Why the Dolphins should stay away from Vance Joseph


The Miami Dolphins were rumored to be looking at Bengals secondary coach Vance Joseph for the defensive coordinator position. On Saturday night, Joseph gave another reason to not be considered.

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The Bengals lost to the Steelers in the Wild Card round but they had the Steelers on the ropes with 22 seconds left and a one point lead. Then things fell apart. The Bengals surrendered two personal foul penalties that moved the Steelers into easy field goal range and won the game. This is where I have a problem.

The Bengals secondary and the entire defense played undisciplined. This has been a problem with the Bengals throughout the year and now they are sent home because of it. The play in the secondary wasn’t bad given the opponent but a steady rain throughout the game hindered Pittsburgh’s offense as much as the Bengals secondary did.

On the season the Bengals ranked 11th in total defense. They ranked 7th against the run, something Joseph has no hand in outside of secondary support, but they ranked 20th against the pass. With far better talent at corner than the Dolphins have opposite Brent Grimes.

Joseph started his coaching career in 1999 after two years in the NFL as cornerback. His first job was in with the Colorado Buffaloes as a graduate assistant. His first NFL job came in 2005 with the 49ers as an assistant defensive backs coach. In his entire career spanning college and the NFL, Joseph has never coached a position other than defensive backs. And the rumor is Adam Gase wants to make him a defensive coordinator?

I don’t view Joseph as an up and coming coordinator. He needs more time and more experience and should dabble in other areas on defense. While his young, he is inexperienced and the Dolphins already have a head coach with no head coaching experience at any level. This doesn’t set the Dolphins up for success in my opinion.

Gase is supposed to be a smart guy, some have called him “the smartest guy in the room” so maybe he knows something about Joseph that no one else knows or maybe his connections for coaching is thinner than people thought. Either way, this would be a move that I would not be on board with. In fact, I found myself rooting for the Bengals more last night to win simply to keep Joseph away from Miami for the short-term.

This is nothing against Joseph personally but the Dolphins need strong coaching to help Gase in through the first year or two of being a head coach. He is going to need someone to lean on and learn from as he installs his type of team. With Gase already planning to call the plays on Sunday, the offensive coordinator position will be nothing more than a quarterbacks coach and offensive assistant. Much the same way Joe Philbin was used in Green Bay.

I don’t have a problem with Gase calling plays. In fact, I’m glad he is. He will be accountable with no excuses from the start. Defense is a different issue and frankly, the Dolphins defense is in need of a lot of changes, changes I wouldn’t want a first time DC to make.

For now, the Joseph rumors have been just that but with the Bengals eliminated from the post-season we will soon see if there was any fire to the smoke.