Vance Joseph will return as Arizona Cardinals DC, Kliff Kingsbury says

Dec 30, 2019, 8:51 AM | Updated: 2:20 pm
Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph of the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of the NFL game ...
Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph of the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of the NFL game against the Detroit Lions at State Farm Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. The Lions and Cardinals tied 27-27. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph will return for a second season under head coach Kliff Kingsbury.

Kingsbury confirmed that Monday, a day after Arizona fell 34-27 in the 2019 finale that gave the Cardinals a 5-10-1 record.

“I never wavered on that,” the head coach said of retaining Joseph. “His approach, knowing what I know of him and watching him work and things, I saw from the first day I was with him, I knew I wanted him to be here.”

The Cardinals allowed the most yards per game in the NFL (402.0 per game) through the end of the regular season and was fifth-worst with 27.6 points allowed per game.

They were second-worst in passing yards allowed (281.9 per game) thanks to a young secondary that was hampered by cornerback Patrick Peterson’s six-game suspension to start the year, a season-long injury to cornerback Robert Alford, roster turnover after cuts to former starters D.J. Swearinger and Tramaine Brock, plus implementation of younger players.

The Cardinals were most notably the NFL leader in touchdowns allowed to tight ends, finishing with 16 on the season.

Arizona’s rush defense allowed the 24th-fewest yards per game (120.1).

Kingsbury said the defense’s improvement over the last four games of the year, which included relative personnel stability, impressed him.

“There’s definitely progress,” he said. “Having Patrick get his legs back under him and play at a high level obviously helped. Young players learning our scheme, getting more reps, there were a lot of things.”

A report from Sirius XM NFL radio’s Alex Marvez said that the team has fired defensive line coach Chris Achuff and assistant special teams coach Randall McCray. Kingsbury would not confirm those moves Monday.

As for Joseph, who brought in two seasons of NFL head-coaching experience, he will get to build on his first season in charge of Arizona’s defense.

What will come of the continuity with the DC returning?

“I mean, he calls great games,” linebacker Jordan Hicks said. “He’s constantly putting us in the right calls for what the opposing offense is running.

“I think as the year went on, we were able to find our identity, we were able to figure out what we were good at. Now it’s all the small details.”


Arizona Cardinals

Cam Akers #23 of the Los Angeles Rams runs with the ball as Zaven Collins #25 and Marco Wilson #20 ...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Cardinals’ 2021 NFL Draft class lands at No. 13 in ESPN ranking

The group of Cardinals rookies led by CB Marco Wilson, WR Rondale Moore and LB Zaven Collins were among ESPN's top 15 NFL draft classes.
24 hours ago
Adrian Wilson before the NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers at the ...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Cardinals’ Adrian Wilson being linked to Jaguars’ GM job

Cardinals VP of professional personnel Adrian Wilson is reportedly being targeted by the Jaguars for their general manager job.
24 hours ago
Running back James Conner (Jeremy Grant Schnell/Arizona Sports)...
Tyler Drake

The 5: Arizona Cardinals’ in-house free agent priorities this offseason

The Cardinals certainly have a lot of decisions to make this offseason. A look at Arizona's biggest in-house free agent priorities:
2 days ago
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals grant $250K for new turf field at Phoenix elementary school

The Cardinals recently handed out a $250,000 grant for the installation of a synthetic turf field at James W. Rice Elementary School.
2 days ago
Budda Baker #3 of the Arizona Cardinals returns an interception against the San Francisco 49ers at ...
Alex Weiner

Cardinals safety Budda Baker selected to PFWA All-NFC team

Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker made the Professional Football Writers of America All-NFC team for the second straight year.
3 days ago
Owner Michael Bidwill (R) and general manager Steve Keim of the Arizona Cardinals look on during tr...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Cardinals engulfed in offseason chatter early on

It's been quite the roller coaster of conflicting reports since the Cardinals were bounced from the NFC Wild Card game just over a week ago.
3 days ago
Vance Joseph will return as Arizona Cardinals DC, Kliff Kingsbury says