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Vance Joseph building coaching staff ahead of interviews

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Miami’s defensive coordinator is one of the hot names around the NFL.

Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins lost their AFC Wildcard game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, which means the time has come for the coaches to wrap up this year and begin planning for next year. One Miami coach’s plans for next year could include becoming a head coach of another city’s franchise, as defensive coordinator Vance Joseph begins his interviews this week with several teams having expressed interest in speaking with him.

Joseph’s first year as a defensive coordinator featured some disappointing stats, but an impressive ability to overcome key injuries all across the roster. Several starters missed at least some playing time, including safety Isa Abdul-Quddus, cornerback Byron Maxwell, cornerback Xavien Howard, linebacker Koa Misi, linebacker Jelani Jenkins, linebacker Kiko Alonso, defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, and Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones, not to mention the team’s deliberate approach to bringing back Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake after last year’s torn Achilles tendon.

According to the Sporting News’ Alex Marvez, Joseph has spoken to Mike McCoy about working as the offensive coordinator in Joseph’s staff. According Pro Football Talk’s Darin Gantt, Joseph is also considering Joe Woods as his defensive coordinator.

Joseph is considered the favorite to become the Denver Broncos’ head coach, with the job being described as “his to lose.” That would make for an interesting move if McCoy became his offensive coordinator, as the recently fired San Diego Chargers head coach was previously the offensive coordinator for the Broncos from 2009 to 2012.

He was succeeded by now Dolphins head coach Adam Gase as the Broncos offensive coordinator in 2013. Gase served as the Broncos’ quarterbacks coach from 2011 through 2012, and as the wide receivers coach for two years prior to that, all under McCoy.

Woods is currently the Broncos’ defensive backs coach, a job he assumed in 2015 after holding the same position from the Minnesota Vikings (2006-2013) and Oakland Raiders (2014). The Broncos are thought to want to keep Wade Phillips, their current defensive coordinator, in position, but Joseph’s leaning toward Woods could still give Denver the continuity they want for the fourth-overall defense in 2016, a unit that ranked number one in pass defense this past season.

Joseph may be the top-contender to replace Gary Kubiak, who retired after the season due to health concerns, for the Broncos, but he is also expected to interview with the San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills, and San Diego Chargers. Having a set of coordinators already lined up could help Joseph during those interviews, though it would be interesting to see what would happen to McCoy if the Chargers became a real possibility for Joseph.