Cardinals add former Broncos coach Vance Joseph to Kliff Kingsbury's staff as defensive coordinator

After hiring a 39-year-old with zero NFL experience as their new head coach, the Cardinals have added a former NFL head coach to Kliff Kingsbury's staff. On Friday, the team announced that they've hired ex-Broncos coach Vance Joseph to be their new defensive coordinator.

Joseph, who posted an 11-21 record over the past two seasons with the Broncos, is returning to his defensive roots. Prior to landing the Broncos' head coaching job ahead of the 2017 season, Joseph worked as the Dolphins defensive coordinator for one season, during which the Dolphins ranked 29th in yards allowed, 18th in points allowed, and 19th in defensive DVOA. That's Joseph's only experience as a defensive coordinator. He spent the 14 previous seasons coaching the defensive backs for the Bengals, Texans, 49ers, Bowling Green, Colorado, and Wyoming. In Denver the past two seasons, Joseph's defenses finished 10th and fifth in DVOA, but graded out worse by more traditional metrics (22nd and 13th in points allowed). 

Joseph will be inheriting a defense that ranked 17th in DVOA, 20th in yards allowed, and 26th in points allowed, but includes quality players like Chandler Jones (41 sacks over the past three seasons) and Patrick Peterson (a three-time First Team All-Pro selection). The Cardinals also own the first pick in this year's draft. With 2018 first-round pick Josh Rosen already entrenched as the team's starting quarterback, the Cardinals could very well use that pick on a defensive player -- like, say, Nick Bosa. In his latest mock draft for CBS Sports, NFL draft writer Chris Trapasso has the Cardinals doing exactly that. CBS Sports NFL draft expert Ryan Wilson also has the Cardinals taking Bosa in his most recent mock draft. 

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The idea of coaching a defense spearheaded by Jones and Bosa should be a tempting one, which might be why Joseph took the Cardinals job. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, he also interviewed with the Browns. The Jets were also reportedly interested in him. 

The Cardinals might've liked the idea of adding a former NFL coach to Kingsbury's staff. Kingsbury is coming off a very brief stint as the USC offensive coordinator, a job he secured after getting fired by Texas Tech. At Texas Tech for six seasons, Kingsbury posted a 35-40 record. Despite his lack of experience, the Cardinals hired him to replace Steve Wilks.

Call it the Sean McVay effect. The Cardinals were so desperate to find their own young offensive mastermind, they were willing to overlook Kingsbury's inexperience. Instead, they focused on his work with quarterbacks who made the leap from college to the pros -- most notably Patrick Mahomes. But there's more to coaching than developing quarterbacks and calling plays. 

It remains to be seen how Kingsbury will fare at the next level. Having a strong defense, of course, would help make his transition easier.

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CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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