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Vance Joseph interviews for Broncos' head-coaching position

Posted Jan 10, 2017

The University of Colorado alumnus spent last season as Miami's defensive coordinator and worked under Gary Kubiak for three seasons in Houston.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Broncos' search for their next head coach continued as the team's search committee interviewed Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph for the position on Tuesday.

"He has great leadership qualities and a strong vision of what it takes to win," Executive Vice President/General Manager John Elway tweeted after the interview concluded.

Joseph spent three seasons (2011-13) working under former Broncos Head Coach Gary Kubiak on the staff of the Houston Texans, where he worked with Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips, Defensive Line Coach Bill Kollar and Inside Linebackers coach Reggie Herring. A two-year stint in Cincinnati followed before he moved on to Miami for the 2016 campaign.

Joseph broke into the NFL coaching ranks in 2005 as the assistant defensive backs coach on the staff of former Broncos assistant coach Mike Nolan with the San Francisco 49ers. San Francisco promoted him to secondary coach in 2006, where he remained until 2010.

While in San Francisco, Houston and Cincinnati, Joseph earned a reputation as one of the league's best secondary coaches. During his two seasons in Cincinnati, the Bengals led the league in interception percentage (3.3) and were the league's only team with more interceptions than touchdowns surrendered, giving up 36 scores against 41 interceptions.

Four of those interceptions came in a single 2014 game against Denver, a feat that Adam Gase remembered when assembling his coaching staff in Miami last year.

"Going against him over the last few years, he was probably the one guy that would drive me nuts," Gase said last May. "I know he gave us tons of fits when we played him when we were in Houston. And then two years ago when he was in Cincinnati and we were in Denver, it was a tough matchup. I think his DBs picked us off four times.

"His knowledge of defense and what he brings to the table and his ability to really go after an offense, as far as really teaching his guys what’s going on, it’s very impressive."

During Joseph's two years in Cincinnati, Bengals safety Reggie Nelson led the NFL with 12 interceptions.

In Houston, he marshaled an improved secondary that helped propel the Texans' pass defense from 32nd to third in yardage allowed during the 2011 season, his first on the job.

The 2016 season with the Dolphins was his first as an NFL defensive coordinator, and his unit was battered by injuries from the start, playing without defensive end Cameron Wake for the first five weeks. As a result, Miami used 13 different starting defensive lineups in the regular season.

Despite the constant changes, Miami showed dramatic improvement in forcing turnovers, rising from 29th in 2015 to 11th last year. They increased their takeaways by more than 50 percent, from 1.0 per game to 1.56.

Miami's defense also improved in three other key metrics. In first-down rate, the Dolphins bounced from 24th to 14th, allowing one first down every 3.53 plays after giving up one every 3.41 snaps in 2015. In touchdown rate, the Dolphins improved from 26th (one every 24.4 plays) to 19th (one every 25.9 plays). The Dolphins also improved from 2.04 points allowed per possession to 1.96.

A University of Colorado alumnus, Joseph was a quarterback and running back for the Buffaloes, graduating in 1994 with a degree in marketing.


1999-2001: Colorado, graduate assistant
2002: Wyoming, defensive backs
2002-03: Colorado, defensive backs
2004: Bowling Green, defensive backs
2005: San Francisco 49ers, assistant defensive backs
2006-10: San Francisco 49ers, defensive backs
2011-13: Houston Texans, defensive backs
2014-15: Cincinnati Bengals, defensive backs
2016: Miami Dolphins, defensive coordinator

Vance Joseph