Whether it be good or bad, the decisions for the Arizona Cardinals are going to be made by new head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Even on defense.
The new defensive coordinator in Arizona, Vance Joseph, will not have sole control of the defense, as was widely thought. Per the Cardinals website, this will be Kingsbury's team, the way it should work.
“Kliff’s the head coach and I’m the defensive coordinator. Any final call on our football team goes through Kliff.” Joseph said.
Kingsbury is widely regarded as an offensive coach coming straight from the college level. There is going to be a learning curve. For a defensive coordinator, with head coaching experience, to feel that way says a lot about the organization-wide belief in the new coach.
The only negative to all of this is that Kingsbury's defenses at Texas Tech routinely struggled. That can be attributed to the offensive-minded approach to football that the Big 12 takes, but it could be an issue. Joseph has plenty of experience running defenses, but he will stand down come decision time.
“I want his blessing sometimes, especially when you’re in a two-minute drive and they’re driving to win,” Joseph said. “Absolutely, I have to, as a coordinator, ask the coach certain things like that, because that’s a Cardinal decision. We’re going to win and lose together.”
While the product on the field may be questionable because of this, there is a positive. For Kingsbury to come in and command the respect of someone with the pedigree that Joseph has says a lot about how the team will be run. That should be cause for excitement from the Cardinals.