Three ex-Arizona Cardinals who are struggling in 2023

The grass isn't always greener...
Los Angeles Chargers v Tennessee Titans
Los Angeles Chargers v Tennessee Titans / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages
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Vance Joseph
Denver Broncos v San Francisco 49ers / Loren Elliott/GettyImages

Though he may not be a player, Vance Joseph has done plenty to prove that he has been an irrefutable miss early in the 2023 season. Something has clearly gone horribly wrong when there is broad agreement within the Denver Broncos fan base that Vance should be let go just three weeks into his renewed tenure as the defensive coordinator.

Beyond the historically bad performance against the Dolphins, the Denver Broncos defense went from being one of the league’s best to arguably the worst. Somehow Vance Joseph managed to make Patrick Surtain look like a below average cornerback, which is such ridiculous malpractice it is almost commendable.  

Cardinals fans are very familiar with Vance Joseph being the brains behind their defense from 2019 to 2022. However, his tenure with Arizona was ultimately unremarkable. According to Pro Football Reference, the Cardinals defensive coordinator Joseph only had a rushing defense finish 14th or higher once.

The passing defense had some more success, but it was never sustained. The Cardinals passing defense finished as high as seventh in the league in minimizing passing yards and as low as 31st in the same category. As the Denver Broncos defensive coordinator in 2023 he is responsible for the worst rushing defense in the league and a bottom three pass defense. Though he has had several chances, Vance Joseph has yet to establish himself as a defensive coordinator that can turn around a roster and he is running out of opportunities to change that narrative.

Despite the underwhelming results, the Arizona Cardinals still gave a close look at making Vance Joseph their next head coach after Kliff Kingsbury. It is an interesting thought exercise to project where the Arizona Cardinals would be right now if he was the head coach right now. Luckily, that is not the reality, and with the early returns on Jonathan Gannon’s young career the Cardinals were correct to not retread an era that disappointed.