- Coley Harvey, ESPN Staff Writer
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CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Bengals filled their last coaching vacancy Tuesday, hiring Vance Joseph as a position coach serving defensive backs. He will team up with incumbent defensive backs coach Mark Carrier, who led the position group this season with assistant defensive backs coach Adam Zimmer.
Zimmer left the team late last week when his father Mike became the new head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. Mike Zimmer had been the Bengals' defensive coordinator the past six seasons. His son only spent this past season with them.
Joseph comes to Cincinnati after having spent eight of his nine NFL seasons as a defensive backs coach, including the last three with the Texans. The first two of those years in Houston were spent on a defense that won consecutive AFC South championships, and one that beat the Bengals in the playoffs both years.
"With the continued increased emphasis on the passing game in the NFL, it's crucial for us to expand our coaching strength in this area," Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said in a news release. "Vance has excellent experience and has coached a lot of good young players. We feel fortunate to have been able to sign him up for this important job."
Cincinnati's group of safeties and cornerbacks comprise the deepest position group on the team.
While at Houston, Joseph, 41, coached Johnathan Joseph, a cornerback who earned two Pro Bowl selections under his watch.
During Vance Joseph's first season with the Texans, they went from having the worst pass defense in the NFL the year before, to the third-best. In 2011, the Texans held opposing teams to a 51.9 completion percentage and a passer rating for 69.0. Despite missing the playoffs this past season, the Texans ranked third in the league in passing yards allowed and seventh in total defense.
Before joining the Texans, Vance Joseph spent the 2005-10 seasons with the 49ers. Previous to that, the Louisiana native coached in the college ranks at Wyoming, Bowling Green and Colorado. While in college, he played quarterback at Colorado before transitioning to cornerback in the NFL when he played for the Jets and Colts in 1995 and 1996.
"I'm happy for this opportunity to join a team that's on the rise," Vance Joseph said, "and this team has a great group of players to work with. I consider myself a very positive coach in the way I work with players and I put a lot of stress on great technique. I believe I can get those technique points across very well."
On Saturday, the Bengals announced the hiring of former Lions assistant Matt Burke to coach linebackers. His hiring came after Paul Guenther and Hue Jackson were promoted to defensive coordinator and offensive coordinator from previous position posts. Kyle Caskey also was promoted to fill the running backs coach opening that resulted in Jackson's promotion.
The announcement on Vance Joseph came one day after quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese reportedly interviewed for the Lions' offensive coordinator vacancy. Detroit announced earlier Tuesday that they instead hired Joe Lombardi, grandson of former Packers coach Vince Lombardi, for the job.