The search ended Wednesday for two teams looking for new head coaches, with the Denver Broncos announcing the hiring of Miami defensive coordinator Vance Joseph and the Buffalo Bills tapping Carolina defensive coordinator Sean McDermott to try to end the franchise’s playoff drought.

The 44-year-old Joseph, a runner-up in Denver two years ago, built a reputation as one of the league’s best secondary coaches as he worked his way through the ranks in San Francisco, Houston and Cincinnati before serving as Dolphins defensive coordinator last season and helping Miami end an eight-year playoff drought.

Joseph, who will be formally introduced as the team’s 16th head coach on Thursday, impressed Elway in 2015 when Gary Kubiak got the job, and the Broncos even tried to hire him as their defensive coordinator, a move the Bengals blocked. So, Joseph stayed in Cincinnati for another year as secondary coach before joining Adam Gase’s staff in Miami.

Kubiak, 55, stepped down over health concerns last week, capping a tumultuous season by the Broncos (9-7), who missed the playoffs a year after winning the Super Bowl.

“Becoming head coach of the Denver Broncos is a dream job for many reasons,” Joseph said in a statement. “The Broncos have an unbelievable winning tradition and great fan support. But what makes this even more special is it’s a place that’s ready to win.

“This is not a rebuilding situation – it’s a reboot. There is a culture of winning here, and the standards around here won’t change. Those are to win championships.”

The task appears taller for the Bills, who are putting their faith in McDermott to fix their under-performing defense and restore relevance to a franchise that hasn’t reached the playoffs since the Music City Miracle loss in January 2000.

Buffalo reached an agreement with McDermott shortly after he conducted his second interview with the team in eight days. The 42-year-old has no previous head-coaching experience and spent the past six seasons overseeing the Panthers defense.

McDermott is replacing Rex Ryan, who was fired two weeks ago for failing to deliver on his bold promise to build the Bills into a bully.

McDermott becomes the team’s ninth head coach since the 1999 season, when Buffalo last made the playoffs under Wade Phillips.

The Bills’ season ended with 22-16 loss in an AFC wild card playoff game at Tennessee, where Frank Wycheck’s lateral to Kevin Dyson started a 75-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the final seconds.

The Bills have managed just two winning records since – 9-7 in both 2004 and 2014 – and extended the NFL’s longest active playoff drought to 17 years following a 7-9 finish this season.

McDermott has 18 seasons of NFL experience, spending his first 12 years with the Philadelphia Eagles. He started as a scouting coordinator for two years, then mentored under late defensive coordinator Jim Johnson. He eventually succeeded Johnson in 2009.

He takes over a defense that finished 19th in yards allowed two years straight, and was particularly porous against the run.


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