CINCINNATI -- Whenever any of the Cincinnati Bengals' defensive backs were asked the past two years about their position coach, effusive praise typically followed.
That was no different Monday afternoon.
One day before Vance Joseph left the Bengals to take the Miami Dolphins' defensive coordinator position following a two-year stint helping coordinate Cincinnati's defensive backs, cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick was pleading with Bengals management to figure out a way to keep Joseph around.
"Me being a player and him being in my room 24/7, I'm preaching that we bring him back. I'm begging that we bring him back," Kirkpatrick said.
Clearly his pleas weren't heard.
Even if they had been, there wasn't much the Bengals could do. Before he even left Houston to become the Bengals' co-DBs coach two years ago, those inside the NFL were proclaiming Joseph an up-and-coming defensive coordinator or head-coaching candidate. For that reason alone, the Bengals felt lucky to sway him to Cincinnati, even if they knew he wouldn't be there long.
Last offseason, the Bengals blocked Joseph from taking the lead defensive coaches' position in Denver since he was still under contract, but the fact the Broncos were interested in hiring him was a sign he wouldn't be under the Bengals' control for too much longer.
"Vance has done a great job here," Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said Monday. "He'll do a good job wherever he goes."
Kirkpatrick, who became a starter this past season after three years as a backup, credited Joseph for honing his game.
"He's a guy that I look up to," Kirkpatrick said. "He's a coach that has developed my game tremendously. He's pretty much taken me to the next level as far as film study and everything. I hate to see Coach VJ go, but he has a future that he has to seek upon and he has bigger goals, and I wish him the best."
Joseph will be joined in Miami by Bengals linebackers coach Matt Burke. Another addition from the 2013 offseason, Burke came to Cincinnati after a stint in Detroit.