<
>

Vance Joseph, if fired by Broncos, expected to emerge as Bengals DC candidate

If the Denver Broncos part ways with head coach Vance Joseph, he is expected to emerge as a candidate for the Cincinnati Bengals' defensive coordinator job and potentially even their head-coaching job when Marvin Lewis decides he has had enough of coaching, a league source told ESPN.

Joseph previously worked in Cincinnati, and the Bengals still have an interest in him, so it would be a plausible fit for both sides.

Denver is not expected to make any in-season coaching changes; the Broncos play against the Raiders in Oakland on Christmas Eve, before returning to Denver for a short week for their regular-season finale against the Chargers.

But multiple sources believe the Broncos are prepared to part ways with Joseph, freeing him to speak with Cincinnati about a role in the Bengals' organization.

Joseph's departure would mark another firing for a minority head coach, further highlighting a growing issue for the league. With Joseph and the Jets' Todd Bowles likely to be let go after this season, according to sources (along with possibly Arizona's Steve Wilks), and with Cleveland already firing Hue Jackson, it could leave Lewis, Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin, the Chargers' Anthony Lynn and Carolina's Ron Rivera as the league's only minority head coaches.

Lewis has also served as the Bengals' de facto defensive coordinator since the firing of Teryl Austin last month.