New Cardinals CB Johnathan Joseph familiar with DC Vance Joseph

Dec 5, 2020, 6:49 AM

New England Patriots defensive back Justin Bethel (29) double teamed on a punt by Arizona Cardinals...

New England Patriots defensive back Justin Bethel (29) double teamed on a punt by Arizona Cardinals cornerback Johnathan Joseph (25) and Arizona Cardinals safety Charles Washington (28) during a game between the New England Patriots and the Arizona Cardinals on November 29, 2020, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals have been playing from behind at corner before the season even got started when Robert Alford was ruled out in camp for the rest of the year.

From there, it’s been Dre Kirkpatrick and others stepping up, but even more injuries have required extra depth.

With Kevin Peterson also going down, veteran Johnathan Joseph was signed in mid-November.

Joseph has played 35 total snaps in the past three games, playing as the fourth cornerback behind Patrick Peterson, Kirkpatrick and Byron Murphy Jr., as well as some special teams duties.

A 15-year vet, Joseph’s first three years with the Houston Texans from 2011-13 had Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph serving as his defensive backs coach.

That’s allowed “a little carryover,” as the veteran corner put it, in terms of picking everything up. Joseph played from the jump as soon as he was eligible in Week 10 against the Buffalo Bills.

The cornerback Joseph credited the coordinator Joseph’s coaching style.

“I think he’s a great communicator,” Johnathan Joseph said Wednesday. “He listens to his guys but he holds his guys to a high standard. To where, when we’re coming into the gameplan, there’s gonna be certain situations where the coach is gonna put you in positions to make plays. And at the same time, (he’s) gonna put you in a few situations to where you gotta go out there and just win yourself.

“As a player, it’s really good to have a player-friendly coach that’s played before and been a head coach before and he understands it.”

Joseph started the year with the Tennessee Titans before being waived and found a home in Arizona shortly thereafter.

The corner said he’s willing to do whatever the team needs from him as an experienced player in the group, even mentioning special teams, where he has spent some time already.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury spoke highly of Joseph’s presence among the corners.

“J-Jo (Johnathan Joseph) has been tremendous,” he said. “Another one of those guys who is a tremendous leader, always talking football, always talking to the young guys about different coverages and techniques and has such wisdom and has played at a high level for so long.”

Versatility is a key for Joseph, as he’s able to play on the inside or outside, something Vance Joseph called rare.

“He’s played so much football,” the defensive coordinator said. “His football IQ is so high.”

Kingsbury said a NFL team can never have too many corners and he’s happy to have one with Johnathan Joseph’s attributes.

“I’m just here to fill in when need be,” Johnathan Joseph said.

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