It looks like the Broncos and John Elway will have to find a Plan B after all, at least as far as their next defensive coordinator is concerned. According to Alex Marvez, the Bengals have blocked secondary coach Vance Joseph from interviewing for a promotion in either Denver or San Francisco.
As Ben Hochman discussed on Monday night, hiring Joseph would have been a historic move for the Broncos, who have had only one African-American coordinator in their history (Ray Rhodes).
Mike Klis thinks Cincy's decision is an example of the league's hypocrisy in the face of the league's Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching jobs. While we agree with Klis, it's also worth pointing out that Denver's interview of Joseph last Friday for the head coaching job made a mockery of that same rule. The handwriting on the wall all week long said that Kubiak was John Elway's man, and before he even interviewed, Joseph was mentioned as a DC candidate under Kubiak.
For more on the Rooney Rule and its impact, here's an excellent article over at the Times, prompted by the Jets' hiring of Todd Bowles.
If you're wondering, old friend Wade Phillips was Gary Kubiak's last DC in Houston; Kubiak hired Phillips in 2011 after owner Bob McNair fired Frank Bush (who was on Mike Shanahan's staffs from 1995 to 2003).
Phillips helped Kubiak's Texans make their first ever playoff appearance that year, and he's credited (or has taken credit) with having heavily contributed to the team's decision to draft J.J. Watt. The now-67-year-old former Broncos head coach and DC also took over when Kubes had his stroke-like episode in 2013, and after he was fired in an interim role.
Wade has been tied to the Oakland and Washington jobs; he met with Washington earlier in the month, and Bill Williamson says Jack Del Rio is considering him. Del Rio's top choices for the job are said to be Mike Smith and Eric Mangini.
Current Broncos linebackers coach Richard Smith was Kubiak's first DC in Houston, but Kubes fired him after three seasons. Would he promote Smith in Denver? Sounds like a really weird thing to do, because, well, why did you fire him in the first place?
Anyway, Smith went from Houston straight to John Fox's staff in Carolina, and then came back to Denver with Fox in 2011. His first Denver stint ran from 1993 to 1996.