The night Arians was named coach

Posted by Darren Urban on January 17, 2013 – 10:30 pm

Before I power down for the evening — the Arians news continues again tomorrow with the 1 p.m. press conference, with some behind-the-scenes stuff on too — a few thoughts on the newest Cardinals’ head coach.

It feels like a good move for the Cardinals. This is a guy who many thought would be a hot candidate for a head coaching job and who was close to getting the Bears job. He’s about a vertical passing game — one of the reasons he reportedly lost his offensive coordinator job in Pittsburgh was because he passed too much. I do think, with Steve Keim as general manager, the offensive line and run game will be made a priority. That part of the offense has to get better. It has to get better in general, and it has to get better to ease the pressure on a passing offense that — at this point — can’t shoulder such a burden.

I’d think Larry Fitzgerald is a big winner here, assuming that consistent quarterback play can be found. I really have no doubt that the bottoming out of the quarterback position won’t be repeated. Will the franchise quarterback be found this season? No way to know, but given the draft class, it might not be possible. But I do think the offense will get better. But the proof will be on the field in September, October, etc.

As for the defense, there’s a lot to settle. There are a lot of reports about defensive coordinator Ray Horton, about him being upset he didn’t get the head coaching job, about him wanting out, about the Cards replacing him. Here’s all that I know as I type this: He’s still under contract, he’s still employed by the Cards. (And the reported replacement, Todd Bowles, is still under contract for the Eagles.) Could there be a change? There is always that possibility when a head coaching change happens. Anyone assuming that something was set in stone — how many times in the last three weeks has something been put out there, nationally, and have it turn out to be untrue? — is wrong because these are all fluid situations.

Losing Horton doesn’t sound appealing. I get that. I do know this, that for those who suggested on Twitter that there would be a player revolt, I don’t see it. Some players might not be happy. Others might embrace a change. But players know coaches come and go. That’s the business.

We’ll see how the staff shapes up. If Horton isn’t coming back, the other defensive coaches may be moving on too. I’d think special teams coach Kevin Spencer could be OK, since he coached with Arians in Pittsburgh. Strength coach John Lott could be OK. It was a little strange when tight end coach Freddie Kitchens was the lone offensive coach retained, but look at this — Arians was the offensive coordinator for the University of Alabama in 1997, the same year Kitchens, then a senior, was quarterbacking the Crimson Tide. So there is a tie there.

There will be much more tomorrow. So I’m going to get some sleep now.


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Posted in Blog | 87 Comments »

87 Responses to “The night Arians was named coach”

  1. By frustrated on Jan 17, 2013 | Reply

    Well, I guess we are going back to the Old days of Cardinal football. We are going to have to score most of the time when we have th football to win. Just think, our offense beat the Eagles last year. Does not inspire me for great defense.

  2. By CDJ on Jan 17, 2013 | Reply

    i just want to say that i love this hire

  3. By sarah on Jan 17, 2013 | Reply

    Holding my breath on this one and guys with big rings and wear them ( see pic ) usually have big egos (looks like a Super Bowl ring). Honestly this guy does not excite me but who knows, liked the OC Seattle guy better and he actually played QB. As a personality pre meltdown I liked Whiz. I understand why Arians was #2 in Chicago vs Trestman and Arizona snoozed on the latter. He will bring his people in, only QB to remain will be Kolb due to the contract which will be restructured, his first move will be either drafting a QB or trade for one or one by association. Skelton is gone, he doesn’t even workout at the Cards facility anymore.

  4. By ringlaterra on Jan 17, 2013 | Reply

    Sad, sad, so sad. Ray Horton was the best thing this team had going for it. Cardinals fans, have fun being the NFC West’s punching bag for the next 5-10 years. I’m out.

  5. By Dan on Jan 17, 2013 | Reply

    Keim already blew it, should have hired Horton.

  6. By sarah on Jan 17, 2013 | Reply

    Interesting piece.

  7. By kingjm on Jan 17, 2013 | Reply

    people like “ringlaterra” aren’t need in the fanbase anyways. I’m very interested to see how Coach Arians does with this opportunity. Unlike some ridiculous “fans,” I am keeping an open mind and let things play out a little bit before coming to a conclusion.

  8. By jestrada on Jan 17, 2013 | Reply


  9. By Red Page Band on Jan 17, 2013 | Reply

    Hey listen up, I am a Cardinals fan since the team was in St Louis and to me, the change has been a good thing since our team has been a non-playoff one most of the time. Personally Im glad with this move, of course would be better if Ray Horton stays but if he is not because he is upset that shows he was not the guy. I think we all must learn from Larry on being as humble as we can be and true Cards fans should support their owners overall if they realize the Bidwill son is willing to make this team a winner. So, be it, WELCOME mr. Arians, please do your best and flight these cardinals high! GO CARDS I´LL STAY HERE UNTIL I DIE!!

    “I love you team so please… Lets shock the world!” 🙂

  10. By Blake Martin on Jan 17, 2013 | Reply

    I like Arians coming in. I think he will try his hardest to fix are lackluster offense. As for Ray Horton, if he actually threw a tantrum about not getting the head coaching job then I don’t want him around anymore. Throwing a tantrum about not getting something you want is childish and inmature. I’m hoping these reports are false but if they are true then I have lost a lot of respect for Ray Horton today.

    Cards for life!

  11. By Joe on Jan 17, 2013 | Reply

    Wow…. I cannot believe all the negative comments already. This is a very good hire. The past 3 seasons have been horrible. Our 8-8 year was just lucky with OT and could have easily been another 5-11 year or worse. All of us real fans (and I have been a fan for over 40 years back to the St.Louis cardinals) were craving a big change as we are tired of the same old stuff after 3 years of pathetic product on the field and want to win. Now we have the change and people still are not happy. Its no wonder we have the reputation as the worst fans in the NFL.
    Its time to put your support behind our new coaching staff and not be negative. This coach is a proven winner. I like Horton but he has not proven he’s ready to be a head coach. Yes our defense was improved but we still gave up way too many huge yardage plays,,, gave up 58 points to seattle, 31 to GB, 31 to the Rams…. really??? Yes our offense didnt help but still………. he benched Adrian instead of putting him in position to succeed.
    I say if fans are serius about winning…. we need to embrace and welcome our new coaching staff and show them the cardinal faithful want a winner and support their efforts to win.
    So called fans…. stop being negative and complaining and be supportive!!! It was time for a change. Arent you tired of losing?? I sure am!!!

  12. By Hortonwinsasuperbowelfirst on Jan 17, 2013 | Reply

    Well this will be my last post on this website ever… Ray Horton is classy and deserved a hell of alot better treatment than what he deserved… Keim should know what promoting from within can do for someone as he wouldn’t be gm if it wasn’t for that… And yet the franchise goes out of house for an older candidate who’s experience with this roster is zero … We beat Detroit New England and Philadelphia because of the play and playing calling of our defense just to name those 3 of our 5 wins … Best of luck cardinals you might become a winner one day but I will no longer cheer you on because this move was classless and calculated … Best of luck to ray Horton as well he’s really made players on our defense better which was a group before two years ago that was laughed at continuously… Plus you want to know about ray Horton as a person read Darren’s article about when he left Pittsburgh and him giving his car away to a staff member who needed one badly … Might not have been an escalade but a selfless act like that speaks volumes about who he is and what he has come from and what he would make our team about… Far be it from me to expect a professional franchise to use character in its decision making process for evaluating talent but when only one defensive candidate was interviewed also the only black candidate and it is his second time doing so after the amount of success he has had with a group most would have wrote off before this year is down right wrong… I really thought I’d be happy once this coaching decision was made and instead now I’m looking at giving away my cardinal gear and moving on because its obvious they are just another copy cat without the backbone to go against the norm… Oh and I’ll make this statement right now with the gut feeling I know I will be right … Ray Horton is head coach of a Super Bowl winning team before the cardinals franchise wins one

  13. By Chuck 1 on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Red Page Band,

    You have the right outlook.
    I think that Bruce Arians, IF HE GETS THE PROPER SUPPORT FROM MICHAEL AND KEIM, will have the Cards in the playoffs by the end of 2014.

  14. By Eazy E on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    It really is too bad that Horton didn’t get this job. I like Arians and he was 3rd on my list of the guys we interviewed but I totally disagree with Arians over Horton. Horton should be mad because first of all, he’s proven here screw elsewhere, his defense played under the worst offense maybe ever I mean we had about a snowball’s chance in hell to consistently win with that horrible offense. He made GREAT QBs look really bad. And to say we might REPLACE Horton PERIOD is nauseating and with Todd Bowles(Threw Up Again). This was just wrong and if you don’t think his braids maybe or even and I’m not saying it is but I’m just saying his race didn’t have anything to do with it, you need to look much deeper. Andy gone McCoy gone and Horton was definitely 2nd or 3rd at the very least on their list because he had 2 interviews, so did they play the Rooney Rule or we’re they bs the whole way??? WTH was it?? I’m not highly upset but I am extremely disappointed because the Cardinals take 1 step forward with Keim and 2 steps backward it seems like instead of steps forward with Horton. Damn Keim I thought Horton was the guy.

  15. By Eazy E on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    BTW Darren, what player wouldn’t want Horton as HC especially defensively?? The players I do think won’t like this crap one bit. You need to reward people who do their darndest to help you and he succeeded.

  16. By Darren Urban on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Eazy E —

    RE: Players

    I’m not going to get into names. But to think everyone always loves their boss isn’t realistic. Even the best bosses have people that don’t like how things are done. It doesn’t mean the employee is right, but those are the feelings.

  17. By Madriffs on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Not really surprised by this pick. I think we all kind of knew when Arians name came up that there was a strong possibility that he would be the next coach. I’m sorry for Horton cause I could see how much he wanted this job. After the dust settles, my fingers are crossed for Horton to stay in AZ. If not, I won’t hold it against him if he chooses to leave. I do feel Arians will take advantage of this opportunity and make the most of it. So, I can see this being a solid choice.

  18. By dont run d wash's way on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    i feel bad for horton. the guy has proved that hes a good coach, just take the last three years for example. the guys on the defense trusted him which brought out the best in them. i will always be cardinals fan but the bidwills made a mistake and they will see that when horton does great things in this league

  19. By Lou on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Philly defense was worse with Bowles than even Castillo who isn’t even a defensive guy. If Horton goes i might go as well. I only can speak for 2 season tickets but i will keep my money in my wallet rather than spending to see us get worse. Offensively we might get ok but defensively we may be in a ton of trouble.

    Darren is the steeler linebacker coach (air apparent to LeBeau) still under contract? If not does he and our new HC have a connection? He would also be a good fit, Bowles was terrible with the Eagles!

  20. By Darren Urban on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Lou —

    RE: Steelers LB coach

    You are thinking of Keith Butler, and yes, he coached with Arians. But like all those times flirting with Whiz, I don’t know if he’d leave Pittsburgh and I don’t know his contract status.

  21. By Supercardinals100 on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Darren ,

    It’s so upsetting that we hire a guy to “fix” our horrible offense and the we get rid of the guy that actually made our team competitive in the first place?…for some guy in Todd Bowles to replace him Just because Arians made him some promise ???.who in those right mid would trade Horton for Bowles that is insane!!!!!!!!!! We want to win here its not about hiring your buddies it’s about hiring the men that are going to coach your players the best!!!!! Horton and the defense are the only reasons why we didn’t get blown out most of the games it’s ridiculous so we are going to “fix” the offense which that is not a guarantee and then let go of the only thing that made this team relevant to watch the past two years?…Keim this is not a good start brother we want to win not make shure buddies are reunited in the coaching stuff…sometimes I wonder why do people like them get paid so much to make dum decisions like this?’s head scratching..word to bidwill and Keim your supposed to have a good defense and a good offense to win games not just one this is absurd I was ok with the Arians hire but not at the price of letting Horton go now we have questions marks on both sides of the ball!!!! You need consistency!!!!!!!!wowwww just so disappointed we could have gone in the season with the offense being a question and hoping the new system works well here but at the same time knowing that Horton and the defense will have the defense in place to compete with anybody but now we have to have question how is the defense going to play out here as well are you kidding me that is horrible especially for some guy that is not proven in Bowles just horrible decisions by this front office!!…anyways Darren do what do you think of the cardinals losing Horton for Bowles?.agree or disagree ?..don’t beat around the bush though (not in a rude way)..just a simple agree or disagree?

  22. By Darren Urban on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Super —

    RE: Horton

    I’d like to see Horton stay.

  23. By George on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Oooo yea way to go cardinals 1st move of us on the road to a Super Bowl win ! Good job !

  24. By Corgon on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    I just simply can’t believe this Horton stuff.
    I can’t believe
    1 – he’s angry. that would be really childish
    2 – he want to go without any already settled opportunity, because he’s angry
    3 – The Cars let him leave from one day to another, because he’s angry

    I’m not saying he’ll stay, cuz i don’t know, but if he leaves there should be some serious reason.

  25. By D on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    If Horton is gone I wonder since he is under contract if the browns want him bad enough to give up a 4th round draft pick

  26. By seth on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Seriously if horton is getting fired…… I would be pissed to if i was told i would be HC if McCoy wasn’t hired as HC too, but to fire horton who made our D into a nightmare last year, please stay horton. Who the heck wants a trade down on DC, seriously, come on the eagles DC? they were not that good

  27. By Rich on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Elmer Fudd could have coached the Cards defense to good performance. Dockett, Wilson, Washington, Peterson, Campbell, etc….gimme a break. Horton is good, but the Cards have excellent talent on defense. If Horton stays, great! If he goes, no worries.

  28. By iammattyoung on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    I like Arians as HC, but I do not like that he’s bringing in Bowles. It sounds to me like Arians’ heart isn’t in winning, but instead in being Chief. If you’re purpose is winning, you go with the guys who will help you win, even if it means leaving your buddies out in the rain. Let’s just hope that Chip Kelly decides to hang on to Bowles.

  29. By iammattyoung on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    RE: sarah.

    The linked article makes it seem like Arians big trick is drawing pictures to help players remember plays. Hooo…boy.

  30. By Cardsgirl on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    I was prepared to like this hire and to keep Ray Horton for 1 more year. This would be beneficial both for the Cards and for Horton. If things go the way we hope and the Offense improves considerably and the Defense is at least as good as last year, then Ray Horton would be a shoe-in as head coach somewhere next year when his contract with the Cards expires. I hope he gets over his hurt and anger (which I do understand) and stays with the Cards. And I hope the Cards leadership, including the head coach see the wisdom in that. Too much change, especially when you already have a top 10 defense, is way too much to see a major improvement in one year. And most of us season ticket holders have contracts which expire, too. It does not mean that we will not remain fans, just that we may not be able to watch the disaster from stadium seats. I think Coach Arians will bring a much improved Offense. Please, don’t ruin the Defense in the process.

  31. By Tucson Card on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    We’ll see how it goes. I don’t think it’s a bad hire, he did pretty good with the Colts. I would have prefered Horton though. Bummer to see Horton go.

  32. By georgiebird on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Very happy Horton is gone. His 3-4 did not fit with the Cards’ personnel. Horton benefited from an OK defense that was way overrated because our offense was taking all the criticism.
    Basic principle of a 3-4 is having an excellent NT (who can take two blockers) and four big strong LBs who can take on the OLs. Only Acho comes close to being a prototype. As I have stated on many occasions, the Cardinals have NEVER had any (maybe one) All-pro caliber LBs much less four in one season. But Horton knew little more than the 3-4.
    Whether Horton left this year or next, he was not going to be here in 2013. He did not deserve the HC job because his contribution on offense would have been minimal. And let’s remember, seven other teams had a shot at Horton and no one took him.
    Hope Todd Bowles brings in the 4-3 that will re-energize DD and put other guys in a better position to succeed.

  33. By Eric G on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Arians differs from Whiz’s offense. That’s all I needed to hear. I’m sold. I like the hire and I hope we can keep Horton for a couple more years.

    Go Cardinals.

  34. By Rob R on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply


    What does Bowles usually run? A 4-3/3-4. Seems like that could be a difficult transition to a 4-3 and leave Schofield/Acho as a pure stand up linebacker.

  35. By Darren Urban on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Rob R —

    RE: Scheme

    Obviously if the Cards go back to a 4-3 there will be personnel issues to address.

  36. By georgiebird on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Since there were no top-flite HC candidates (Reid is a shell), I think the Cardinals picked the right skill set in Arians. At age 60, Arians’ physical condition and stamina are my biggest concerns. Also, did not like the fact that he will be calling the offensive plays because ‘he is better than anyone else’-we just went thru that mindset.
    It will take the Cards two or three years to reach the level of SF and Sea. Arians will be more of a setup guy to put the offense (QB) together for 2015- I don’t see him here long term (he has 4 year contract) due mostly, again, to age and physical condition.
    We must move on now with Arians- the guys we lost in Whiz, Graves and Horton were not coveted (that much) by the many other teams needing help. Looking forward to a busy off season- hope Arians and Keim can make the moves that will make our games more meaningful.

  37. By johnnybluenose on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    darren. you’re implying that kitchen was retained because he had a previous connection to arians? so, arians was our first choice all along and to get arians to come on board we thought it would help our cause if we still had kitchen? really? as for horton, i don’t know if he has already left or been released. but if he is as upset and disappointed as i think he is then he cannot be on our coaching staff. we have the players on the defensive side of the ball to do the job and there are other defensive co-ordinators out there who can coach. and i don’t much care whether we have a 3-4 or a 4-3 as long as we are aggressive and pressure the quarterback. we have been stagnant for a few years. now i think we can move forward.

  38. By Darren Urban on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    johnnyblue —

    RE: Kitchens

    I don’t know if that’s true. I just know there is a connection, and I thought it was interesting he was the only one kept.

  39. By Andy Kw on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    -If Horton is on his way out, I will have to commend him for his transformation to the Arizona Cardinal’s defense. I will always be a fan of you man and thanks for making the defense the way it is now.
    -Todd Bowles, if you are going to be the defensive coordinator, I beg of you and Bruce Arians to keep Louie Cioffi, Matt Raich, John Lott, and Kevin Spencer.
    -The staff members that should be replaced are Ron Aiken, Pete Alosi, and Ryan Slowik.
    -I can’t wait to see what people you hire as Offensive Coordinator, Quarterbacks Coach, Wide Receivers Coach, OL/RB Coach, and Offensive Quality Control.
    -Since Bruce Arians knows of the inconsistency on QB, please cut QB Ryan Lindley, and John Skelton.

  40. By kevin on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    This team will be taking major steps backwards and for those that called for Whiz to be fired where not Cardinal fans anyway, and now to lose Horton? wow. Back to bottom of the pack. Whiz was our best chance and he showed it 2 bad season and rest very good. I was looking at Arians record did not find where they where impressive last time he was a coach.

  41. By red c rider on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    I usually hear a tone of overwhelming confidence, almost arrogance, when I hear Horton speak. I would not be shocked if Horton reacted/reacts as has been rumored. Nevertheless, I have to wonder whether the reported Arians/Bowles combo = or < Horton/whichever-Horton-OC. I have to admit that if things unfold as speculated, I will have preferred to keep Horton and his OC over Arians' squad.


  42. By Rick Von on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    I read a report that Horton and Keim got in an argument after Horton was told that he would not get the head coaching job. Can you confirm or deny the report?

    I really wish the NFL would get rid of the Rooney Rule. It’s just stupid! He was interviewed thinking he may actually get the job, but it turns out it’s just to satisfy the Rooney Rule. Now Horton doesn’t even want to be here.

  43. By Darren Urban on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Rick Von —

    RE: Horton/Keim reports

    I have no idea if anything happened, one way or the other.

  44. By Dynosoar on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Red Page Fan,

    I’m with you since St. Louis and forever.


    you’re correct, he’s got two SB rings as a coach. Ray Horton has I believe three and one as a player (Darren, is my counting of Ray’s SB rings correct?). I’m holdng my breath as well, but after reading John’s peice on the home page I feel satisfied.

    To all my friends, it seems Arians has what I like about other coaches, he can play with an ever changing personel (just like a college coach), he can motivate his players to win with the scheme, he’s offensively minded and likes to use his receivers (good for our receiving corp) and he wants to be here.

    I really hope we keep Ray Horton. I don’t know if he’s upset, but whenever I have lost out on promotions or being hired it is disapointing. After a few weeks I’m back to myself, but I understand having my heart set on something and it doesn’t happen. I believe with someone who believes in winning by scoring more points than the opponent instead of managing the game clock we’ll win many more games.

    San Francisco and Seattle, get used to a Wild Card or missing out on the playoffs. The Cardinals are back!

    I’ll end where I began with a quote from Red Page Fan,

    “I love you team so please… Lets shock the world!”

  45. By Dynosoar on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply


    did you mean, down the drain for the rest of the NFC West. HaHa. I just hope you’re as wrong about this as I was about my dream of playing in the Big Dance this February.

    Go Cards and Let the Red Sea Rise!

  46. By Steve W. on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Cautiously optimistic about this choice, and in truth I would have said the same about anyone hired as the new HC for the Cards. Nobody can know how he’ll do until given the chance, and I think that’s true for anyone else who might have gotten the job, whether it was Horton or Reid.

    I truly hope that Horton is more understanding of the realities of the business side in football than the rumors have suggested. The fact that no other team in the NFL hired him is an indicator that nobody, including the Cards, feel he is the right ‘fit’ for their team in terms of being a HC. I think he’s an outstanding defensive coordinator, and he’s proven that in the past couple of years. Not sure he’s seasoned enough for the big step up, and in any case, the Cards needed someone with a strong knowledge of the offense to bring this time back up from where we’ve fallen. I can’t see any fault at all in passing over Horton here. Giving the HC job to someone who feels it’s due to him doesn’t feel right, and I’m really glad that Bidwill resisted that urge IF it’s true – and again at this point anyway it’s impossible to know what’s going on behind those closed doors. Speculation and conjecture are just that – the facts may reveal themselves in the days to come or maybe never, that’s just something that fans need to understand.

    In any case, I hope that Arians turns out to be the right choice for this team, and I do hope that the rumors surrounding Horton prove to be unfounded and untrue. Either way, I’m looking forward to watching how the Cards do in the upcoming draft and I’ll be holding my breath for next season to see how the team comes together. Given Arian’s fondness for the passing game, I’m really hoping to see a lot more of Larry Fitzgerald next season.

    GO CARDS!!

    Steve W.

  47. By NJAzCardsFan on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Darren- Any truth to the rumor Horton was fired today???

    I don’t blame him for being upset for not getting the HC job. The Cards really needed an offense from the HC on down. Too bad…. the Cards had a good defense with him.

  48. By Kevin S on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    I hate to say it, but if it’s true that Ray Horton has said he wants out simply because he was passed over for the HC job, then give him what he wants and let him go IMMEDIATELY, whether he’s under contract or not. Anyone in business knows that sometimes you don’t get the job. If you’re going to pout about it, then you probably weren’t right for the job in the first place.

  49. By Kevin S on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    And as far as the “player revolt,” hopefully guys paid millions to play football would understand that they work for the Arizona Cardinals and they owe it to the team to respect the team’s decisions on whom to hire. But if they don’t and guys start saying stuff in interviews or tweets to the effect that the Cardinals should’ve hired Horton or something like that — basically undermining their new coach — well, if I were Bidwill and Keim, those guys would be on the trading block immediately.

  50. By iammattyoung on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Man, the more I think about this, the more it frustrates me that Arians would insist on bringing in Bowles. The only conceivable reason for downgrading your DC position and making your team worse is some sort of friendship. But even if that was the case — even if Arians promised that he’d bring Bowles with him — why can’t he bring Bowles along as a defensive assistant? Horton is only under contract for one more season, at which point, he’ll probably jet anyway — either for a head coaching position, or because of hard feelings over not getting the HC job here. Give it one year! See what the two can do together, and if it doesn’t work out, then promote Bowles.

  51. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    I love the choice. Arians is hungry, confident, experienced, and grateful for an opportunity he thought might never come. I’m glad the Bidwill’s didn’t let Bruce leave town.

    On the flip side, I feel really bad for Horton. He’s deserving of a shot to be HC, but given the dire offensive straights this team is in, a successful offensive mind needs to be in charge. Ironically, thanks to Ray, the defense is in good shape and really didn’t need to be addressed deeply with the HC hire. Best of luck to you Ray — and than you — your opportunity is coming soon!

  52. By Kevin S on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Never mind, I guess Horton’s already been fired. Still catching up on the news after being out of town a few days, and didn’t see anything posted here yet (my usual source), but it appears it all went down last night.

  53. By Darren Urban on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Kevin S —

    RE: Horton status

    As of 9:38 a.m. Friday morning, Horton is still with the Cardinals.

  54. By stevedco on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    If I’m not mistaken Bowles is a 4-3 guy. May be very interesting to see what this team could be with Dockett and Cambell playing in a 4-3.

    Washington as a MLB. Bradley backing him up seems likely too with the Eagles connection.

    There are some depth issues though. Williams is a 3-4 NT not a 4-3 DT and before anyone tries to play fantasy football, you aren’t going to trade him for a QB or 2nd rnd or higher pick. Boldin got us x2 3rds

  55. By wnycardfan on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    well, I’m glad that’s over (the search). Now time will tell if he is the right choice. Right now i’m not depressed about it, probably more towards happy since it seems he’s got a good mind etc. Hate to see Horton go if he does. But given what choices we KNEW about were out there, this made the most sense.
    Now, I’m looking forward to seeing how he handles HIS hires of coordinators/asst and how he handles the off season stuff (free agent, draft, combine, etc)
    Let the games begin.

    PS: I DO hope we don’t have another disaster of a year, I’d really like to see us get to 500 next year with a new coach and a revamped OFF etc…

  56. By Lixto on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    wow what the heck where you guys thinking when you fired ray? that was the only bright spot we had last year to watch now it gone? like the saying says, if aint broke dont fix it…… what the hell where you guys think bad move on management, i thought we in this to win, not to set us back another 5 to 6 year, jeez, it getting hard to be cardinals fan…. am about to abandon ship captain, i thought keim was an up comer who knew talent we you just let a talented dc leave the cardinals…… good luck trying to make keep my season tickets, cardinals you guys owe me a refund….. i can no longer support even more dumb moves by the front office…. am shaking my head in disappointment

  57. By cooldaddy79 on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    I think its a great move. Yes i really liked the idea of Ray Horton as head coach, but we really need an Offense Head coach ie Qb coach too. Ray Horton is great, Cards please pay the man to stay! Ray please stay! lol. Both of you can create a powerhouse of a team.

  58. By Giorgio on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Stop the whining guys!! This is a good hire. While we may be tired of the Steelers connection we really shouldn’t be, because of all the great coaches and players that come out of that system. Their recond speaks for itself. Arians has a winning track record in all the plaes he’s been, including how he kept the Colts together this year and into the playoffs. Secondly, let’s face it there are only a handful of good football clubs of late–the Steelers, Packers, Patriots, Giants, and Colts. Arians has been with two of those teams. Thirdly, you can tell the man is deeply appreciative for the chance to finally become a HC. Lastly, and maybe the most important, you can tell he doesn’t like to lose. If he gets the support of Keim and Michael Bidwill he should be able to continue that tradition in the NFC West, which has become a tough division now. Go Coach Arians!!! You may well be the best hire of the off-season.

  59. By cooldaddy79 on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    To all you fans out there, who said Ray was leaving or was treated bad, I never heard anything come out of own lips about it anyhting, on how he felt. yea he might be upset or mybe not. He had 2 interviews and Arians only needed 1 so whats the problem.?

  60. By syncro9z on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Holy mole! Some of the comments here are as crazy as they come. I understand we pay for tickets. I get we devote time and money to support this team. Still, givinng up on this team due to the coaching decisions is a foolish. Facts:
    1. Our offense was awful.
    2. Our offense never filled Warner’s departure.
    3. Kevin K. was never given an offensive scheme tailored to his strengths.
    4. While the defense was good, in this current NFL, OFFENSE is winning games, and championships.
    5. While there’s a chance Horton may return; the talented players we have will. These men are paid professionals, and for all the professionals out there, we dont stop working when a new chief steps in the office.
    I cant wait to see what this turns into, and i have to think Fitz and the rest of the offense had a smile on their faces when this went official.

  61. By HunterSThompson on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    I’ve got some serious issues with this hire. Anyone and everyone that watched the NFL this season saw the beginnings of an entire evolution in how the game is played. Offenses are becoming more dynamic, up-tempo, and complex. A new breed of QB is coming in that will alter the entire definition of the position. Coaches (Chip Kelly) are coming in or implementing (Bill Belichick) an entirely new perspective on offense The game is becoming younger and more creative..

    In response, 5 of 8 teams this offseason hired HCs in their 40s. 2 new HCs are in their 50s (Trestman and Reid), but both have significant HC experience, and there are doubts about both as to if the game is actually passing them by. The Cardinals? They hire a guy that is 60 years old, has health issues that precluded him from coaching his teams playoff game, and whos’ entire coaching career had very good to excellent QBs to work with.

    To make matters worse, Arians wants for a DC some guy with zero success in the role (Eagles 2012) and whos previous experience is as a DB coach for some entirely forgettable defenses (Cleveland Browns from 2001 to 2004, Dallas Cowboys from 2005 to 2007, Miami Dolphins from 2008 to 2011).

    As a final insult, we stand to lose the one good thing to happen to the Cardinals since the Superbowl: the creative, dynamic, attacking defense that Ray Horton created in only 2 seasons….one that arguably is responsible for EVERY SINGLE WIN the Cardinals had in that time.

    Cardinals want to build fan loyalty, but show little when it comes to the one coach to actually have success recently, and who actually WANTED to be the HC here. Cardinals want to have player loyalty when it comes to signing contract extensions and attracting free agents, but how does this look?

    I agreed entirely with Steve Kiem when he said for far too long the Cardinals have been “reactive rather than proactive”, and he vowed to change that approach. Proactive in the HC search would have been finding a younger, dynamic mind capable of envisioning the NFL for the next 20 years (and maybe being around long enough to be involved in it) while building the franchise loyalty with fans and players alike. Instead the hire of Arians reeks of desperation for a “resume” and shows no concern with the big picture. Proactive my arse…

  62. By UnleashTheCardBeast on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Goes to show that no matter what decision the Cardinal’s organization makes, there is going to be a bunch of unhappy, ungrateful people. When Horton was supposed to be the head coach; “Oh great! Same old Cards. We will never win! I’m not a fan anymore.” When they hire someone else; “Oh great! Horton isn’t our head coach. Same old Cards. All is lost! I’m not a fan anymore”. Take a chill pill people… this is a GOOD thing.

  63. By HunterSThompson on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply


    It was my impression throughout the year that many of the Cardinals defensive standouts (Peterson, Rhodes, Dockett, Campbell, Washington) really liked Ray Horton….more than is typical/usual for a player-coach relationship. They seemed motivated, dedicated, and inspired by both his personality and his mind (scheme). What was your impression of their relationship with Horton?

    I have seen people say that the players are professionals, and will continue to do their job, etc if Horton leaves. That is likely in the short term, but when it comes time to sign contract extensions players often cite respect, loyalty, commitment etc as being things they care about. How will they percieve the Cardinals treatment of Ray Horton when the KNOW he was a big part of their greatest successes?

    The fallout of this could be bigger than is immediately apparent.

  64. By Darren Urban on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Hunter —

    RE: Players/Horton

    I think that yes, they liked him as a coach and a person in a lot of ways. More than typical? I don’t know if I’d say that. I think a unit feels really good about it’s coach when things are going well.

    Let’s not forget that a lot of players were frustrated and irritated the first half of 2011 when Horton was trying to get his defense put in after the lockout. It wasn’t warm and fuzzy then. If someone new comes in and they do well, everything settles down. If there isn’t success, we all know what the story will be, and that will include the players.

  65. By Jahstone on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Like I said…Horton with Turner. Now I would have been upset if they just let Horton go for Bowles,but getting in your boss’s grill and raising a fuss like that is unaccceptable. Araians is better that Horton (without Norv Turner).

    They seem to care the last 6 years, they just still don’t know how to win.That’s the difference between the same old cards. Once again, if we get the 5 key pieces we need for the team (and not just 2 or 3), we can win!!

  66. By Mr Robles on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    I dont know Darren gut feeling say’s this gonna be a long 4 years & if Horton aint here its gonna be longer. Honestly feels like the Kolb trade I didnt like it…..hopefully im wrong. Still A Cards fan please Bruce lets get on the winning track. Darren what was a great win this past season Bruce had?

  67. By Rufus on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Arians is a good hire and is more qualified to be a head coach than Horton. I would hate to see Horton leave and he would probably be better off swallowing his pride and staying since he is not going to be a HC next season in the NFL. However, it will only be a matter of time if he continues his solid track record as a DC.

  68. By UK CARD on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    The Bidwills Just sold the farm, for fools GOLD!!


    Was the reason why B.A, missed the colts playoff game published? I heard he was hospitalized??

    And what happened to due diligence?? I really think they dropped the ball here! B.A wasn’t even on there radar, until he dropped to them, after he missed on Bears, and Chargers! and then they just jumped all in!

    I hope everyone cools off, and the retain Horton, but can’t see it! B.A all ready had his mind made up!

    Thank you Ray! Head in hands!!!

  69. By where's 9-0 on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    4 more years of misery for cardinal fans! I cant believe we let Horton go!

  70. By theuglitruth on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Losing Horton is a significant dis-advantage. I doubt that can be overcome this season. Put on the rose colored glasses folks, because taking a step back on defense and trying to re-tool the offense isn’t going to happen this season or the beginning of next season. Arians will need 2+ years.

  71. By D on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    People not liking the 3-4, but they can’t complain at the results last year. If Bowles wants to go to a 4-3, this is the draft to get a good D lineman. They would need another DE because Carter is more of a DT than DE, also bringing in competition for OBrien would be a good idea. I think they will stick with the 3-4 because they will need so many draft picks for the Off side of the ball.
    (need to get the word out that AZ is open to trading down a few spots because this team really could benefit with an additional 2, 3 or 4th round picks)

    Some good assistants available….Jerry Sullivan and Mike Tice to name a few…got to get it done today because of the supply/demand thing

  72. By Kurt on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    As a Cards fan I need to believe the Arians hiring is the next best step.
    Regarding Horton, Whiz made a mistake letting him hide in the coaches booth during the games. Never being able to communicate face to face with your DC during the games can’t be good thing. That being said Horton is a remarkible football coach. I hope Horton stays and moves to the sidelines this year.

    Then he will be better prepared to become a head coach. It was never in his Cards this year.

    If Horton is throwing a hissy-fit which is hard to buy, but if he is – he needs to take his ball and go home.

  73. By theuglitruth on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Stop with the rose colored glasses comments, this isn’t a solution without the talent needed on offense. It will take 2-3 years for this new regime to even get the players in place for their system.. For anyone to say we only need a few missing components is assuming they know what the coaching staff has in mind. I see huge changes in the roster on both sides of the ball, then a learning curve on the new system for the current players, a weeding out of players that are not a fit, then Arians will need 2-3 drafts just to get “his” players. Those players will have a learning curve, in the mean time we will lose talent with ending contracts, etc. This isn’t a Harbaugh situation where they have the talent and just need a good coach…it’s a complete rebuild.

  74. By erik on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    FOr once I agree with georgie. It would be a pain to re-vamp the defense again, but we have the personnel for a 4-3. Dockett would become feared once again by all opposing offenses and Calais would certainly get double digit sacks.

  75. By Jahstone on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Look…if you’re not bald headed, you don’t qualify for a position in the New Cardinals organization.LMAO. BOO AZ…hard enough with the Suns and D-Backs following a similar, yet destructive path. All we have are the Coyotes. I have paid my dues, and am going to have to switch to my wife’s team (non NFC West of course)They are lucky to have you Darren…hope you’re not leaving for a better positon!!

  76. By Giorgio on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Horton is a good coach and will continue to succeed, but we need to look at some of the BIG scores put up by other teams on our defense, i.e., the defense collapsed far too many times. Granted, they were probably worn out for being on the field so long. But still you have stop people. Patrick Peterson for one still needs to lean how to play his position. He flat out gets beat.

  77. By HunterSThompson on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Cards 2013-14:

    4-12 at best. Book it. Can’t wait to read the boards 12 months from now….

  78. By Debeezy on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Horton just hired as Browns new DC

  79. By Campbells on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Thrilled for now.
    BA will bring a wealth of offensive knowledge and wisdom, based on a lifetime of experience. He values ALL relationships, which is important for any organization. He’s probably the perfect guy to develop effective QB’s.
    Seems like the goal is to be aggressive on both sides of the ball, which sounds fantastic to me.
    Horton did a good job, but our defense can be better. We have a lot of good players, so the defense should continue to be feared.
    Overall, excited about next year. Guess we’ll renew our season tickets and hope for a great season.

  80. By Kevin S on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    So, we went from as of 9:38 am, Horton is still an employee of the Cardinals, to a few hours later he is the new Browns DC.

  81. By Kevin S on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    And now I see Alvin G. is gone as Suns coach as well. Quite a couple of days here in the AZ sports world.

  82. By lobo on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    interesting…parallels with bears problems very similar…of course at the end of the day they won 10 games though and have no quarterback issues per se….real good defense…solid special teams….if cards ol was the bottom of the barrel the bears was not quite there but on its way too. so they go out and hire an offensive coach and who is their second choice in a close race….BA!! Horton is a fine DC who had to be considered but it would have been a mistake at this time…the day will come when a team needs a defensive tune up and he will get a legit shot.

  83. By Mike Ellingboe on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply


    I hate that Horton is now out of AZ, but have mixed thoughts on the 3-4’s effectiveness going forward. Yes, our defense was the only respectable part of our team last year, but as it stands right now I don’t see it being the alignment to stop the read-option, as partially evidenced by the annihilation the Hawks treated us to (and the one they put on the 49’ers, and the 49’ers on the Packers, etc.), Now we’ve got two young QB’s in our division that have a strong aptitude for that offense and already look very comfortable running it. So I’m on-board with a potential change to the scheme but this latest move is very questionable. Arians and Bowles don’t strike me as any kind of upgrade from Whisenhunt and Horton.

    Honestly, if we were going to go down this road I cannot figure out why Lovie Smith was never in the mix. A lot of head coaching experience, with proven results as both a HC and DC. I hope this turns out better than it appears, because right now I’m feeling a little foolish for jumping to Bidwill’s defense a few days ago.

  84. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply

    Watching the official press conference, It just occurred to me that both Bruce and Steve Keim are both bald. Maybe that gave Bruce the inside track on the job. 😉

  85. By Chuck 1 on Jan 18, 2013 | Reply


    “Stop with the rose colored glasses comments, this isn’t a solution without the talent needed on offense. It will take 2-3 years for this new regime to even get the players in place for their system.. For anyone to say we only need a few missing components is assuming they know what the coaching staff has in mind. I see huge changes in the roster on both sides of the ball, then a learning curve on the new system for the current players, a weeding out of players that are not a fit, then Arians will need 2-3 drafts just to get “his” players. Those players will have a learning curve, in the mean time we will lose talent with ending contracts, etc. This isn’t a Harbaugh situation where they have the talent and just need a good coach…it’s a complete rebuild”.

    My comment: The Seahawks, since Pete Carroll took over, have had approximately 300 roster changes and look at them now. I agree that it will take Keim and Arians a couple of years to “get their players”. Will our fans like that?
    Of course not. But, if we see improvement, I think that we will be able to accept it.

  86. By Eazy E on Jan 19, 2013 | Reply

    Yeah Darren I can see that point, but it would be misguided because the defense was the only reason we won more than 1 or 2 games.

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