While their head-coaching job was vacant, the Cardinals seemed to be looking for a reason not to promote defensive coordinator Ray Horton to the next level. But they can’t say it’s because they weren’t comfortable with Horton’s proposed offensive coordinator.
Horton tells Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 620 in Phoenix that Norv Turner would have been in the cards for, um, the Cards.
“Unequivocally,” Horton said regarding whether he could have delivered Turner. “All the way throughout the process.
“His wife, Nancy, wanted to come here,” Horton said. “Everybody was aware, I talked to Norv. His wife wanted to come here, they have a daughter in San Diego. They wanted to be close to home. They were excited about the possibility. He had worked with [quarterback] Kevin Kolb at the Senior Bowl.”
Despite reports that Horton was livid as a result of the decision to hire Bruce Arians instead as the head coach, Horton said he respects the decision that was made, that he understands it, and that he wasn’t upset.
More broadly, Horton has no concerns about the fact that he wasn’t hired to be a head coach in the current cycle, explaining that he understands owners currently are looking for offensive-minded coaches. He called speculation that the length of his hair kept him from getting the job “absurd” and “idiotic.”
As to Arians’ decision not to keep Horton as defensive coordinator, Horton likewise has no hard feelings. “He just said, ‘Ray, if I get the Phoenix job, you’re not my guy,’ even though we were worked together in Pittsburgh, even though we’re friends,” Horton said. “And I respected that. And that’s all you want is honesty, so he doesn’t leave you hanging and try to blame somebody else and say, ‘Oh well, it came from up above my pay grade, that they don’t want you, they do want you, blah blah blah.’ Honesty, up front, be a man. Everybody’s a man, and off you go. And Bruce and I are friends right this second.”
It’s a great attitude, and it’s the right attitude. Some will say that Horton is simply saying all the right things in order to get hired to be a head coach in the future. To that we say, if that’s the case, he’s doing it well.