Denver Broncos select Vance Joseph as head coach

Prior to joining Broncos, Joseph was a popular candidate around league

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This Dec. 17, 2016 photo shows Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph shouting to players during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the New York Jets in East Rutherford, N.J. The Miami Dolphins are on the verge of allowing more yards than any team in franchise history, but they're 10-5 and bound for the playoffs. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) — Adam Hunger

Vance Joseph was scheduled to interview with the Chargers Wednesday for their head-coaching vacancy. Instead, the Broncos didn't let him leave to visit their rivals in San Diego.

After spending the day with John Elway and his team Tuesday, Joseph was hired to replace recently retired Gary Kubiak as the Broncos' new head coach.

In addition to his scheduled trip to San Diego, Joseph reportedly had meetings lined up with the Niners and Rams. Our sources indicate Joseph, after just one season as an NFL coodinator wherein Miami finished 29th in total defense and 30th versus the run, was as popular as any candidate because he's a tremendous communicator and also happens to be available now, whereas Kyle Shanahan, Josh McDaniels and others are in the thick of the Super Bowl hunt.

Joseph, 44, held the defensive backs coach title for three clubs prior to joining Adam Gase in Miami: Cincinnati (2014-15), Houston (2011-13) and San Francisco (2006-10). In Houston, under Kubiak and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips — the same pair that oversaw the Broncos' Super Bowl 50 season, before a disappointing 9-7 campaign that fell short of the playoffs in 2016 — his secondary enjoyed two top-three finishes. Joseph was key in the development of players such as Kareem Joseph and Pro Bowl safety Glover Quin.

With a pass defense expertise, Joseph will be hard-pressed to find a more perfect situation than with the Broncos, who have a loaded roster including the NFL's best cornerback trio and reigning Super Bowl MVP Von Miller. Of course, defense was hardly the problem for the Broncos this past season, when they finished first overall versus the pass, third in sacks and fourth in scoring, albeit with the run 'D' suffering in part due to last offseason's departures of Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan.

Thus, there are reportedly two key names to watch for Joseph's critical offensive coordinator hire: Bill Musgrave, who wasn't retained in Oakand, and Mike McCoy, the former Broncos coordinator who was dismissed last week following four seasons in San Diego.

The hire is so important because of the presence of Paxton Lynch, whom Elway traded up in the first round to acquire at 26th overall last April, but who as a rookie couldn't usurp middling Trevor Siemian.

Denver must also rebuild an O-line that played a major part in the Broncos finishing 27th in rushing yards per play and 25th in sack percentage to foster the QB growth. But with major weapons on the outside including Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, and a high-priced tailback in C.J. Anderson, the unit is not devoid of talent.

Just two years removed from a Super Bowl and with one of the league's better rosters and general managers, the Broncos were our most desirable opening. It's no wonder, then, they landed their top choice in Joseph.