As the Dolphins went through the offseason program, Joseph proceeded to demonstrate the attributes — the take-charge personality, the attention to detail, the high standards he set — that had led everyone to that conclusion.
“VJ is brilliant,” linebacker
Joseph joined the Dolphins coaching staff this offseason after spending the past 10 seasons as a defensive backs coach, first with the San Francisco 49ers and then with the Houston Texans and the Cincinnati Bengals.
Gase first crossed paths with Joseph when he was an offensive assistant with the 49ers in 2008, which was Joseph’s third season as DB coach in San Francisco.
New Dolphins defensive tackle
“I think he’s great,” Jones said. “He’s very straightforward with us as a defense, very realistic (with) what he has in store for us. I think what he expects out of us is (for) us to be great. That’s the thing you need in defensive coordinators. They need to have high expectations, and he has those. I think he does a great job of pushing us every day.”
Joseph also managed to make a quick impression on those Dolphins players who had never played under him.
“Great coach,” defensive tackle
“Man, it’s great,” safety
Joseph, who played two NFL seasons with the Jets and Colts in the mid-1990s after being a quarterback at the University of Colorado, might have become a defensive coordinator last year had it not been for the Bengals denying him permission to interview with the Denver Broncos.
Like Gase, he clearly was a hot coaching prospect.
Like Gase, part of the offseason program for him entailed adjusting to a first-time role.
“It’s different,” he said. “At first, I couldn’t find a spot to keep myself busy, but now I float from spot to spot (on the practice field). But it’s important to be detailed. If you’re going to play great defense, it’s always the fine, small points that you have to perfect. That’s (in) every position. That’s football. It’s a game of inches, literally.”
As a longtime defensive backs coach, Joseph said that was the first area he checked out during practice before moving over to the linebackers.
Joseph said he didn’t spend much time with the defensive line, in large part because of the presence of veteran assistant coaches Terrell Williams (defensive line coach) and Jim Washburn (senior defensive assistant/pass rush specialist).
Wherever he was, though, Joseph was consistent with his enthusiasm and his constant communication.
“High energy,” Gase said. “I know those guys are being held accountable, for sure. You look at the effort and the energy that the defense is playing with, especially up front, the way these guys are running the ball, the way that they’re coaching this thing, seeing these guys move every day, it’s impressive.”