Ray Horton angry after Cardinals hire Bruce Arians


The Cardinals have hired Bruce Arians as their new head coach, and the in-house candidate who was passed over for Arians isn’t happy about it.

Ray Horton, the Cardinals defensive coordinator who did an excellent job in 2012 while the Cardinals’ offense fell apart, was considered a strong candidate to replace the fired Ken Whisenhunt as the next head coach. Instead, the Cardinals have announced that Arians, who spent last season as the Colts’ offensive coordinator and interim head coach, will get the job. Multiple reports say Horton was angry at that announcement.

Mike Jurecki of XTRA 910 reports that Horton had a heated exchange with new Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim when he found out that Arians got the job. Mike Garafolo of USA Today reports that Horton is “pissed.”

It’s hard to blame Horton for feeling that way. He’s a well regarded defensive coordinator who paid his dues as an assistant and before that as an NFL player for 10 years. In any line of work, to be passed over for a promotion you think you have coming stings.

Horton still has a year on his contract with the Cardinals, but Arians isn’t believed to want him to stay, and it sure doesn’t sound like Horton wants to stay. So Horton will presumably start looking for another job as an assistant, somewhere, after thinking he had a good chance of staying in Arizona and becoming the Cardinals’ next head coach.

92 responses to “Ray Horton angry after Cardinals hire Bruce Arians

  1. Attn: Mr. Thompson & McCarthy this is the guy that should be leading the Packers defense next year. You don’t even have to fire Dom his contract is up pat him on the back thank him for the SB and hire Ray Horton.

  2. Ray Horton is a 3-4 defensive coordinator from the Dick Lebeau tree. I wonder where he will end up. Watch the Pats hire him for the superbowl. They just hired Brian Daboll(former KC OC) and they hired McDaniels last season in the playoffs.

    In all seriousness, There should be an NFL opening somewhere for Horton. Maybe he goes back to Pittsburgh as an assistant. There are very few if any dc jobs available where the teams play the 3-4 defense.

  3. If that’s Horton in the picture, I understand why he was passed over. I wouldn’t want a dude with dreads coaching my team either. And before people play the race card, nor would I want a dude with a mullet coaching my team.

  4. At least the Cardinals made sure to alienate the best part of their coaching staff. Horton didn’t walk into a defense filled with probowlers, but he turned it into a great defense, and made the NFC West the best defensive division in football.

    Arians might make a great coach (although any success he has will have to come without Big Ben and Andrew Luck this time), but stringing along one of your own guys is probably going to prove to be a huge mistake.

  5. 1st Dick LeBeau stays in Pittsburgh..Ray was next in line for that gigg..he leaves for Arizona with Coach Wiz had 4 good years there now he gets snubbed again for another ex Steeler coach..poor fella. But Congrats to Bruce Arians

  6. He is one hell of a defensive coordinator… I didn’t want to see him go. I reckon it would be a tough pill to swallow to stay and work for a guy that you got passed over for. He had that defense swarming.

  7. Looks like Ray Horton was “Roonied”… Thats to say that he was only interviewed to satisfy the Rooney rule but was never really considered a true candidate.

    Thats sad because the Cardinals had a really good defense but their offense…. That was really a mole fore the opposition more than a true offense. That Jets game between Sanchez and the Cardinals was truly the worst thing I have seen since 9/11.

    Its likely that the reason why he was not selected was because most teams like offensive coaches since they tend to do better. Look at the Jets and Bears… But there is the Patriots as well…

    Ray Horton should not have been surprised but this denotes the Rooney rule hurts black candidates as they almost never get hired and are forced to interview and waist their time… as well as get their hopes up. Its like a wealthy family promising to adopt a child and then driving off when they try to open the door.

  8. Ray Horton has Allen Iverson’s haircut and wonders why he can’t get a HC gig, Bob Ryan looks like a homeless bum and wonders why he can’t get a HC gig, Mike Zimmer pouts to the media and wonders why he can’t get a HC gig…get a clue, folks.

  9. We gave up 25+ points per game this last year and we could use a fresh approach to our defense this year….Tennessee has great BBQ and Artisan moonshine, you are welcomed with open arms if you happen to consider the Titans!

  10. Sorry Ray the offense is a mess there was more of a need to get someone with experience with finding a QB ! your under contract so just keep on keeping on and you will get a head coaching job next year.

  11. As a 49er fan I believe that the Cardinals messed this one up. If anything Horton is what made the HC job enticing, I have a hard time believing that the Cardinals Defense will be as good, they basically got them their four wins.

    As for the offense lets see what Arians does. It was my understanding that the organization still wanted to build around Kolb… Regardless NFC West is arguably the best division heading to next year, question-mark on the Cardinals.

  12. How do you like the Rooney rule now? This guy got totally used for the last 3 weeks.

    The media got used just as bad. The owners leaked that Horton was the hot prospect and everybody jumped on it and managed to convince people that this guy was gonna get hired.

  13. The Cardinals inability to realize what they have and promote from within will lead to them staying within the same position while Ray Horton has the opportunity to go anywhere of his choosing. Yea that makes sense f classic Cardinals

  14. Agree with jhein23. Ted and Mike need to consider replacing Dom and give Ray Horton a serious look. Well respected among almost all that have played for him. And is a 3-4 Pittsburgh guy so overhauling the personel would not be necessary. IMO he is a near perfect fit for the next Packers DC.

  15. Ray Horton is a self promoting loudmouth punk.
    Like rex Ryan he would be a joke of a head coach.

  16. Anywhere but the pack. That would make dropping another near 600 yds and 45 points on them almost impossible next year. In all seriousness though GB, DET, and NO should be seriously considering whatever necessary to make a move like this.

  17. mavajo says:
    Jan 17, 2013 10:05 PM
    If that’s Horton in the picture, I understand why he was passed over. I wouldn’t want a dude with dreads coaching my team either. And before people play the race card, nor would I want a dude with a mullet coaching my team.

    Which is precisely why Arizona hasnt won jack, and wont win jack.

    Kaepernick has tats all over his arms, and blasted through the Pack enroute to a NFC Championship game and likely Super Bowl berth.

    Need to think outside of the box sometimes…its 2013 , not 1913.

  18. Ray Horton has Allen Iverson’s haircut and wonders why he can’t get a HC gig, Bob Ryan looks like a homeless bum and wonders why he can’t get a HC gig, Mike Zimmer pouts to the media and wonders why he can’t get a HC gig…get a clue, folks.

    Bill Belichick looks like he slept under a bridge last night, and he’s one of the greatest coaches of all time. Just sayin’.

  19. As a cardinal fan who like horton I can understand Arians getting to bring his people in. Horton did great for us. But also keep in mind, cards have the best 3-4 D line in the NFL with campbell williams and dockett. We also have one top 2 inside LB in Washington and one of the best secodaries in the NFL with one of the best shut down cornerns with Peterson. Dont expect Horton to be so successful with a new team. I dont expect Arians to win 11+ games without andrew luck/manning/rothlesburger

  20. Weird. Arians and Horton both worked for the steelers for years. Up until two years ago. They must not like each other, cause you woulda thought they’d be happy to reunite

  21. Don’t feel bad Ray. Just wait 5 years after the Cardinals fire 2 more coaches and then you’ll get the head coaching job, at least that’s how I hear it works.

    signed: Rod Chudzinski

  22. The Cards clown show continues. Here’s to 40 more years of fail! The proud tradition continues.

  23. They were looking for a fresh approach with a new pair of eyes plus if I am a newly hired GM I taking heat or praise with the guy I felt was best for the job.

  24. I dont blame him..He did do an excellent job..Cardinal fans should be excited about Bruce Arians though because he is a good coach..An offensive minded coach like him should find the right pieces to put together to get that offense and Larry Fitz going..

  25. Maybe it just took too long to forget losing 58-0.

    Maybe he does deserve the head coaching job in Arizona, but what this reaction says to potential future employers is, “hire this guy and he will vehemently expect to be your head coach in a few years”. Some might like that spirit, but I’m guessing a lot won’t like that drama.

  26. Would love to see him in GB, but only if agrees to stay a minimum of two years. Cant start over again next year. Groom someone for those 2+ years

  27. Cleveland wants and would cherish you, Chud will be on a very very short leash….. Really surprised you aren’t our Head Coach. With a few Chud games, you could be our guy! The talent is there, but direction is much needed as well as someone to fill in opposite Hadden. Come on Haslam lets spend some of that money!

  28. sdb74 January 17, 2013, 10:23 PM EST

    Eagles hired Univ of Fla DC today as their DC.
    Sorry Einstein, it was Seattle, not Philly.

  29. Jim Haslett needs to be fired yesterday. This was the best thing to happen to about 16 teams with crappy defenses. He won’t be out of work long.

  30. I really hope Chip Kelly takes a look at him. He’s a rookie coach in the NFL and he should surround himself with experienced assistants rather than trying to build an all rookie coaching staff.

    Ray Horton is successful and he runs the 3-4 which is what Kelly wants to run in Philly.

    This makes alot of sense for Philly.

  31. So, here we go again. Art Shell, Tony Dungy, Lovie Smith, Lesle Frazer, Mike Tomlin even Romo twice, all these coaches have something in common. They got head coaching jobs. Now, they’re only 32 of those jobs and I’ve account for nearly one forth with this list. So, the reason he didn’t get this job wasn’t because he was black. He didn’t get it becuase of the image he protrayed. It’s the same reason one of the Ryan brothers got a coaching job and the other one hasn’t even got a serious interview. A Nfl coach is the 2nd most important figure for a frachise. The QB is the first. He like no other is face of the team. And, a owner has the right to put in place a face that reflects his image of what a successful and respected leader should look like. That being said I think he’s a excellent DC and would probably make a good head coach. But, I really don’t think that’s going to happen until he makes the adjustment And, he could start by issuing a apology for his conduct. I was unemployed for nearly a year. I didn’t go storming down to the HR department of employers who didn’t hire me. I just kept looking.

  32. I’m sure that Horton will play the race card here. If/when he complains that he was “Rooneyed”, someone should point out to him that Russ Grimm was “Reverse-Rooneyed” when Mike Tomlin was hired over him.

    I’m sure that Horton will land on his feet somewhere…

  33. There are some teams that will never hire a black head coach and Arizona is one. I would guess San Diego, cowboys, Seattle, redskins, jets, Detroit cleveland, jacksonville and maybe a couple of others. Ray, at least you were the one black coach that got an interview! They are pulling no names out of the closet, all white, for these interviews and it would be insulting to me as a professional. You mean in a league where the majority of the population is 85% African American you can’t find just one other black coach to interview? Give me a break

  34. mavajo says:
    Jan 17, 2013 10:05 PM
    “If that’s Horton in the picture, I understand why he was passed over. I wouldn’t want a dude with dreads coaching my team either. And before people play the race card, nor would I want a dude with a mullet coaching my team.”

    Of course. Because hairstyle is so important in determining who can coach and who can’t.

  35. If I lost a hiring to Bruce Arians I’d be pretty pissed too. Arians is a nice guy who rode Luck’s coattails. People are making him out to be an offensive genius, this will be a disaster in the desert.

  36. Why I hire a Defensive coach when your offense is horrible? I agree with many who think that Green Bay should hire him. Capers did nothing to modify his second half defense against niners nor was he remotely prepared.

    Also to Judalation: the word is “waste” not waist. Please spare us.

  37. calhounlambeau says: Jan 17, 2013 10:10 PM

    Ray Horton has Allen Iverson’s haircut and wonders why he can’t get a HC gig, Bob Ryan looks like a homeless bum and wonders why he can’t get a HC gig, Mike Zimmer pouts to the media and wonders why he can’t get a HC gig…get a clue, folks.
    Horton’s credentials are impeccable. His haircut should not determine if he gets a job. Ryan can’t coach. His looks are not how I would carry myself but that doesn’t affect his job. He simply couldn’t coach effectively. Look at the “bummy” dressing coach of the Patriots. His clothing hasn’t slowed him down one bit…….

  38. Since the Cardinals’ biggest problems were on offense, it makes sense that they would a head coach who can hopefully improve the offense. Horton has a right to be upset, but he also needs to be understanding of what’s best for the franchise.

  39. Mike Nolan was a lifetime 3-4 guy but he’s seemed to adjust just fine in Atl. I’m sure Horton can do the same somewhere. 3-4 system doesn’t have to be a necessity.

  40. Horton has been a DC for 2 years. He interviewed last year for a HC job. Horton did a little more selfpromotion than most. Why does everyone expect a good Coordinator to be a HC within 2 years. He had a ton of talent when he took over the job and the D didn’t event start playing until the second half of his first year primarily because his scheme was so “difficult” to understand.

    The players the Cardinals had were already pretty good together. Agreed the Defense was the stronger part of the team this past year, but it makes sense to hire someone that can fix the weakest part of the team, not the strongest.

    Good luck to Ray if he finds another team that has the same talent on the defensives side of the ball to work with. Otherwise, take the last year on your contract to prove you can do it again and not be upset you were “passed over” when you have been a DC for 2 years.

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