Former Denver Broncos head coach Vance Joseph will serve as the Arizona Cardinals’ defensive coordinator, the team announced Friday.
Joseph, the first significant hire for new coach Kliff Kingsbury, is expected to transition the Cardinals to a 3-4 defense from the 4-3 defense the team ran last season under then-coach Steve Wilks.
It had been speculated the Cardinals would follow the Los Angeles Rams’ lead of pairing a young, offensive-minded head coach with a coordinator with head coaching experience, as the Rams did with Sean McVay and Wade Phillips.
And that’s just what they got with Joseph, 46, who compiled an 11-21 record in two seasons with the Broncos. He had extensive experience as a defensive backs coach before the Miami Dolphins named him defensive coordinator in 2016.
The Cardinals also announced the return of former defensive coordinator Bill Davis (2009-10), who will coach the linebackers. He held that position the past two seasons at Ohio State, but new head coach Ryan Day chose not to retain him.
In addition, the Cardinals said special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers will stay in that position under Kingsbury.
Also on Friday, ESPN reported that former Atlanta Falcons OC Steve Sarkisian was “closing in” on the Cardinals OC position.
Sarkisian, 44, was fired after two years in Atlanta that reportedly did not meet the standard set during Kyle Shanahan’s tenure.
Prior to his two seasons in Atlanta, Sarkisian was an offensive analyst for Nick Saban at Alabama in 2016, and served as USC head coach from 2014-‘15. Previously he was head coach for the Washington Huskies from 2009-‘13 and worked two stints as an assistant at USC from 2001-‘03 and 2005-‘08. In 2004, Sarkisian was the Oakland Raiders quarterbacks coach.
—Field Level Media