Fisher helps Rams — and keeps Horton here

Posted by Darren Urban on October 2, 2012 – 9:21 am

The Rams, whom the Cardinals face Thursday night, are already improved under new coach Jeff Fisher. That was probably inevitable. Fisher came into St. Louis liking the owner and liking the fact the team already had a franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford. The rest, he could make work, and he has his team at 2-2 — already equaling or surpassing the team’s win total in three of the previous four seasons, including last year’s 2-14 record.

“Clearly the past speaks for itself,” Fisher said in a conference call Tuesday morning. “It’s been a difficult few years. What you do, you move forward and let that go. From the time we started the offseason program to date, guys have a different type of expectation. They know you can’t fix this thing overnight. But they know if you work hard, study hard, you have a chance in every game.”

Fisher, indirectly, has helped the Cardinals too. It made sure Ray Horton remained in Arizona as defensive coordinator.

Fisher was the guy the Rams seemed to have targeted from the outset when St. Louis was looking for a coach this past offseason. He had a chance to go to Miami too, but the Rams waited for him to make a decision. Yet they did interview Horton for their head coaching job. The franchise did need to talk to a minority candidate to fulfill the Rooney Rule, and until Fisher made a choice, that may have been what Horton was. But there is little question Horton did and will draw interest as a head coaching candidate going forward if his defense keeps playing like it has.

Horton has said before he would like to be a head coach someday, although he wants to win a Super Bowl as a coordinator and said back in February he wasn’t in any particular hurry to leave for another gig. What would have happened if Fisher had picked the Dolphins? It’s interesting to ponder. (What would have Sunday’s game been like — anything like it turned out to be?) The Rams could have made a lot different for the Cards. Steve Keim, the Cards’ VP of player personnel, was considered for St. Louis’ vacant general manager’s job too.

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28 Responses to “Fisher helps Rams — and keeps Horton here”

  1. By D on Oct 2, 2012 | Reply

    If Groves can’t go Thurs, will we see Westerman play in rotation with OBrien? He wasn’t bad for the Jets…

  2. By Darren Urban on Oct 2, 2012 | Reply

    D —

    RE: Westerman

    Don’t know about rotation, but I assume he’d play.

  3. By DontTakeLoses on Oct 2, 2012 | Reply

    Rams are would be poachers! 😉

    This is a big game, if we lose, the NFC West WIDE open. If We win, not so much.

  4. By beardinals on Oct 2, 2012 | Reply

    Now the question is “how do we keep him here for a third year”?

  5. By ASQuiros on Oct 2, 2012 | Reply

    Seriously. Horton fans should wear a PAY RAY tshirt to the games. I’m making one.

  6. By D on Oct 2, 2012 | Reply

    A win is a win, but these issues better improve fast…

    per PFF
    Arizona’s offensive line did not have a good day at the office, led, or more fittingly, dragged down by the historically bad performance of Bobbie Massie (-11.5), who, on the opposite end of the spectrum of Wake, received one of the lowest grades PFF has ever given. Whether run blocking, where they were manhandled and failed to get any movement whatsoever on the line of scrimmage, or in pass protection, where the two tackles were turnstiles, nothing went right for this unit. The poor blocking even extended to the running backs, as Ryan Williams and William Powell combined to allow four pressures.

    It’s quite amazing that Arizona was able to overcome such a collectively poor performance and has been able to overcome these deficiencies up front to start 4-0. Only the 1-3 Jaguars have a worse Pass Blocking Efficiency Rating through four weeks and it’s hard to imagine their streak continuing if things don’t improve up front.

  7. By Jesse Robles on Oct 2, 2012 | Reply

    I think we need to pay Ray big to keep him here. Ultimately I do hope he becomes a head coach, you can’t judge the guy for wanting the best for himself. I just think if it comes down to it, it is a business, and Ray Horton is the biggest Asset on this coaching staff. The Cardinals would not be here with Clancy Pandergast or Bill Davis. I just hope Ray Horton wants to stay in Arizona for a little while. Only watching this Defense play with a chip on their shoulders for the last 13 games or so is not enough, I want more, and it would suck to see it end this year. Lets be 4-0 in the playoffs for the first time, that is what it comes down to. We need to win this NFC West first, one game at a time. Lets go Red Sea! Lets go Cardinals! PAY RAY 2 STAY!

  8. By Dynosoar on Oct 2, 2012 | Reply

    Brad Oneill, did you notice nodavis 2000’s comment on you comment? I’m not the only one enjoying your humor.

  9. By Dynosoar on Oct 2, 2012 | Reply


    Jaguars 12 sacks allowed, 24 qb hits
    Bears 13& 24
    Cardinals & Rams are 14 and 24
    Packers are 16 & 23.

    Looks like were in a relative tie for last place.

    We were in a relative tie for 4th place over the first 3 games. I haven’t seen it, what changed from the first 3 games to the 4th? How’d we go from 4th to roughly last in one game?

    Look at this though, we’ve only allowed 4 touchdowns (league best) and outscored our opponents by 30 points (9th). Our offense and defense are at the top of the league in most categories and in the most important W-L record. Polls can say what they want (and they do), but the W-L poll is all that matters to me.

  10. By Scott H on Oct 2, 2012 | Reply

    I want him to win a SB as a coordinator, too. Right here! I swear, I am already dreading the off-season when I’m quite sure Ray Horton will be one of the most sought after candidates for whatever head coaching jobs are available.

  11. By Dynosoar on Oct 2, 2012 | Reply

    I was just on the Rams website and checked out their blog. I wanted to get a feel for how they feel about the upcomming game. Over the last four blogs posted, 4 comments and 3 were trackbacks.

    Even our blog has better stats than the Rams. Darren and fellow posters, we rock!

    Darren, on their site it has an article about Kurt Warner being honored on Thursday night. Can we get something about that here. Oh, I guess I just did, but you’d do a much better job.


  12. By Darren Urban on Oct 2, 2012 | Reply

    Dyno —

    RE: Warner

    I didn’t know he was being honored, so that would have been tough. I’ll mention it, but I’m guessing he’s not being honored for his time in Az.

  13. By georgiebird on Oct 2, 2012 | Reply

    It seems to me that guys posting on this site are big time Cardinals’ fans and, in turn, have little allegiance to the HC, DC or QB. Winning is everything- I hear no one lamenting the bad luck for Skelton or the fact that Michael Floyd is still a sub. Winning is everything and shortcomings are given short shrift.
    So I can’t believe that Ray Horton has been given so much praise. He’s done a good job but he reminds me of a one-trick pony- ‘Put heat on the QB’.
    A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that- “Horton sells out to get to the QB”. He may not be blitzing 5 guys but the LBs stay close to the line of scrimmage and spy on opponents top players. This leaves guys like AW and Gay (among others) in man on man coverage- a prescription for disaster.
    Happy the team is 4-0 but it seems to me Ray Horton has to show more of a varied approach to defensive football before he can be considered a very good defensive coach much less a head coach.
    But winning is everything so lets get to 5-0.

  14. By DesertDawg on Oct 2, 2012 | Reply

    Michael Bidwill has done a lot to change the culture/perception of the cardinals.
    (New stadium helped) Having Horton for a few more years would be great, might even get us our first ring. Head coaching offers aren’t turn down very often. I don’t see DC Horton turning down Head Coach Horton.

  15. By DesertDawg on Oct 2, 2012 | Reply

    Mr B will pay for a couple Tackles before Horton

  16. By Dynosoar on Oct 2, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, I believe if you knew something it would be up. Other than the headlin to an article stating the Rams will honor Warner, the text makes no mention of it.

    I guess we’ll see it on Thursday night if there is something. Sorry, should’ve researched it a little more and from the reading the article, it will be about his time in St’ Louis and his First Things First. We’ll see.

  17. By Darren Urban on Oct 2, 2012 | Reply

    Dyno —

    RE: Warner

    I did think he’d be there because of NFLN. If he is, I’m going to try and track him down for a second.

  18. By jskeleton on Oct 2, 2012 | Reply

    Hi Darren, I’m a Skelton’s guy because he stands and fires; also, he overcomes injuries. However, I give lots of credit to Kolb for managing the game and helping the defense to win the game. If the cards keep winning, I don’t mind if Skelton sits. I’m so excited to see this team to be undefeated. Live is good.

  19. By Faux Darren on Oct 2, 2012 | Reply

    DC Horton wants to be a HC in the future, not just be paid like one.

    Re Horton T-shirts: I can appreciate your ambition, but save your ENERGY for when the defense is on the field. The Red Sea was HORRIBLE during the Dolphins game.

  20. By Cobra on Oct 2, 2012 | Reply


    So far he has done a great job with the D. I believe it’s to early for him to become a Head Coach. The way he was outspoken in the fist couple of games has stopped, by, I’m sure, the Cards orginization. No longer does he speek of himself in such high standard. Lately, he may understand, what it takes to be the Man. You don’t just become a HC in one year after being a LB coach. If it were that easy, then Haley would be a HC today. There is more to the task at hand, and I know Whiz has plan even if he leaves.

    To the ski dude: Hadzinski or whatever.

    Their should have been a safety over the top when Toler go burned. He still played okay with extended action.

  21. By Cobra on Oct 2, 2012 | Reply


    I would love for the Rams to Honor Kurt Warner on Thursday Night.

    If you really want to piss of the Cards, well, that would do it, and they would pay for it!

  22. By Chuck 1 on Oct 2, 2012 | Reply


    If Skelton overcomes injuries so well, why is he sitting after three games (and, maybe four)?

  23. By stephen on Oct 3, 2012 | Reply

    Did Skelton loose his job? Haven’t heard much. If so, I think its a little shady to give away his job when Coach said last year Kolb would not loose his job due to injury.

  24. By jason marcus on Oct 3, 2012 | Reply

    W e have to keep it going and win this week, the Rams are talented and can creep up and win on you when you least expect do not let last years record fool you, Fisher wants to prove he can take a team like us in the division and smack us around…..well get ready RAMJOBS !!!!!!!!!!! GO CARDS!!!!!!!

  25. By Jason Marcus on Oct 3, 2012 | Reply

    Hey nothing better than being in malaysia and watching the cards at 4am in the morning here give an good ole fashion a whipping to them dogfish, bring it on rams.whoooooooo Kolb I apologize for all the trash talk ….but c’mon things looked Grimm? hahahahaha I believe in that dude, Kevers is on it whooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!

  26. By jeffgollin on Oct 3, 2012 | Reply

    GeorgieBird – I respectfully disagree with you about Horton being a “one trick pony.”

    One oft-missed aspect of an aggressive defense that gets after the passer are strong back-end manned by DB’s who can man-cover. (Ask Buddy Ryan about what happened when his corners opposite Aeneas Williams wre an off-zone specialists who couldn’t cover man-to-man).

    It’s one thing to be all-out aggressive (ignore contain and gap-discipline, overrush the QB, fail to wrap up etc.) and another to have the discipline and unselfishness it takes for players to play within a very complex defensive scheme that includes all kinds of weird fronts, false looks etc. Horton understands that, to be effective, an aggressive defense has to be “the whole package” to avoid being torched by wiley veteran opposing QB’s.

    Finally, the perception I get from reading earlier articles about Ray is that he’s a special kind of person who “walks the walk” (i.e. didn’t he once give away a car to someone less affluent)? Apparently, he inspires people and gets them to follow him.

    Folks like that don’t grow on trees.

  27. By brad oneill on Oct 3, 2012 | Reply

    Money isn’t going to keep Ray here, its an insult to guys as good as him that there is even a mention of the rule requiring teams to interview a minority coach. He is a great coach and deserves consideration for any head coaching job that comes up. I would love to keep him but when a guy takes over a defense like we have had and makes that big of an improvement in such a short time you have to let him have his chance. Might it go like buddy ryan sure, but he deserves his shot.

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