ball if he remains part of the franchise.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)