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Vance Joseph a head coach candidate?

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Could the Miami Dolphins be on the verge of needing to change defensive coordinators already?

Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins hired a new coaching staff heading into the 2016 season, but could potentially already need to be considering a new defensive coordinator, at least according to a list of possible 2017 head coaching candidates from ESPN’s John Clayton. Clayton, on Tuesday, put together a list of 16 assistant coaches who could be on the radar for head coaching positions next season and Vance Joseph was included on the list.

Joseph joined Miami this year to fill the defensive coordinator role after two years as the Cincinnati Bengals defensive backs coach. He held the same role the three preceding years (2011-2013) with the Houston Texans and from 2006 to 2010 with the San Francisco 49ers. He also has experience as a defensive backs coach at the University of Wyoming, the University Colorado, and Bowling Green. This season is his first experience as a defensive coordinator.

Of Joseph’s candidacy, Clayton writes:

If Marvin Lewis ever steps down in Cincinnati, Joseph would be a legitimate candidate as his replacement. His work as a first-year coordinator for a 7-4 Dolphins team should get him on the list of candidates to be interviewed.

I think 11 games into his first season as a defensive coordinator is probably too early to consider Joseph a true head coaching candidate, other than maybe for the Bengals where he does have the ties and the front office would know what they were getting in him. That said, he has done well with a defense that clearly came into the season with weaknesses at cornerback and linebacker, yet is rounding into a good pass defense. If they can figure out how to stop the run - especially a mobile quarterback - Joseph’s stock would probably rocket up.

Joseph could get some fringe looks this year, though he probably would be a more intriguing candidate in another year or two if he can continue to develop the Dolphins’ defense.