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Cardinals choose Ray Horton as defensive coordinator

R. Horton

After a whole lot of speculation on Tuesday, the Cardinals have settled on their next defensive coordinator.

The team announced they hired Ray Horton, who was working as Pittsburgh’s secondary coach.   Horton will keep Arizona’s primary 3-4 defense intact and look for ways to improve the team’s pass rush.

Ken Whisenhunt has accomplished a ton of great things in Arizona, but he’s unquestionably done a poor job building a consistent defensive appoach.   This is Whisenhunt’s third defensive coordinator since 2008.

Horton, 50, has coached in the NFL 17 years.  Most of them have been under Dick LeBeau.  The Steelers reportedly denied Arizona permission to talk to Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler.

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29 Responses to “Cardinals choose Ray Horton as defensive coordinator”
  1. supashug says: Feb 9, 2011 5:21 PM

    Good on the Steelers, the secondary was the worst part of their D. Arizona, nice weather

  2. Mike Tomlin says: Feb 9, 2011 5:23 PM

    Build your own team Wisenhunt…

    That being said, that was a poor choice haha did you see their secondary in the Super Bowl? Thats like buying a shirt for the name brand. Just because he says Steelers on him doesnt mean hes going to make your defense better.

  3. androk23 says: Feb 9, 2011 5:26 PM

    Because defensive back coaches are world renowned for their blitzing expertise.

  4. thehighhat says: Feb 9, 2011 5:34 PM

    Arizona has a football team?

  5. citynative says: Feb 9, 2011 5:36 PM

    Championship!

  6. righthereisay says: Feb 9, 2011 5:46 PM

    So Wiz continues to take anything Steeler. Even the weakness of our defense (secondary) he believes is worth taking.

    Russ Grimm, Joey Porter, Alan Faneca, McFadden, Sean Morey, Chukki Okobi, Gandy….

    It is now becoming embarassing. Just because they are from Pittsburgh, doesn’t mean they are the answer.

    Butler may have been their answer.

  7. steelchampions says: Feb 9, 2011 5:54 PM

    I usually hate to see the Steelers lose coaches, but in this case I can’t help but think it’s ok this time. The Steelers secondary is almost putrid without Troy in the line-up. I think it’s time for an upgrade in the coaching at that position. Good luck with that one Whiz.

  8. philriverslovespenis says: Feb 9, 2011 5:55 PM

    Does he hear a who?

  9. stillworker says: Feb 9, 2011 5:56 PM

    Whizz cherry-picks the Steelers again. Good riddance – ‘steelers west’ deserves this guy. Who has Horton ever developed as a DB?

  10. stairwayto7 says: Feb 9, 2011 5:56 PM

    On Tuesday at 1:00pm KTAR in Phoenix said Horton to Dallas, then a few hours later he was ona plane to Az and now the Cards signe dhim? The sports hacks in Phoenix are idiots!

  11. halftermguv says: Feb 9, 2011 5:57 PM

    On behalf of Steeler nation…HOORAY!

    Hiring Ray Horton who coached the weakest part of the Steelers defense is like hiring the navigator of the Exxon Valdez.

  12. thirdngoal says: Feb 9, 2011 5:59 PM

    Congrads to Ray Horton on the new job, but when will Arizona start building its own team rather than pulling players and coaches from Pittsburgh?

  13. hobartbaker says: Feb 9, 2011 6:06 PM

    In another 25 years the Cards could have the next Dick Lebeau.

  14. chucknoll says: Feb 9, 2011 6:18 PM

    whisenhunt is a vulture picking the bones of the dead steelers players and staff..horton prolly shuda been fired after this season anyway and i heard they wanna bring in deshea townsend who was not resigned by the steelers and did nothing for the colts las yr the cards shud be more concerned with finding a qb than the coach of the worst part of our defense and a a washed up cornerback after they cudnt get to Lebeau or keith butler this has FAIL written all over it

  15. FoozieGrooler says: Feb 9, 2011 6:58 PM

    The worst part of the Steelers defense by far, was their secondary.

    And the Cardinals are putting this guy in charge of their entire defense?

    Looks like the Cards may just go into the record books next year as the team with the most points surrendered.

  16. larryfitzgerald4mvp says: Feb 9, 2011 7:25 PM

    You steeler fans are numbskulls. Want to know why your pass defense sucked? Your DBs shouldn’t be starting in the league. McFadden was so awful that the Cards let him go last year, and Taylor hasn’t been a good cover corner in a while.

  17. larryfitzgerald4mvp says: Feb 9, 2011 7:29 PM

    stairwayto7, It was Jason La Canfora, not “sports hacks in Phoenix” who reported that Horton was taking the Cowboys job. Next time get your facts right before you make another ignorant comment.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/02/08/horton-hears-a-job-offer-from-the-cowboys/

  18. jc1958coo says: Feb 9, 2011 7:52 PM

    thank you for not picking a packer assistant! GREEN & GOLD repeat!!!

  19. fthrvic says: Feb 9, 2011 7:59 PM

    @rightthereisay

    We gave McFadden back and you even gave us a pick for it! lol Thanks for that

  20. steelnation82 says: Feb 9, 2011 8:10 PM

    Wonder if Whisenhunt wears a Steelers shirt underneath his Cardinals one? Steelers South sure hasn’t lived up to the real deal… Ken Whisenhunt, what a joke…

  21. cardz24 says: Feb 9, 2011 8:55 PM

    That is lame to place all the blame for the Steelers secondary on Horton…when is the last time the Steelers had a decent CB…..Ike taylor is not exactly on the level of the best.

  22. cardz24 says: Feb 9, 2011 8:57 PM

    Get off the the whisenhunt stealing players from the steelers….every coach goes back to old teams to get players and coaches they personally know about…besides porter and faneca were not actively playing for the steelers when the cards signed them

  23. cardz24 says: Feb 9, 2011 8:59 PM

    Besides if you want to blame someone for the superbowl loss..look at your offense for spotting packers 21 points through turnovers

  24. steelertom says: Feb 9, 2011 9:14 PM

    Good luck to ray horton. It was a easy decision for him. He had no room to improve his career in pittsburgh. Being that he was behind dick and butler. He has been under lebaeu for a long time and should do well.

  25. whoknowsnothing says: Feb 10, 2011 4:14 AM

    Whiz sticks to his people, so it just happens to be his people happen to work for Pitt, just like he did.

    So Ike Taylor, Ryan Clark, Troy Polamalu (he played hurt) are no good. That’s about 80% of their secondary. will gay and the other guys at CB are even worse. That’s what I’m getting from reading all these comments. Hey, if you guys don’t want Taylor, AZ will gladly take him. Taylor and the ARC make a good combo.

    Cardinal Red now runs in Horton’s vein’s now, so stop hating on the man! Defense will improve next year, but I give him 18 months to fully turn the D around and more talent.

  26. whoknowsnothing says: Feb 10, 2011 4:34 AM

    Steelers secondary was soooo bad that the NFL Defensive Player of Year is in that unit and that very same unit had 14 picks out of the teams 21 total, with over 30 passes defended. That bad huh?

  27. gbfanforever says: Feb 10, 2011 7:39 AM

    This guy has been an assistant for 16 years on three different teams, it’s his turn to be a coordinator. Also, the steeler secondary does include the dpoy. Don’t you think LeBeau deserves some blame for their pass defense?

  28. drumbug7 says: Feb 10, 2011 9:23 AM

    I understand that coaches tend to look to familiar faces to either fill the roster with players who know their style, or coaches who can coach their style, but come on, Whisenhunt. What did you have to do with the Defense when you were in Pittsburgh? He clearly went after Butler first, then when he was denied access, he said “Welp, who else ya got there?”

    It makes sense to look at familiar faces first, but it feels like Whisenhunt is laser focused on the Pittsburgh Steelers, no matter what. When Tomlin was hired in Pittsburgh, I think he brought in Mewelde Moore from the Vikings, but other than that, he brought the OL line coach from Buffalo and built through the draft. Not ransacking the Bucs or Vikings.

    I wrote an article for our local paper a few years ago about how Whisenhunt won’t have success until he branches out and finds coaches and players from all teams, not just the one’s he’s coached or coached with. I believe that now more than ever.

  29. whoknowsnothing says: Feb 10, 2011 12:16 PM

    @ drumbug7

    really guy, the Whiz won’t have any success until he branches out! branch where!!!!!

    The Man has taken the Cardinals to the Super Bowl, That’s something no Cardinals coach has ever done!!!!! so please sit down and think about what the man has done with a team thats turned things around since he got there.

    It’s not his fault that the front office didn’t have a plan in place for life after Warner. He made it known he at least wanted Marc Bulger to be the QB while Hall and Skelton develop or till something better was available.

    The front office deserves the blame for that and also letting good players go like Boldin and Dansby.

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