Horton’s interview with the Rams

Posted by Darren Urban on January 6, 2012 – 3:44 pm

The news came out this morning that defensive coordinator Ray Horton is interviewing with the Rams today for their head coaching vacancy. It just goes to show how much success can catch people’s attention. Horton’s defense did the job the second half of the season for sure. But he is a far cry from walking out the door. Jeff Fisher is and has been in the mix as Rams’ coach, and as recently as Thursday night, ESPN’s John Clayton was saying he thought Fisher would indeed end up with the Rams. The Rams had not yet interviewed a minority candidate — they reportedly had been interested in Miami’s Todd Bowles (who, ironically, also interviewed for the Cards’ DC job Horton eventually got) but he has not been interviewed.

So it’s possible Horton is just there to fulfill that requirement, although Horton, even if that is the case, gets something out of it too: The experience of going through a head coaching interview. I have no doubt Horton would like to be a head coach some day. If he stays in Arizona and his defenses keep playing like this, he’s going to get more interviews sooner rather than later.

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51 Responses to “Horton’s interview with the Rams”

  1. By carlo italy 7000 on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    why there are not teams asking to interview russ grimm

  2. By Chris on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    I would cry if Horton left this offseason.

  3. By NJAzCARDSFan on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    Darren- So what are the chances of the Cards losing DC Horton to the Rams. I am really suprised the Cards gave him permission to interview for that position…..

  4. By Darren Urban on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    NJAz —

    RE: Permission

    They don’t have to get permission. Can’t block a guy for interviewing for HC job.

  5. By austin on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply


  6. By Jesse on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    Terrible for two reasons, one at the slight possibility that he could go (though unlike they run a 4-3). Two that the Rams could learn information about his scheme’s.
    I’m glad Horton is getting the recognition but in the end all the matters is the Cards success and he figures to be a large reason for it in the future.

  7. By jwimmer2 on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    The Rooney rule will always be the specter of insincerity when a team considers a minority for a HC position. I’m wondering if there was much discussion on the Panthers discussion boards whether or not Ron Rivera was simply a Rooney rule stand-in, or if they knew that his DC credentials with the Chargers was so ridiculously obvious that no mention of the Rooney rule was made in Charlotte during the 2011 off-season, as a for-instance. Personally, I’m hopeful for our burgeoning defensive strength that the Rooney rule has the Rams trying hard to appear sincere by interviewing a minority with some reasonable clout.

  8. By jwimmer2 on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    I’m here in the Gateway City, BTW, and the local sports talk is not really abuzz over Horton. It seems that there is this tacit understanding that Fisher will be the new HC in the ‘Lou.

  9. By Jesse Robles on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    Be the Cardinals Dick Lebeau, Ray. Be a D Coordinator, follow your mentors footsteps.

    Although the visit probably was for Rooney Rule, I hope he is here longer than 2 seasons. Shoot, to be honest, I hope he follows ADubs footsteps too, Cardinals or nowhere.

  10. By Eric Y on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    I will be SO bummed if Horton leaves. He is a crucial part of what/who the Cardinals are right now. Him leaving, could deflate the entire defense and set us back at the least, a year.

  11. By Brandon LA on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    Stay Ray

  12. By AndHeSansSupper on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    Though certainly deserving of an interview, you have to wonder if the Rooney Rule is the reason.
    My feeling is the mandate for having a minority being part of the head coaching process is racist at at worst and a facade at best. While it gives applicants like Horton job-seeking experience and gives teams a public perception that the NFL head coaching circle isn’t just a “good ol’ boy” retread of names, teams should be hiring the best person, regardless of color. If you’re going to enforce the insincere act, do it for all levels of coaching, from strength coach to offensive quality control.

    I’ll step down from the soapbox now.

  13. By az1965 on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    Can’t we deny the interview? Looks like the probability of him leaving may be low based on the blog details but still there is a chance.

  14. By SteveG on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    Rooney rule has been a huge success. The exposure, even for jobs that one does not get, allow for greater familiarity and “risk” taking by owners.

    I recall it was not that long ago that a black head coach was cause for celebration. Now, he is just another coach hired to be fired unless they produce!

    The days of the same coaches being hired over and over again are mercifully on their last breath.

  15. By Phoenixraven1 on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    Man that would suck to lose him this fast…I think these assistant coaches try to move up the ladder to fast…why not be the best at your side of the ball for years then move up…or stay the best ala Dick Lebeau?

  16. By bobf on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    Seems like the Rooney rule in 2011 just smacks of racism – even though it was meant to combat it.

    I guess it just seems a little outdated with all of the executive positions held by minorities in the NFL. I’m guessing teams are out there looking for the best candidate these days – regardless of color.

  17. By cards62 on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    Carlo Italy thank you for the laugh.

    Darren the guy has only been here one year for an 8 – 8 season.
    We need him to stay and give us at least 3 years of playoff success.
    I would not even allow the man to leave the state to go on vacation.

    Go Cards and go Horton

  18. By Brad on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    Carlo Italy – my opinion is that they haven’t interviewd Russ Grim because he hasn’t performed well, he’s been with the Cards for years yet our RB’s are still getting hit in the backfield. I couldn’t see why anyone would want him after his stint with the Cards…everybody can see how damaging Beanie can be if he gets a hole, that has only happened a handful of times, Grim needs to make a change in what he’s doing cause it ain’t workin…

  19. By Scott H on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    Sigh…well, this is certainly a bummer. Even if he doesn’t get the offer to go to the Rams, aren’t there several other head coaching vacancies we might also have to worry about???

    I’ve been hearing Fisher’s name linked with the Rams all over the place, so…I hope that will at least take them out of the picture.

    Damn…seems like as soon as one of coordinators gets on people’s radar, he’s gone. Geez, aren’t there 12 playoff teams out there who have coordinators too???

  20. By Eric on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    Just when we get a good thing going, it goes away. I really hope there is a little loyalty and the desire to get even better before taking that big step. I would like to see some continuity build around here for awhile. Todd on offense and ray on D, I’m really excited for the future. Man, I hope he stays…

  21. By Canadian Red Bird on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    There is no way that St. Louis is going to hire Horton, not on the strength of a good 1/2 season; so for all those that are losing sleep over the St.Louis HC position; you can relax it isn’t going to happen. Ray will be here for another couple of years and if his defensive schemes continue to be effective, then he will get some serious looks. I agree with a previous comment from Carlo; why isn’t any team looking at Russ? Because his offensive line has sucked for the past 4 – 5 years.

  22. By clssylssy on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    After a good beginning at creating something exciting and special, I would think that it would be to Horton’s advantage to finish his project with the Cards and get a Super Bowl under his belt before moving into the coaching arena. With such talents as Patrick Peterson and the other young players, and the potential for being a part of building something out of nothing it would only enhance his creds and certainly Head Coaching jobs, if that’s his goal, will always be there. As someone mentioned before, the Cards while not getting the credit they deserve, certainly have gotten enough positive attention that other teams come scavaging our players and coaching personnel regularly…we must be doing something right!
    Let’s hope that the organization and the fans will make The Arizona Cardinals a place that coaches and players want to retire from. Consistency of coaching staff and rosters are what allows great teams to move to the level of being elite. Next season looks to be exciting if we don’t emplode over the off season.

  23. By cardsalltheway on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    The following are characteristics Ray Horton will need to be a good head coach, I’ve learned this by witnessing what characteristics you know who is lacking…
    broad-minded, compliant, giving, willing, yielding
    humble, modest, unself-confidence
    and finally, an all-round quality decision-maker or Decider.

  24. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    “You can’t be serious!” – John McEnroe

    Look what the Rams got in former Giants DC Steve Spagnoulo. Do they really want another DC as head coach, a DC (Horton) who has had even less success than Spagnoulo did when he was hired by the Rams?

    And the Todd Haley experiment in KC didn’t really go over that well either.

    I’d like to see Horton get a HC spot in a few years, but not until after he’s groomed his successor much like LeBeau groomed Horton in Pittsburgh.

  25. By azcards65 on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    coaches dont sign contracts, or what , what did he sign when he got hired?

  26. By Brian on Jan 6, 2012 | Reply

    Ray Horton will stay.

  27. By antonioangelo21 on Jan 7, 2012 | Reply

    i hate the fact that people are even saying this is about the rooney rule even if it is. the guy has earned the right to be interviewed through his performance and even if its just for show, getting in front of people gives him a chance. i selfishly hope we have horton for many years to come but if he goes i can’t fault a man for taking a step up in his career.

  28. By Rodgerscromartie17 on Jan 7, 2012 | Reply

    Why so surprised everyone? you should know the cards are def not known for keeping our succesors around

  29. By Jahstone on Jan 7, 2012 | Reply

    Wow…Ken Wisenhunt with only one losing season in five years, and Haley (KC) and now Horton getting interviews for HC positions. Still don’t think the culture has changed around here???? 🙂

  30. By rio on Jan 7, 2012 | Reply


  31. By Brandon on Jan 7, 2012 | Reply

    Man I know you have to do what’s right to keep you moving up the ladder but I really hope you stay at least one more season here in Arizona. This defense you have built here is what made it exciting to come to every game this season! Will keep my fingers crossed the Rams go with somebody else, no disrespect we just need you here!

  32. By jason on Jan 7, 2012 | Reply

    Good Afternoon,

    Just wondering if there have been any updates about any of the stories that are going on around the Cardinals? Coaches coming or going, players signing new contracts?

  33. By georgiebird on Jan 7, 2012 | Reply

    Haven’t posted here in a while. I am completely up in the air about the 2011 season. My emotions go way up and way down. The positive says the Cards could have won 12 maybe 13 games. The negative says the Cards could have lost every game- in fact the Cards were the only team in the NFL not to record a victory of 10 points or more.
    It’s obvious that this post is populated by the most optimistic Cards’ fans but I’ve got to see some dominant performances in 2012 before I can give any credit to Whiz or Horton. Nail-biters have a way of evening out over the years.

  34. By Corgon on Jan 7, 2012 | Reply

    Interview with a division rival, when everyone counts on him. After one year when he just started to build something. I don’t really understand.
    Isn’t it a bit negative message to the team?

  35. By Javi on Jan 7, 2012 | Reply

    well darren if indeed ray does go, I have said this once and will say it once again, sign coach singletary to b the defensive coordinator, do you agree?

  36. By Darren Urban on Jan 8, 2012 | Reply

    Javi —

    RE: Horton change

    I don’t think Horton will leave. And no, I wouldn’t go with Singletary.

  37. By RC on Jan 7, 2012 | Reply

    I hope we don’t lose him now. One more year, and I think we can make a good playoff run.

  38. By wayne on Jan 8, 2012 | Reply

    for some reason I do see the Cardinals re hiring Todd Haley as an offensive coach just like the Patriots did with McDaniels, I think it best for Haley and the Cards, what is your opinion please? like it, dislike it, helps the team, QB ? I think he would really help Kolb, Skelton.

    He’s not getting hired by the Rams, not after 1 year as a DC, no way. He will be Cardinal for at least 3 years

    Thank You

  39. By Darren Urban on Jan 8, 2012 | Reply

    Wayne —

    RE: Haley

    I have said a few times, I think Haley would help the Cards.

  40. By cardsalltheway on Jan 8, 2012 | Reply

    Can you blame him for wanting out? I mean we’re going to draft an offensive linemen in the first round and that won’t help him ~ directly(defensive minded thinking).

  41. By clssylssy on Jan 8, 2012 | Reply

    Just when things were starting to look bright we have the re-emergence of georgiebird…ROFLMAO…”it’s obvious that this post is populated by the most optimistic Cards’ fans”…yeah, this is a FAN site! FYI, a win goes down as a W and a L as a loss and that is what really counts at the end of the day…nobody remembers the scores. Look at the teams in the playoffs, the Broncos (same record) and the Bengals (won one more game than the Cards), Horton did an amazing job with the D which allowed us to beat the 9ers, and Whiz has done a great job in building a cohesiveness team atmosphere in which individuals forgo their opportunities for the spotlight in favor of the team. I think Cards fans are proud of the way our team pulled itself out of a hole and finished strong. They wouldn’t have done it without the leadership of good coaches like Whiz and Horton. I’m thrilled and can’t wait for next season and hope that Whiz has not only Horton but Haley as DC and OC…that would be the best tandem since Boldin and Fitzgerald! Just because someone is requested to interview for a job doesn’t always mean anything more than that they are being recognized for their outstanding performance. GO CARDS, THE FUTURE LOOKS GOOD!

  42. By Eric on Jan 8, 2012 | Reply

    @ Georgiebird,
    I have a feeling if this team won every game by 25 points you would still find something to be negative about. I’m not sure you even watch football, it’s supposed to be FUN, and trust me, I as just as serious as you are about this team, and definitely chip in my two cents on everything, but good god, this is my hobby, it’s what I do for fun. I can’t imagine being as negative as you.

    I picture you as Walter Matthau in grumpy old men. Stupid pessimists, enjoying a sport, this is ridiculous!! Get real, and get over your self.

  43. By Eric on Jan 8, 2012 | Reply

    I meant optimist. Stupid optimists, enjoying thier sport!

  44. By LUKE on Jan 8, 2012 | Reply

    the only logic i see in this is what darren said,to gain experience for a head coaching interview otherwise,yeah,kinda weird to interview with a division rival.its kinda like”hey guys you have to buy in to my system” while he cashes in on a head coaching job.hope he doesnt pull a todd graham

  45. By Rodgerscromartie17 on Jan 8, 2012 | Reply

    Agree with Corgon, this is kind of out of the blue I thought we would of known a lot sooner that Horton would be going to do an interview for the Rams, if this guys signs with the Rams its going to be bad with the fans. I still stand by the team but how is this going on? We just signed this guy, and he made the first step to making this team better. Darren, did all this just come up this week or has the team known the intentions of the Rams and Horton? Obviously the Rams knew they were going to need a new HC way before the firing of thier coach

  46. By Darren Urban on Jan 8, 2012 | Reply

    Rodgerscro —

    RE: Rams/Horton

    I didn’t have any inkling until it happened.

  47. By Corgon on Jan 8, 2012 | Reply

    Blaming? No. Questioning this as a smart thing? Hmmmm yes…no…i dont’t know. I don’t know Horton’s targets, but this is really interesting.
    They brought Horton here with a concrete purpose, namely build and run a defense here. This isn’t a one year “contract”.
    So if this isn’t serious, then why? But if it is, then…let say i wouldn’t be so happy. Either way this isn’t “a beggining of a beautiful friendship” even if this is just business.
    I don’t know who will be the Card’s first round pick, but i don’t think an Olineman would be a reason for a DC to leave.

  48. By kkfan on Jan 9, 2012 | Reply

    The Rams wanting to interview Horton seems to be more of a stratigic move more than anything. If they can lure him away from the Cards, then they remove a very strong competitor from their division defensive wise. I would hope that Horton is just using this interview as a mental test for future opportunities. For when he has become more established as a Dick Le Beau type of Defensive mind.

    At least Spags had many years of tuteledge under Jim Johnson with the Eagles, before moving onto the Giants that one season . Which helped them to get to and win the SB. So you could really understand their wanting Spags . Horton from all I’ve read here has not the same rep or experience on his resume’ as what Spags offered the Rams.

  49. By Jesus on Jan 9, 2012 | Reply

    any news about Ray Horton, when he was due to interview, or is it going to be a wait and see with what fisher does. I really would hate to lose him. is there another DC available with the same Scheme another steelers guy available.

  50. By Darren Urban on Jan 9, 2012 | Reply

    Jesus —

    RE: Rams/Horton

    I think Fisher has to make a decision first. I will be surprised if Horton leaves.

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