The Arizona Cardinals have a new defensive coordinator
who spent the 2010 season as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers’
coaching staff. It just isn’t either of the names that were heavily touted
for the job over the last month.
Steelers’ defensive backs coach Ray Horton, not Keith Butler or Dick LeBeau,
was named as the Cardinals’ replacement for Bill Davis Wednesday, agreeing to a three-year deal with the team. Prior to joining Ken Whisenhunt’s staff he spent the last
three seasons working with Pittsburgh’s secondary, a position he was
promoted to in 2007 after Mike Tomlin was hired as head coach.
Horton may lack experience as a defensive coordinator but he certainly doesn’t lack in confidence. During his introductory press conference Wednesday he made it very clear that he is ready for the challenge of turning around the Cardinals defense.
“This team was in the Super Bowl two years ago. We were in the playoffs a year ago. We just fell a little short last year. We aim to be right back there in the playoffs pushing for a Super Bowl bid. There’s no question about it. We’re going to improve on defense.
“What we’re aiming to be is one of the top defenses in the league, bar none,” the new coordinator said.
He also wasn’t afraid to share with the media what his defensive style will be.
“We’ll be an aggressive, disciplined, downhill attacking defense.
“Our motto is going to be: ‘Go get ’em’. We’re going to make the quarterback very uncomfortable,” Horton said.
Horton added on 620 KTAR’s Gambo and Ash show that he plans to build on the Cardinals number one ranked red zone defense and will bring the personality of Pittsburgh’s defensive style with him.
“It’s a 3-4 attacking style defense, schematically very sound,” Horton said.
“It does take a while to learn, there is a learning curve to it but hopefully once we do get a chance to meet with our players, we can cut that curve down a little bit by tweaking some things, by using different terminologies they are familiar with and eliminate some of the steps along the process.”