Vance Joseph returned to the Denver Broncos this spring, this time as a defensive coordinator after previously serving as the team’s head coach from 2017-2018.
The Broncos struggled during Joseph’s tenure, going 11-21 in two seasons before he was fired. Joseph then served as the Arizona Cardinals’ defensive coordinator from 2019-2022.
The coach is now back in Denver and while some fans might still harbor ill will toward Joseph, he has no hard feelings toward the team that fired him.
“It was a fair process,” Joseph said last week. “This is a league of winning, so when you don’t win, there is going to be change. It was never personal for me. I came here and I worked my butt off, but it didn’t work. I’m back now, and that’s my focus — playing great defense for Sean [Payton] and win games.”
The opportunity to work with Payton in Denver was appealing to Joseph, but it wasn’t the only factor.
“Sean has been great, obviously,” Joseph said. “To have the chance to work with Sean Payton was a good thing. I had some choices after leaving Arizona, but Denver is home. This is a great place with a great fanbase. We have a home here still. For me, it was home. [Even] outside of working with Sean, it was the perfect spot for me.”
Joseph isn’t the first head coach to be fired by the Broncos and later return as a defensive coordinator. Wade Phillips went 16-16 in two seasons as an HC from 1993-1994 before being fired. He later returned as DC and helped Denver win Super Bowl 50 following the 2015 season.
Joseph spoke with Phillips after he returned to the Broncos.
“He reminded me that he was let go and he came back as a coordinator and won a championship,” Joseph said. “That was his message to me. Hopefully I can follow his trail.”
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Story originally appeared on Broncos Wire