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Arizona Cardinals

Updated Jan 3, 2013 - 7:24 pm

ESPN insider: 'There isn't any doubt' Horton's a frontrunner for head coaching jobs

Ray Horton has already had interviews with three different teams, leading many to believe he might be a frontrunner for several jobs (File Photo).

Earlier this week, ESPN Insider John Clayton said he wasn't sold that Ray Horton had the experience necessary to be a head coach in the NFL just yet.

While Horton's résumé suggests that he's accomplished plenty in the National Football League (10 years as a cornerback and 19 years as an assistant with the Bengals, Lions, Redskins and Cardinals), he has only be a defensive coordinator for two seasons.

Regardless, his name has already been linked to several head coaching vacancies, including Arizona, who already interviewed him twice this week.

Having also conducted interviews with the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns, the 52-year-old has seemingly become 'the frontrunner' for several jobs -- a fact Clayton did not try to ignore when speaking to Arizona Sports 620's Doug & Wolf Thursday.

"There isn't any doubt that he's going to be in the mix [for multiple jobs]," Clayton said. "With two interviews in Arizona, I don't think he's out of the mix in Arizona."

Although Horton has proven his pedigree as a defensive coordinator with the Cardinals (unit ranked in the top 5 in takeaways, passing defense and third-down defense in 2012), Clayton admitted there might be a small hurdle that could prevent his ascension to the position of head coach.

"I don't think there's any guarantee that he's getting a head coaching job, because the trend right now is everyone wants offensive coaches," said Clayton. "They want offensive assistant coaches and they want former head coaches who were offensive guys.

"So, those are the guys who are getting most of the action up front."

Clayton pointed to the head coaching vacancy in Buffalo as a perfect example of where Horton could potentially get beat out by a former offensive-minded coach in Ken Whisenhunt and a former head coach in Lovie Smith.

In addition to Horton, Arizona also has announced plans to interview offensive coordinators Mike McCoy (Broncos) and Todd Haley (Steelers) in the coming days.


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