When Ray Horton was a candidate to be the next head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, one of the questions surrounding him was how would he handle the offensive side of the ball.
A defensive coordinator, Horton’s strength is stopping teams from scoring — not getting them into the end zone — and for a team like Arizona, offensive improvement was the goal of their coaching search.
Well, according to Horton, who took a job as the defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns last week, he would have been able to land one of the NFL’s most respected offensive coordinators in Norv Turner.
“Unequivocally,” Horton told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Thursday when asked if he could have brought Turner in as part of his staff.
Horton said he spoke with Turner all throughout the process of the coaching search, and he was looking forward to coming to Arizona.
“Yes, and his wife Nancy wanted to come here,” Horton said.
Turner, who was recently fired as head coach of the San Diego Chargers, has had great success as an offensive play caller. The 60-year-old took a job as Cleveland’s offensive coordinator, where he will be working alongside Horton.
Horton said the Cardinals were aware he would bring Turner in if named the head coach, but understands why the organization decided to go in a different direction. He has no hard feelings towards the franchise, and harbors no ill will.
Still, Horton and Turner should make for an excellent duo on new coach Rob Chudzinki’s staff in Cleveland, and it’s a combination that could have been formed in the Valley.
“Norv Turner was on Ray Horton’s list to come to be the coordinator,” Horton said. “We had spoken several times, Norv Turner and I, and he was excited about the opportunity.”