Broncos request interview with former head coach
Role for Joseph would be as defensive coordinator
The Broncos are interested in discussing their open defensive coordinator position with a familiar face.
Denver put in a request to interview Arizona defensive coordinator and former Broncos head coach Vance Joseph for the coordinator position under head coach Sean Payton, a source confirmed to The Post.
Joseph has been the Cardinals’ top defensive coach for the past four years since being fired as the Broncos’ head coach at the end of the 2018 season.
Joseph, 50, remains under contract with Arizona and could be blocked from interviewing. The Cardinals this week hired Philadelphia defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon as their new head coach and it’s unclear what his plan for the coordinator positions are now that he’s in charge. The situation is not unlike that of Ejiro Evero, who had at least one request rejected by the Broncos for a lateral interview before eventually he was let out of his contract to pursue other opportunities and landed with Carolina.
Joseph, too, may have interest from multiple teams including, potentially, Philadelphia, which just lost Gannon to the Cardinals.
A reunion in Denver certainly would be interesting.
Joseph succeeded Gary Kubiak after the 2016 season but compiled an 11-21 record and was fired at the end of his second season.
Denver had stout defenses both years under Joseph, but struggled mightily offensively.
Joseph and the Cardinals came to Denver in December and the Broncos prevailed, 24-15. That week, Joseph was asked about his time as the head coach.
“I’m over it. It was never a sore spot,” Joseph said then. “That’s a great opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL. It didn’t work out, but I wasn’t the first guy and I won’t be the last. There were never any ill feelings. It was just a job, it didn’t get done and you move on.”
Asked what would have happened if he would have had a franchise quarterback during his tenure here, Joseph smiled and said, “I’m assuming we would have won some games, because defensively it was right. It was right. That’s been stated numerous times, but that wasn’t the case. It was a fast two years in Denver. I can’t say it wasn’t warranted. I mean, we didn’t win.
“They wanted change and I was the guy to change. That’s part of being the head coach.”
He is not the first former head coach to draw attention as a potential defensive coordinator in this hiring cycle. Payton was thought to be considering Vic Fangio as his coordinator, but Fangio ultimately opted to sign with Miami.
Denver has also interviewed Seattle defensive assistant Sean Desai for the coordinator position and Payton has natural ties to former Saints co-coordinator Kris Richard.
According to FOX, he also interviewed Rex Ryan last week and Ryan, according to an NFL Network report, is a strong candidate for the position. Ryan, the former Buffalo and New York Jets head coach, is currently an ESPN analyst and has not been on the sideline since 2015. He hasn’t been a defensive coordinator since 2008.