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Report: Cards are having “internal conversations” on Ray Horton

Ray Horton AP

You know that thing we said earlier about the possibility that no head coaches will be fired during the season?  That could be wrong.

Mike Jurecki of XTRA 910 in Phoenix reports that the Cardinals are having “internal discussions” regarding defensive coordinator Ray Horton.  Given that the team’s defense has had little to do with the team’s eight-game losing streak, the fair inference is that the Cards are considering firing coach Ken Whisenhunt and promoting Horton to interim head coach.

If it happens that would keep Whisenhunt from matching Jim Hanifan as the longest-tenured coach in team history, with six full seasons.

Stay tuned.

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42 Responses to “Report: Cards are having “internal conversations” on Ray Horton”
  1. mazblast says: Dec 3, 2012 6:16 PM

    I can’t see what good it would do to fire Whisenhunt now. The team’s biggest problem is a lack of talent, not the coaching, and four games wouldn’t be enough to get a read on Horton as a head coach.

  2. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Dec 3, 2012 6:18 PM

    Every coach needs a good starting QB. He doesn’t have one and it doesn’t matter who the coach is with their quarterback situation. Look at the better teams and they all have a QB who can get it done. He was a genius with Kurt Warner, but that had a lot more to do with Warner than anything else.

  3. ccraig232 says: Dec 3, 2012 6:24 PM

    Not sure he should be fired at all. No coach could win with the mess they have at the quarterback position.

  4. chad504boy says: Dec 3, 2012 6:25 PM

    Whatever happened to the days of max hall?

  5. wojowbk says: Dec 3, 2012 6:25 PM

    Fire Whisenhunt, promote Horton. Horton gets 4 games as HC in an impossible situation and surely gets replaced in the offseason. In the mean time the defense suffers because Horton now needs to worry about the whole team not just the defense.

    These moves make no sense which makes me 100% certain that this is exactly what will happen. The Cardinal way!

  6. robotyoster says: Dec 3, 2012 6:26 PM

    Whiz has final say on 53 man roster. He is responsible for the entire qb debacle. Also, re: Warner, whiz picked Leinart as qb that year out of camp. Also picked Skelton out of camp this year over kolb. Dude can’t evaluate the qb position properly.

  7. dredddog says: Dec 3, 2012 6:26 PM

    We go through this all the time here in Cleveland. It starts with the guy drafting or signing your “franchise” QB. Not the coach!

  8. honkerdawg says: Dec 3, 2012 6:27 PM

    Lets fire the GM and owner they’re the ones not bringing in a QB

  9. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 3, 2012 6:33 PM

    Whisenhunt was a bad hire, and he has had lots of chances to prove otherwise (SIX seasons), and he has failed at that. .500 football over the long-term is just not good enough and he should have been begging his GM for better players instead of posturing as if he’s happy with his team that whole time if he’s not going to take responsibility. Move on.

    The GM needs to go too, he’s been with the team a long time and he’s accomplished very little. Only 2 division titles since 1975. Graves should go back to scouting duties if the team thinks he has value in a lesser capacity.

  10. docboss says: Dec 3, 2012 6:38 PM

    “When was the last time you saw a jockey carry a horse across the finish line?” Whisenhunt is not the issue unless he is callin the shots in the draft. All the Cards need is to replace a HOF quarterback, draft a stud running back and three all-pro offensive linemen. Welcome to “Rams World 2004″. No sympathy but plenty of understanding. Seriously, the Cards need two good drafts. No Luck or RGIII in this draft, but maybe a Wilson. The Cards still have the best helmets in the NFL.

  11. kingpel says: Dec 3, 2012 6:38 PM

    I am just stunned that Whisenhunt would go away from Skelton was has proved that he can manage the game well enough so that Fitzgerald and the defense can win the games. Instead he basically just mailed in two winnable games against the Rams and Jets and for what? To see if Lindley is the future?

    Time to update that resume, Coach.

  12. hawks1124 says: Dec 3, 2012 6:43 PM

    If he does get fired headline should be “The Whiz that Waz” Cardinals front office has been killing them. You keep Dansby, DRC, and Rolle so you can draft a young QB then you pay Boldin instead of Kolb.

  13. peopletrains says: Dec 3, 2012 6:53 PM

    The person who needs to be fired is the one who put together this depth chart:

    1. Kevin Kolb
    2. John Skelton
    3. Ryan Lindley.

    Embarrassing. We’re all getting robbed of Larry Fitzgerald greatness.

  14. jimmylions says: Dec 3, 2012 6:56 PM

    If the Cards don’t figure out their QB situation, it won’t matter if they find a way to bring back Vince Lombardi from the dead.

  15. joecb91 says: Dec 3, 2012 6:59 PM

    At least Kolb was able to get the ball to Larry before he got hurt. He was still getting something like 5-7 catches a game.

    Now, with Skelton and Lindley they just miss him by several feet every time he gets open

  16. meatheadsmakemelaugh says: Dec 3, 2012 7:01 PM

    Actually , this is a good move, not surprising some people don’t get it.

    If you keep Whiz you lose Horton, since the defense is one of the best in NFL and the offense is the worst, smart move is to keep the best part of the team, Horton as the head coach.

    Then fire the GM. Then Horton can cut Skelton, Wells or Heap and sign Vince Young and give him 6 to 7 plays to learn and then the cardinals might get more than 6 yards of offensive in a quarter. It’s not a long term deal, if he can do something keep him as a back up, he’s better than Tebow.

    Offseason, new GM, get a new offensive system and OC. Draft picks are oline, rb in the later rounds, all QB coming out arnt good, look at Alex Smith / Romo if you don’t think Kolb is the guy.

  17. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 3, 2012 7:04 PM

    peopletrains:

    It’s worse than that. Not only are you getting robbed of Larry Fitz, but you are getting robbed of the opportunity cost of having not traded him for something for the future when you are ready to compete seriously. Every year you use him and waste him is additional cost of doing something productive that you can capitalize on. Same with the waste of every other player on the team per year.

    It’s massive losses.

  18. kylexitron says: Dec 3, 2012 7:10 PM

    As a Seahawks fan, I say, Fire Wisenhunt! Seriously. He’s not the problem. The issue with the cardinals isn’t lack of preparation, motivation, or a solid game plan. It’s lack of a QB who is any good and a healthy O-line. As a rival fan I would be happy to see them throw away a perfectly good coach, but they would be foolish to do so.

  19. themackstrong says: Dec 3, 2012 7:12 PM

    Wow that would be a mistake, Horton calls some amazing games and his schemes have been had for even elite QB’s to figure out. Cards are still top 6 defense team even with that inept offense is amazing in itself.

  20. oreo51 says: Dec 3, 2012 7:13 PM

    July, 2011
    “Ultimately Kevin was the guy that we had the highest grade on, that we felt was the best fit for what we’re trying to get accomplished as far as a fit with our offense, where he was age-wise, what he had done in the league,” Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “That was our target.”

    One can assume Whisenhunt went out on a limb to get Kevin Kolb for Arizona. This trade has set them back a decade.

  21. ncbengalmike says: Dec 3, 2012 7:16 PM

    First a Dire Straits video appearance for Ray as a player and now a shot at interim head coach?

    Sky is the limit

  22. FinFan68 says: Dec 3, 2012 7:22 PM

    ccraig232 says:
    Dec 3, 2012 6:24 PM
    Not sure he should be fired at all. No coach could win with the mess they have at the quarterback position.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    He is the author of the mess. He didn’t trust Leinart and got rid of him and kept Anderson. Then he got Kolb (injury prone was known) and kept Skelton. He created the QB controversy and then did nothing to fix it. Lindley in no way resembles a NFL QB. There were suitable options available and he and the GM chose to do nothing.

  23. manningbowl88 says: Dec 3, 2012 7:26 PM

    anyone who seen the jets/cards game yesterday (and i pray u didnt) knows firing the HC isnt the issue..that being said it is his fault he hasnt had a good backup or a system in general to succeed that the QB position.. i dont think he deserves to be fired but for not taking lindley out yesterday at any point in the game is enough to warrant no complaint from me

  24. realitypolice says: Dec 3, 2012 7:26 PM

    The person that needs to get fired in Arizona is Rod Graves. How he continues to skate through all of this is beyond me. His overall record as GM is terrible, his current roster is terrible, his plan is terrible.

    He is wasting the prime years of a career of one of the greatest wide reciever talents ever.

    Yes, Whisenhunt has not been great. If you want to get rid of him eventually, I can see that.

    But don’t do it now. Wait until you have a new GM and let him pick the coach. If you put Horton in now, his chances of being the permanent HC will be lessened by his inability to win games this season with this garbage roster.

    There is a reason terrible franchises, despite the occasional anomaly of a season where they catch lightning in a barrel, stay terrible. And it starts a lot closer to the top than the head coach.

  25. lks311 says: Dec 3, 2012 7:32 PM

    If the Cards are stupid enough to fire a coach who doesn’t have a legitimate NFL QB, great. Detroit should fire their guy and bring in Whisenhut. We see what he can do when he has a bonafide signal-caller and all-world wideout.

  26. oreo51 says: Dec 3, 2012 7:34 PM

    Needing a QB in the 2012 draft, Arizona watched Seattle select Russell Wilson in the third round while the Cards waited until the sixth to select Lindley. Clearly, Whisenhunt cannot evaluate talent.

  27. dkrauss93 says: Dec 3, 2012 7:43 PM

    No coach would win with Ryan Lindley. He makes bad QB’s look like Johnny Unitas.

  28. autumnwind999 says: Dec 3, 2012 7:47 PM

    Seems silly. Cards could be decent with a real QB.

    But why did they bench LSH when Beanie came back. Seemed like LSH was tearing it up.

  29. thefiesty1 says: Dec 3, 2012 7:51 PM

    That’s what they get when they overpay for an untested QB (Kolb). Decisions like that is what should get coaches fired (and GM’s).

  30. rhett16 says: Dec 3, 2012 8:00 PM

    I live in Phoenix, and listen to the sports talk show referenced in this story every afternoon at work. One thing Jurecki preached about just today is that after Wisenhunt took the team to the Super Bowl, he renegotiated and got full control over the 53 man roster. He gets the final say on draft picks, trade and free agents.

    Saying Wiz isn’t the problem because he has a bad roster is just factually incorrect, he is the architect of the majority of the roster currently.

    Wiz’s problem is that he is stubborn, not just a little, VERY stubborn. He very rarely, if ever, admits he made a mistake. Warner played so well, that Wiz bought into his own press and believed he was some offensive guru, and he’s not.

    He’s just offensive. He’s simply not a good coach. I wish I was wrong, but the facts bear it out. The last 3 years his teams have had 6, 7 and now 8 game losing streaks. No coach should survive that.

  31. truthfactory says: Dec 3, 2012 8:02 PM

    The team that NEEDS to fire their head coach immediately (the Chargers) wont do it, while the team that has a decent head coach but needs talent is ready to move on too quickly… Go figure

  32. realitypolice says: Dec 3, 2012 8:08 PM

    rhett16:

    Even if Whiz does have “final say” on the roster (which I doubt no matter what his contract might say-Graves has been around way too long) he is relying on the input of the scouting department and the GM.

    And by the way, didn’t Graves hire Whisenhunt? So how does he avoid responsibility for that?

    And what about the horrible teams Graves put together before Whisenhunt even got there?

    Graves apologists like you are what’s made your franchise the gutter ball that it is.

  33. blspears says: Dec 3, 2012 8:09 PM

    fire the gm the oline is terrible

  34. lynx79 says: Dec 3, 2012 8:21 PM

    Fire Rod Graves. Cardinals GM Rod Graves has been dragging down this team since the 90s. Fitzgerald should stop telling who to draft, he wanted another receiver so Rod Graves stupidly got Michael Floyd (a non-factor all season). Josh McNown, out of the league, is better than any current Cardinals QB.

    Lions are another team showing how a bad GM will hurt a team. Martin Mayhew was in Lions front office throughout the past decade. Lions go 0-16 so they promote from within by making proven failure Mayhew the GM and the payoff has been a dysfunctional, underachieving team.

    Panthers head coach Ron Rivera was fired by the Bears after going to the Super Bowl with him as def coord. So why is anyone surprised he is failing
    now? When a head coach or GM is not qualified and over his head, failure. Jon Embree (Colorado), Joker Phillips (Kentucky), Mike Locksley (New Mexico) were all killing attendance as their lack of coaching ability caused catastrophic damage. FIRE ROD GRAVES

  35. Canyonero says: Dec 3, 2012 8:22 PM

    Ken Whisenhunt should keep his job!

    He’s the best HC Arizona has ever had. No idea where there “he’s never done anything” nonsense is coming from.

    Yeah, the QB situation is ridiculous. Truth is, most teams aren’t happy at QB. Arizona is just… more so, in that department. I don’t think the Kolb trade was a mistake.

    It’s not like the Cardinals knew ahead of time he gets hurt so easy. That kind of thing doesn’t show up in work-outs. I say let him draft a QB (and good point, they missed on Wilson, really??), and give him some time with that.

    You want to be Steelers West? You don’t get skittish and fire a good coach just like that.

    But if they gotta sacrifice someone to the fans/media, it should probably be Russ Grimm. Sorry, big guy, you’re a HOF, but the O-line has been horrid for far too long.

  36. Canyonero says: Dec 3, 2012 8:23 PM

    Kudos to Ray Horton, too, btw… Great defense!!

  37. fmwarner says: Dec 3, 2012 8:25 PM

    Unlike the Eagles situation, in Arizona there is a reason to fire the coach in-season.

    If the Cards have decided that Whisenhunt is gone, and they like Horton, do it now. Horton will be a head coaching candidate in the offseason, so if they like him they ought to get in on him now.

  38. rhett16 says: Dec 3, 2012 8:27 PM

    realitypolice,

    Please show me where I stated that Graves should be allowed to keep his job. Go ahead, show me where I said that, I’ll wait.

    I can save you some time though, I didn’t say it. I think Graves should go as well. He’s terrible too. never did I say otherwise. I simply focused on Wisenhunt because he is the subject of this story.

  39. henry2dor says: Dec 3, 2012 8:37 PM

    Anyone who says the problem is talent and not coaching is basing their assumptions on 4-year old notions about Whiz being great for taking the Cards to the Super Bowl and “lack of talent” being code for “Kurt Warner retired”.

    The problems go deeper than that. The team is lacking in offensive talent, AND Whisenhunt still doesn’t know how to make a halftime adjustment or coach anyone up. If you watched the Rams game two weeks ago, you know what I’m talking about. After halftime, Jeff Fisher finally figured out that it’s a good idea to blitz a rookie QB, and Whiz did nothing to protect Lindley.

    Same story since 2007, only back then when he was hired, he had Kurt Warner to bail him out and adjust playcalls when teams adapted to Whiz’s gameplan after a quarter or two.

  40. coltzfan166 says: Dec 3, 2012 10:29 PM

    Funny how this story comes out just hours after Wisenhunt said Lindley will remain the starter.

  41. ns2004uk says: Dec 4, 2012 5:27 AM

    Has anyone questioning this move ever negotiated anything before in their lives? Horton is MUCH more important to this team than Whisenhunt is, which is why the Cardinals want to negotiate with him now before he begins receiving job offers at the end of the season. And with the incident between Dockett and Rhodes Sunday Whisenhunt lost his biggest claim to fame: control of the locker room. Whiz is on the way out unless for some reason Horton wants him to stay.

    Also, for everyone defending Whisenhunt with the Super Bowl run argument (Granted it was amazing and my favorite year of the last 22 being a Cardinals fan) Warner was brought in by Dennis Green in 2005 and would not have so much as sniffed the field in 2008 if not for an injury to Leinart in 2007. Since then Whisenhunt has presided over the Derek Anderson, Max Hall, John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, and Ryan Lindley ‘Era.’ 5 starters in 3 years is enough already. Maybe Horton will also be smart enough to look outside the organization for an OC instead of promoting the QB coach who failed to develop 3 of those QBs and we can all finally move on from Kurt Warner’s departure. Norv Turner or Andy Reid to maybe turn the offense around? Finally some real changes might happen. Go Cards and Happy Holidays!

  42. rollore says: Dec 4, 2012 7:02 PM

    It won’t do the Cards any good. Just ride it out and fire everyone afterwards. You put anyone in the same camp as an interim, the players will respond with improvement in practices and games, and will give advantage to the interim to be the new permanent coach, which will let the players slack off again.

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