Espo: Arizona Cardinals coordinator search more exciting than decision
Published: February 09, 2011 @ 9:18am
Coming this fall to a football stadium near you it's Ray. He may not have been the first choice but is he the right choice?
There are very few things in life I anticipate more than a new movie release. You know the kind I'm talking about. The ones whose trailers grab your attention -- like Oprah grabs a juicy steak or Shaq grabs any publicity opportunity -- and don't let go. Just because the trailer is entertaining and makes the movie look fantastic, it doesn't mean the film you're about to put 10 of your hard earned dollars down on will be any good. (Think most superhero movies or anything Nicolas Cage has starred in.)
A few summers back the movie Funny People came out. The trailer pitched a comedy that was packed with laughs and had heart. It touted some of the hottest names in Hollywood in Adam Sandler and Seth Rogan and included one of the funniest directors in the business, Judd Apatow. Despite my excited anticipation, when opening night rolled around I found myself disappointed. It's not to say it wasn't a good film. It was well done and somewhat interesting, but it wasn't the huge comedic romp carried by large names that it had been built up to be. It was disappointing based on how I hyped it up in my mind.
It's the same thing that has happened with the Arizona Cardinals' defensive coordinator search. For the better part of a month since Bill Davis was let go, fans have heard huge names mentioned as his replacement. As the search dragged on, the speculation and the names that were attached grew bigger. Everyone knew Ken Whisenhunt was waiting for one of the coaches whose team would be competing in the Super Bowl and people began to have championship expectations.
Could it be Keith Butler? It couldn't possibly be Dick LeBeau could it? Bill Parcells is campaigning for Todd Bowles to get the job and Whisenhunt was ‘wowed' by him. That makes him a lock right? Could Whisenhunt make his decision in fashion worthy of a reality show like The Bachelor? (OK, I was the only one posing that last one.)
The excitement built and the anxious anticipation grew like a 16-year-old girl getting ready for Prom. Every little rumor or thought turned into a new exciting twist for the members of the birdgang. On Tuesday it all came to a head.
While tweets, reports and rumors were flying faster than a Charlie Sheen rehab stint, things started to become clear. Dick LeBeau was re-signing in Pittsburgh. The Steelers were prohibiting Keith Butler from interviewing with the Cardinals. The NFL Network's Jason La Canfora didn't know what the hell he was talking about and Ray Horton was likely going to take the job in Arizona.
As the entire event played out over the better part of an hour, Cardinals fans let out a collective "Wait, Ray who?". (Apparently Associated Press photographers felt the same way too because it was next to impossible to find any picture that didn't look like it belonged on his Steelers ID badge.)
Like those movies with great trailers, fans felt let down after all the hype. They had built up this ideal situation and anticipated it happening. But, instead of getting an all-time great comedy like I thought I was with Funny People, they were treated to something completely different.
Completely different doesn't mean bad though. Horton has been on three Super Bowl coaching staffs and played in two others. He's coached great defensive backs like Darrell Green and Troy Polomalu. He's been a disciple of Dick LeBeau since 2001 in Cincinnati and understands the intricacies of the 3-4 defense. He's just not the coordinator everyone expected from the trailers.
Now that Horton officially took the job, only time will tell if he can blossom into a top coordinator in the game. One things for sure, fans are disappointed because of expectations, not because of the man himself. Let's just hope he does his job a little better than Sandler, Rogen and Appatow did theirs.