Tag:Ray Horton
Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:05 am
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Report: Ray Horton interviewing for Rams job

By Will Brinson

Jeff Fisher is the primary target for the Rams in their current coaching search, but another name has hopped onto St. Louis' list.

The Rams received permission to interview Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, and will talk with Horton on Friday.

Horton was previously the Steelers defensive backs coach before being hired by Ken Wisenhunt in the offseason to take over as DC in 2011. (Aside: here's a great story about him giving a cafeteria worker in Pittsburgh his Mercedes for $20 on his way out of town.)

Horton's aggressive blitzing style was a welcome change for the Cards, but the team struggled to pick up on his new scheme early on; the team struggled out to a 1-6 start and looked like they might have one of the worst defenses in the NFL early on.

But from November on, the Cardinals went 7-2 down the stretch and never gave up more than 23 points in a single game, limiting better offenses like the Eagles, Cowboys and 49ers to less than 20 in upset wins.

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In 2010 the Cardinals ranked 29th in yards allowed per game and 30th in points allowed per game. This year, despite dealing Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to Philly and drafting Patrick Peterson, they improved to 18th in yards allowed per game and 16th in points allowed per game.

One thing to watch here: Horton satisfies the Rooney Rule (minority candidates) for the Rams.

If St. Louis interviews Horton and quickly moves on to hiring Jeff Fisher (which is well within their right to do), it's also a bit disingenuous to the spirit of the rule, because Horton won't actually have been given a fair shot at landing the job.

It's good for him that he'll continue to be a hot name as a potential candidate for head coaching jobs but it's a reminder that the NFL needs to fix a rule that only gives lip service to providing opportunities for minorities.

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Posted on: August 4, 2011 12:21 am
 

Cardinals DC Ray Horton makes very cool move

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In what has to be the coolest story you’ll read this week, former Steelers secondary coach Ray Horton, now the Cardinals defensive coordinator, sold his sweet ride to Maurice “Mo” Matthews, a cafeteria worker inside Pittsburgh’s team facility.

What’s the big deal? Well, read what happened in this Pittsburgh Post Gazette story:

Horton parked his car -- a red 1999 Mercedes Benz SL500 convertible roadster -- in front of the team's office complex and went inside to say goodbye to the cafeteria staff.

When he saw Matthews, he said to him, "Hey, I need a favor from you. How much money you have in your pocket?"

Matthews said, "I got $20."

Horton took the money, looked at it and said to Matthews, "Sold for $20!"

And then Horton handed Matthews the keys to his car and told him to keep it.


And Horton was serious. When Matthews drove Horton to the airport the next morning, Horton produced the deed to the car and told him the car was in his possession now.

"I'm still in shock," Matthews said. "I don't think it has hit me yet. I still pinch myself. I look out the window when I bring it to work and I just go, 'Man, that's mine.'”

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Posted on: June 28, 2011 7:28 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2011 7:38 pm
 

Ike Taylor to the Cardinals would be a long shot

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Here's a headline that should surprise absolutely no one: "Arizona Cardinals could be interested in Ike Taylor."

A lot has to happen for the Cardinals to land the soon-to-be free agent cornerback who spent the first eight years of his career with the Steelers, but since Ken Whisenhunt became coach in 2007, the Pittsburgh-to-Arizona player pipeline has flowed freely.

Before getting the head coaching gig with the Cards, Whisenhunt was the Steelers offensive coordinator. In the four years since he arrived in Arizona, the Cardinals have signed Joey Porter, Sean Morey, Alan Faneca, Jerame Tuman, Bryant McFadden, Brian St. Pierre, and Dan Kreider -- all former Steelers. And there's Whisenhunt's staff: Russ Grimm (an assistant under Bill Cowher) is the Cardinals assistant head coach, Ray Horton (an assistant under Mike Tomlin) is the new defensive coordinator, and Deshea Townsend (a Steelers cornerback from 1998-2009) is the new defensive backs coach. (We won't even mention the Steelers-Cards ball boy connection.)

Ike Taylor's immediate future is contingent on many things, chief among them: the owners and players settling on a new collective bargaining agreement. Beyond that, it will come down to demand and, of course, money. At various stages of the offseason Taylor has hinted that he wanted to stay in Pittsburgh but that he wasn't interested in giving any hometown discounts to do so.

We suppose there's a chance Taylor lands in Arizona (affectionately known as Pittsburgh West), but a lot will have to happen before it gets to that point. Sports 620 KTAR radio's Ron Wolfley (who also calls Cardinals' games, and whose brother, Craig, is a sideline reporter for the Steelers radio network) breaks out the hypotheticals:

"Let's say they deal [Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie] and bring in Kevin Kolb as their quarterback," Wolfley said, according to ArizonaSports.com. "Does Ike Taylor make sense at the corner opposite of Patrick Peterson? I can tell you it makes perfect sense for so many different reasons. Number one, we're talking about a grizzled veteran. A guy who is a true players pro. He's a professional. A guy that would mentor a young Patrick Peterson. A guy that has been in the league nine years and he's been durable as well. He's missed three games in nine years.

"This is a guy who would be a perfect fit because he already knows Ray Horton's defense. He'd have to be brought up to speed on the terminology but playing corner is not exactly the same as playing quarterback in the National Football League if you get my drift. Ike Taylor could do it. You could bring him in. He'd be the perfect guy in this system."

But Taylor wouldn't come cheap (not to mention DRC for Kolb isn't likely). He'll be one of the most sought-after cornerbacks in free agency after Nnamdi Asomugha. And then there's this: recent history suggests that 31-year-old cornerbacks, even those coming off solid seasons, usually see their productivity drop off a cliff in subsequent seasons.

That's not a guarantee that a similar fate awaits Taylor. (Champ Bailey and Charles Woodson have defied the odds. Of course, Taylor was at no point in his career as good as either Bailey or Woodson, so that's worth keeping in mind, too.) But it's a lot of money to spend on a cornerback with his best days likely behind him. Even if he's expected to mentor rookie Patrick Peterson.

By the way, by most accounts, Peterson is a high-character guy who doesn't seem to need much in the way of mentoring. (And if he does, Townsend would be perfectly suited for that role.) Using that logic, Taylor would make perfect sense in Baltimore. But we're pretty sure that ain't happening.

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Posted on: February 10, 2011 11:49 am
 

Hot Routes 2.10.11: Panthers the new Chargers?

Posted by Will Brinson



Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • Doug Farrar of Yahoo! Sports is whipping through a Top-40 list of NFL Draft prospects. Ryan Mallett (who checks in at No. 37) is at one point called a "statue with a cannon attached," if that makes you feel good about your team maybe drafting him. It shouldn't.
Posted on: February 8, 2011 11:41 pm
 

Looking like Ray Horton will be Cards' new DC

Posted by Andy Benoit

Ken Whisenhunt had been patiently waiting for the Super Bowl to finish up so that he could talk to some of the Steelers assistants about Arizona’s vacant defensive coordinator position. Reportedly, Whisenhunt’s top choice was Steelers linebacker coach Keith Butler. But when the Cardinals requested to interview Butler, the Steelers said no.

Thus, it will be Whisenhunt’s second choice who likely gets the job: Ray Horton. The Steelers defensive backs coach has an expiring contract. Horton, 50, is flying to Phoenix on Wednesday. The longtime NFL defensive back worked with Whisenhunt for three years under Bill Cowher in Pittsburgh. In all, Horton has been an NFL assistant for 17 years.

As for Butler, don’t feel too bad about the Steelers denying him an opportunity to chat with the Cards. According to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, Butler is the heir apparent to Dick LeBeau.


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