The other possible coaching change – UPDATE

Posted by Darren Urban on February 9, 2011 – 10:16 am

UPDATE: Chris Miller said he will be remaining as quarterbacks coach of the Cardinals.

While everyone waits for the results of Ray Horton’s interview to be the new defensive coordinator, the Cardinals could quickly find out about another possible change on their coaching staff — now that Southern Oregon has been accepted into the Frontier Conference, their announcement of a new head football coach could come as soon as today. That could impact the Cards because quarterbacks coach Chris Miller is among the finalists for the head coaching job. He, along with the other finalists, already had interviews. It’s now down to a job offer.

Obviously, if Horton is hired, there could still be defensive staff changes too; ESPN already reported this morning that if Horton is named defensive coordinator he will be bringing longtime NFL cornerback Deshea Townsend — who played for the Steelers for 12 seasons before playing eight games for the Colts in 2010 — for a spot on the staff.

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57 Responses to “The other possible coaching change – UPDATE”

  1. By Phoenixraven1 on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Change is good bring it on! D, any people you know of who would fill Millers spot?

  2. By Darren Urban on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Phoenixraven —

    RE: Miller’s spot

    None. And I don’t even know if he is likely to get the job; SOU has four finalists.

  3. By Chad on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Townshed to coach? As a assistant db coach or something? Defensive quality control?

  4. By Darren Urban on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Chad —

    RE: Townsend

    All I saw was the report, so I don’t know how he’d be integrated.

  5. By CashT1874 on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    If Miller leaves, then we should make a pitch for Zorn, who is one of the best QB coaches around to mentor.

  6. By Cards4Life on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    What are the chances of Mike Heimerdinger coming to AZ for the OC job?

    Any more news on Kolb? He would look good in Cardinal Red!

  7. By Darren Urban on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Cards4 —

    RE: Heimerdinger/Kolb

    None on Heimerdinger, since they aren’t looking for an OC.

    Nothing on Kolb, since nothing can happen with him until a new CBA is established.

  8. By Rob on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    The DB’s in Pitt were awful so what makes this guy such a good hire, if he is indeed the one they pick?

  9. By Big Red on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Im all for it, with Horton and Townsend. We need more steelers in the coaching sfaff. I know you’ll do a good job, Whiz. Success brings in more success.

  10. By MikeG on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren—-Hope all is well!–Coaching staff changes are going to happen–it is the nature of the business. Filling the QB coach should be done when we see who are QB will actually be. I hope things work out with Horton and that he does a nice job. We need to get this position stable. We can’t afford to be changing coaches every 2 years. We will never get an identity on defense. Also Darren if the NFL goes to an 18 game schedule–Do you see more additional teams making the playoffs and do you think it is a good idea????

  11. By Darren Urban on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    MikeG —

    RE: 18 games

    No, I don’t expect more teams to make the playoffs. And personally, I prefer a 16-game season.

  12. By Walter L on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    If Jim Zorn is available then he would be good replacement, should Miller leave. I wouldn’t mind Townsend being an assistant, but Donnie Henderson only has last season here under his belt, I think he’s a valuable coach that shouldn’t be ousted just yet, should Horton get the job. lol Fingers crossed!

  13. By Aaron on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Zorn for QB coach!

  14. By Mark in Chandler on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Any ideas on possible LB coach?

  15. By Darren Urban on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Mark in —

    RE: LB coach

    Yeah. His name is Matt Raich.

  16. By cardsfan82 on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    any chance in landing Nnamdi Asomugha? he would complete our secondary! we need to take the load off drc!!!

  17. By D on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Do you know how long Coach Whiz’a extension goes and when does R. Grimm’s deal expire?

  18. By Darren Urban on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    D —

    RE: Extensions

    Whisenhunt is signed though the 2013 season, with a team option for 2014. I am not sure when Grimm’s deal is up.

  19. By Christo on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Looks like Grimm will get another year to under perform. How long do we have to settle for this mediocrity? Really Grimm has performed as well as Davis did.

    Do we have to endure another pathetic offensive season with Whiz calling plays before he replaces himself?

    Why would we be worried about losing our QB coach? Who has he ever coached up? His time with Leinart sure helped. I mean it was awesome to see that his influence led to Max Hall and DA being our premiere options last year.

    Our FO has serious problems.

  20. By Wampag on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    speaking of Grimm always scared he is going to get a heaqd coach job do you know if he has interviewed or if anyone is looking at him

  21. By Darren Urban on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Wampag —

    RE: Grimm HC

    There are no head coaching vacancies.

  22. By NJAzCardsFan on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    For the defense, I wish the Cards would pick up Cromartie from the Jets as a FA. He would assist in punt returns and be a huge asset in the def backfield. Maybe he could even get DRC to improve…..

  23. By CJ on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    if he goes, hire Jim Zorn! the guy has proven he can do good things to a QB!

  24. By JK on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren

    Any word on Extending Fitz contract yet? And any idea which QB they agread on in FA yet? Also thanks for doing such a good job on keeping the cardinal’s fans updated…

  25. By Darren Urban on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    JK —

    RE: Fitz/QB

    1) None.
    2) Probably still talking.

  26. By RelayTV on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Another steelers reporter calling their DB’s “weak links”

    “If Pittsburgh doesn’t need a shutdown guy, it could definitely use an upgrade at the position. Ike Taylor, Bryant McFadden and William Gay were the weak links of the defense. The three corners totaled four interceptions all season, and it wasn’t because quarterbacks were avoiding them. Are they bad? No. Yet, the Packers’ wide receivers exposed their lack of make-up speed in the Super Bowl.

    McFadden got picked on all season. Taylor, who will be an unrestricted free agent, has always been a blue-collar player. However, neither corner is of the same ilk as the Steelers’ safeties, linebackers or front line.”

    And we’re going to hire the guy who is responsible for this to be our DC? I was all in for Butler, but Horton? Not so much.

    I sure hope he knows how to call plays and dial up a blitz package, because the rest of his resumé looks… thin.

    PS- There’s a reason that the Packers only ran like 12 times in the superbowl.

  27. By Darren Urban on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Relay —

    RE: Steelers DB

    PS response — could it be because it is very difficult to run on the Steelers?

    As for the DB situation, you just posted quotes basically saying they didn’t have the players, including the speed at DB. Last I checked, Horton wasn’t drafting/signing the DBs. Not sure how that ends up being all the fault of the coach.

  28. By K-DUB on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply


    Any chance that Todd Bowles could still get a position on the staff after his impressive interview coach Whiz. Townsend would be Cornerbacks and Bowels could be Safeties.

  29. By Darren Urban on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    K-Dub —

    RE: Bowles

    Not sure why Bowles would leave an asst HC job to be a safeties coach.

  30. By georgiebird on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Looks like the Cardinals are going to fill the DC position by hiring a “lightweight”. The defensive problems for the Cardinals go back past Whiz, past Tobin, past Hanifan, past Coryell, past Lemm and back to Frank “Pop” Ivy. Weak defenses year after year.
    This DC hire should have been the moment that the Cardinals broke away from tradition and brought in the best DC available.
    In hiring a novice for the DC job, Whiz has guaranteed himself a miserable year or so as he completes his tenure as HC. What a MESS!!.

  31. By AndyStandsUp on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    A bevy of questions before I head to work:
    Any further report on the Cowboys possibly offering Horton a assistant HC job as well as DB coach?
    No possible way Dave McGinnis would be offered an interview if released by Tennessee, right?
    Is Bowles still in the equation?
    Off topic, did you see the UConn QB trick shot video? Just like the Skelton Sport Science episode, doesn’t mean much, but sure is entertaining.

  32. By Darren Urban on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Questions

    1) Further report? No.
    2) McGinnis wouldn’t come back here.
    3) Don’t think so.
    4) I did see the video. And yes, real or not, it’s very entertaining.

  33. By JCards on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren,

    Any word on the Packers Assistant ( Winston Moss?) I heard he was being looked at as well for DC…. As for qb coach if Miller leaves, I am
    Definitely for Zorn… Thanks again for the updates & bang up job!

  34. By Darren Urban on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    JCards —

    RE: Moss

    I expect this is Horton’s job to lose right now.

  35. By wesleymarin on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Hey darren,

    Any chance of the cards getting palmer? he seems pretty ready to get out of cincinnati

  36. By Jason on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    How about a offensive coordinator? Any word on if the Cards will pursue one? I like Whiz as a HC, however, his play calling has been horrible…

  37. By K-DUB on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply


    Is the Carson Palmer news going to catch fire? News reports he’s selling his home… would he be a consideration for the Cards if he’s granted his release papers? I mean the guy obviously doesn’t want to play for a circus act.

  38. By Darren Urban on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    K-Dub, Wesley —

    RE: Palmer

    If Palmer were cut, I am sure this team would seriously look at him. But why would the Bengals cut him? I’d think they’d try to trade him first, but they want him back. Just because he is selling his house doesn’t mean anything by itself.

  39. By CJ on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply


    If Horton gets the DC job is there a chance we could get the Packers LB coach? maybe for a different job on the staff?

  40. By Darren Urban on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    CJ —

    RE: Packers coaches

    If Horton is hired, I don’t expect any Packers coaches to come this way.

  41. By Hammer on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren, If Horton comes in do you see the Cards movint to a more conventional 3-4 or staying with the hybrid? Thanks man, you do a hell of a job.

  42. By Darren Urban on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Hammer —

    RE: Scheme

    Horton has talked often about being a LeBeau disciple. I think, if he feels he has the personnel, he will lean strong 3-4.

  43. By Voice of Reason on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t mind Horton bringing in his guys if he takes the job. That’s how it should be.

    On Chris Miller, I’m hoping he gets the job. Not just because it’s good for him, but because Jim Zorn is still looking for work…

  44. By RelayTV on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Darren said:
    “PS response — could it be because it is very difficult to run on the Steelers?”

    It sure is. Probably the reason the steelers aren’t willing to let Butler walk. If Whiz had pried him away, that would be something to get exited about.

    Instead, all we have are question marks.

    And MY POINT was that there is NOBODY out there who is praising the steelers DB’s, or their coach.

    It feels like we are getting stuck with the leftovers… Again.

  45. By holycardinals on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Ok so you keep saying there not looking for a OC which leads me to believe that they don’t realize kurt warner was the reason they ever had a chance to win games. Its obvious because they called games this year like they still had warner under center, when they had talent less derek anderson. Look how it turned out with warner out and whiz running the show. Not very good. Losing more and more faith daily in whiz’s ability to put a team together. GET A O.C!!

  46. By Marcus Clark on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply


    Troy P didn’t get Defensive Player of the Year then?

    Any way Steelers pass defense was ranked 12th in 2010 with a Troy injury.

  47. By John the draft guy on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Got to agree with Darren on this one. Is Horton a good DC hire? We will all find out. But Taylor is a good CB who has aged. Mcfadden sucked here and William Gay is a nickle guy. Now the safeties are pretty dang good and Horton coached them.

    Bilichek failed in Cleveland. Did that make him a bad coach? No, with the right talent, he became the elite coach of the NFL.

    My take on Horton. Tough job. He has no OLB’s . Without a rush , it puts pressure on the DB’s. We really don’t have true 3-4 DE’s playing 2 gaps. That makes it difficult to run a true 3-4 defense. It puts guards out on inside LB’s and allows teams to run on us.
    If Horton is to succeed, he needs players. A Lamar Woodley, a Von Miller, someone coming off the edge. He needs a big, physical ILB to take on blocks and slow the run.
    Horton’s success will depend on his players. I think we need to see what the front office does.

  48. By CJ on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Mike Miller is taking over the play-calling Whiz is relinquishing that aspect so essentially hes becoming an OC

  49. By Scott H on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Just saw the headline on that Horton is indeed the new DC in Arizona. Well, I’ll say one thing for the Cardinals – if this was ( or, should I say, BECAME ) the guy they wanted, I commend them for getting on it and making it happen quickly. I have no idea what to think since this is a DB coach with no track record as a DC. He comes from a great program…but it’s a great program because they have a great DC and are loaded with great players. Can only wait and see how he will do here. And IF he has any plans to bring any of his players here, I hope they are guys with a little tread left on the tires and/or not named McFadden. Shoot, I’ll bet the Steelers are sorry they brought him back…

  50. By Scott H on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    I heard Kevin Kolb being intereviewed on local sports talk radio out here in the Philly area today. Didn’t hear the whole thing but I heard him being asked specifically about Arizona…of course, he can’t really say anything other than the generic stuff that QB’s say in these situations. But I have to think he would be excited to come here. Great indoor stadium, great field, lots of weapons in place on offense including the guy wearing #11…shoot, how could any QB not drool over the thought of having Fitzgerald to throw to every week??? Kolb would make me happy. And if it would make Fitz happy, well…all the better. I wonder if Kolb could bring his TE buddy Brent Celek with him…seriously, this team needs to get the TE position into the damn gameplan. So many other teams do this with such great success, it pisses me off that THIS team pretends it doesn’t have to. Seriously, a good free agent TE would probably not even consider coming to the Cardinals. Why would they??? There isn’t a team in the league where the TE is as much of a total non-factor as it is in Arizona. This is another reason why I think this team needs another OC. Without Warner to make this offense go, we need a new philosophical approach. Move over, Whiz, and let someone else do it. PLEASE!

  51. By Denver on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply


    Should we be concerned that Ray Horton has been a coach in the NFL for 17 years and is just now being offered a coordinator position? Seems like if this guy was coordinator-worthy that he would have been hired as a coordinator long ago. Wouldn’t the Cards have been better served by hiring someone with proven coordinator experience? Please give me your opinion on this. Thanks.

  52. By Darren Urban on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Denver —

    RE: Horton experience

    Well, you could say the same thing about Butler, who clearly could have been a DC as long as five years ago had the Steelers let him. He worked under LeBeau. So did Horton.

    I think it’d be easy to find negatives in any situation.

  53. By NJCardsFan on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    Is Dan Williams the right fit for the 3-4? Also, do you think Von Miller out of Tex A&M is big enough to be that outside rush threat that the Cards so desperately need ? I’ve read a couple of mock drafts that say the Cards will draft him at #5.

  54. By Darren Urban on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    NJCards —

    RE: Williams/Von Miller

    I do think Williams can be a 3-4 NT. That’s why they took him. As for Miller, I’ve never seen him play, so I have no idea if he is big enough. We will have a better idea of these guys at the combine.

  55. By cardsalltheway on Feb 9, 2011 | Reply

    “UPDATE: Chris Miller said he will be remaining as quarterbacks coach of the Cardinals.”
    Sad, really sad! With Chris Miller and Ken W., any Cardinal QB has little hope unless there is some kind of AWAKENING. The offense sucked this past season and if there isn’t any coaching changes something is wrong, period!

  56. By Old Man Riva on Feb 10, 2011 | Reply

    Here are a few names to think about until draft day…Miller, Quinn, Dareus and Ayers. All could become super pass rushers/blitzers and I think Ray Horton will love that. Forget Blaine Gabbert. Too many quesion marks to automatically install him under center to start the new season. Remember the 2-3 years rule of thumb to develop a QB in the NFL.

  57. By Mike Ellingboe on Feb 10, 2011 | Reply

    @Old Man Riva,

    They could become super pass rushers, but for every Orakpo and Matthews there is a Maybin, English, Hughes, Gholston, etc. That position is every bit as, if not more, risky in round one than a QB is. The 2-3 rule you speak of for QB’s tends to apply to FA’s as well. Warner arrived in 2005, it wasn’t until 2008 that we won the division.

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