Ex-Cardinals DL Zach Allen says Vance Joseph a major reason he joined Broncos

May 28, 2023, 4:00 PM

Defensive lineman Zach Allen found success in defensive coordinator Vance Joseph’s defense with the Arizona Cardinals and wanted the chance to continue that progression.

The Cardinals and Joseph parted ways this offseason as new head coach Jonathan Gannon took the helm for Kliff Kingsbury, and Allen was a free agent after four years in the Valley.

Joseph then became the DC for the Denver Broncos, and Allen followed him there on a three-year, $45.75 million deal.

“It definitely was a big part,” Allen told reporters on Thursday regarding Joseph being in Denver impacting his free agency. “I think Vance is one of the best coaches in the NFL. I was really fortunate to be with him for four years and if you have a chance to make it 5-6-7, you’re gonna do that. I’m a believer in his stuff and his coaching style. At this point he’s a really good friend.”

The Cardinals drafted Allen in the third round of the NFL Draft in 2019 after hiring Joseph.

Allen broke out over the past two seasons, finishing the 2022 campaign second on the Cardinals with 5.5 sacks and 20 quarterback hits.

He is one of several Cardinals 2022 defensive starters on new teams along with cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. (Vikings) and edge rusher Markus Golden (Steelers).

“It was a brand new experience, but it worked out well,” Allen said of free agency. “Now is my time to prove it.”

He also built a friendship in Arizona with J.J. Watt, who still answers questions from Allen, the new Bronco said.

Watt is even helping Allen pick out furniture for his new house in Colorado.

The Cardinals will open their preseason slate against Allen and the Broncos on Aug. 11 at State Farm Stadium, but the two sides will not match up in the regular season.

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