Broncos Hire Vance Joseph & Bills Hire Sean McDormott
Broncos Hire Vance Joseph
The Denver Broncos have officially hired former Miami Dolphins coordinator Vance Joseph to be their head coach. General manager John Elway tweeted a photo of the two standing together with the caption “It’s official.”
Joseph, who is 44-years-old, spent just one season as the Dolphins’ defensive coordinator before being given the opportunity to move on and become a head coach. The Broncos actually interviewed Joseph for the job when it was open in May of 2015 before eventually hiring Gary Kubiak.
Kubiak enjoyed a successful two-year stint with the Broncos that included a Super Bowl title last season. He was forced to retire early due to health concerns following the team’s season-ending win over the Oakland Raiders in early January.
The Broncos came to the decision to hire Joseph after also interviewing Kansas City Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub as well as Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. Because the Chiefs and Falcons are both still active in the playoffs, though, the Broncos were unable to strike a deal with either of them.
Joseph has ties to the state of Colorado, as well. He came up as a player and eventual assistant coach at the University of Colorado and was a teammate of current Broncos player of personnel Matt Russell.
Elway said after the season ended that he hoped to find a “young” and “bright” head coach, and Joseph certainly fits the bill on both counts.
Joseph has bounced around a bit since breaking into the NFL in 2005 as an assistant defensive backs coach for the San Francisco 49ers. In addition to the Niners, Joseph has served a variety of roles with the Houston Texans and Dolphins, as well.
He was a defensive backs coach with Houston from 2011-2013 under defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. Phillips has filled that same role in Denver during the Kubiak era, though his contract expired after the season. It is unclear whether he will be brought back for 2017.
Offensive Coordinator Targets
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Wednesday that the Broncos already have interviews lined up with a couple of offensive coordinator targets. They are scheduled to meet with former Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave as well as former San Diego Chargers head coach Mike McCoy.
Musgrave was not retained by the Raiders after their season-ending defeat against the Texans last week. McCoy was the O.C. in Denver for a few seasons before being hired to coach the Chargers in 2013.
The Broncos will be looking to get back into the postseason following a so-so 9-7 campaign this past season. They still boast one of the league’s strongest and most talented defenses, but will need a rejuvenated offense if they want to get back on top of the AFC West.
Joseph will be the 16th head coach in Broncos’ history, and becomes the sixth active African-American head coach in the NFL.
Bills Hire Sean McDermott
The Broncos were not the only team to find themselves a new head coach on Wednesday. The Buffalo Bills are reportedly in agreement with former Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott to be their new head man, as well.
McDermott has spent the last six seasons as the defensive coordinator in Carolina and will be making his first stop as an NFL head coach. The 42-year-old was one of four candidates to interview for the position with the Bills, and he wound up beating out Kris Richard, Harold Goodwin and former interim coach Anthony Lynn.
Lynn was promoted into the head coaching position left vacant when the Bills decided to part ways with Rex Ryan a week before the end of the season. He had started the season as the team’s running backs coach before being promoted to offensive coordinator when Greg Roman was fired early in the year.
The Bills interviewed McDermott a second time earlier Wednesday down in Boca Raton, Florida, and apparently made the decision that he was the man for the job.
It is not currently clear how much say McDermott will have in Buffalo’s roster decisions, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported earlier in January that the Bills had planned on giving their new head coach more decision-making power within the organization.
Panthers linebacker coach Al Holcomb is expected to follow McDermott to Buffalo and serve as his new defensive coordinator.
McDermott served as the defensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles for two seasons prior to joining Carolina’s staff in 2010. The Panthers finished in the top-10 in yards allowed in every season from 2010 through 2015.
Tall Task Ahead
McDermott will be the 20th head coach in Bills history and will be tasked with attempting to end the longest playoff drought in the NFL. The Bills have not qualified for the postseason since 1999 when they were beaten in the Wild Card round by the Tennessee Titans via the infamous “Music City Miracle.”
Buffalo finished 7-9 this past season under Ryan and Lynn. Since the aforementioned playoff appearance in ’99, Buffalo has finished a season with a record of .500 or better just five times.
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