Cardinals coach learning to fly

Jun 17, 2011, 3:50 PM | Updated: 6:05 pm

Thanks to the current NFL lockout, many players coaches and others around football have an awful lot of free time on their hands that they are looking to fill.

While athletes have been holding team workouts and having fun on twitter, Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton has decided to learn how to fly a plane.

Horton has wanted to learn to fly for a while, but has never been able to find time because of football.

He began taking lessons on May 9 and hopes to earn his license by the end of July. To earn a license, Horton must log at least 40 hours in the air and pass a written FAA exam.

While flight school and being a defensive coordinator may be completely unrelated, Horton feels there are a few lessons he can take from his flight training that will apply to his job with the Cardinals.

“How am I going to handle a player who makes a mistake?” Horton said to USA Today. “Hopefully I’ll remember when I made a critical mistake. Football is not life and death like it can be in an airplane. So when someone busts a coverage in Cover 2 and it costs us a game, I’ll keep it in perspective.”

Patience and perspective will not be the only lesson the Horton takes from flight school to the NFL.

Horton has been learning to fly at a very rapid pace and due to the NFL lockout he will have to implement his defensive scheme at a similar pace.

“One thing I’ve got going for me, is that all of our division opponents have new offensive coordinators,” Horton said. “So we are all in the same boat.”

While Horton would like to teach his defense as quick as possible, he does understand there will be a learning curve.

“I haven’t met 98% of my players,” Horton said. “So for me to say I’m going to hit the ground running with this complex system isn’t realistic. It’s going to have to be fluid.”

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