Arizona Cardinals GM Steve Keim tips his cap to defensive coordinator Todd Bowles

Nov 11, 2013, 4:11 PM
LISTEN: Steve Keim, AZ Cardinals GM

If there was a perceived downside to the hiring of Bruce Arians as the Arizona Cardinals head coach last January, it was that it meant Ray Horton would no longer be with the organization.

The coordinator, who turned the Cardinals’ defense into one of the better units in the league, was passed over as head coach and wasn’t asked to stay on to guide the D.

Instead, Arians tabbed former Philadelphia Eagles coordinator Todd Bowles to run the defense while Horton moved on to the Cleveland Browns.

With Bowles at the controls, there’s been no drop-off. In fact, the Cardinals are allowing seven yards less per game than they did a year ago. In a 27-24 win over the Houston Texans Sunday, the Cards allowed just 235 yards, with only 41 of those coming in the second half.

“Defensively, we continue to step up,” Arizona general manager Steve Keim told Doug and Wolf Monday on Arizona Sports 620. “One thing I want to do is give a lot of credit to Todd Bowles, because if you think about last year and the way our defensive football team played, a lot of credit went to Ray Horton — and I know our fan base, in particular, was obviously pretty disappointed to lose Ray, and Ray’s a good coach, I don’t want to take anything away from him.

“But hiring Todd Bowles, there was obviously a bulls-eye on his chest the minute he walked in the door and we lost some defensive personnel and replaced them some younger guys. Todd has really stepped up to the plate and done a fantastic job for us, I really do want to give a lot of credit to Todd and his staff.”

Bowles’ defense has allowed fewer than 300 yards in each of the last two games and has forced at least one turnover in every contest this season. In all, their 33 takeaways rank third in the NFC behind only Chicago (44) and the New York Giants (35).

Part of the reason why there was a target on Bowles when he arrived in Arizona was the way the Eagles defense performed after he took over the reins from Juan Castillo, who was fired by the team last October after a 3-3 start.

Philadelphia’s defense struggled mightily the rest of the year, yielding an average of 350.6 yards per game in a 1-9 finish.

“He was put in a tough situation, he wasn’t running his defense and didn’t have time to install the defensive philosophy he had,” Keim said. “But he’s had some time here and feel we can continue to grow and get better on that side of the ball.

“Schematically, what he’s been able to do and the pressure he’s been able to put on opposing quarterbacks has been fantastic.”

Arizona Cardinals

Quarterback Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals throws a pass during the NFL game against the ...
Wills Rice

The 33rd Team: Cardinals’ Kyler Murray in Tier 1 of NFL players under 25

The 33rd Team ranked Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray the seventh best player in the league age 25 and under.
1 day ago
DK Metcalf #14 of the Seattle Seahawks catches a pass for a touchdown against the Detroit Lions dur...
Tyler Drake

NFC West offseason outlook: The Seattle Seahawks

After taking a look at the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams, it's time to turn the attention to the Seattle Seahawks:
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals WR Marquise Brown looks on during minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Tempe....
Sam Graveline

Shook: Marquise Brown best Cards’ candidate to be 1st-time Pro Bowler

Cardinals wide receiver Marquise Brown has yet to make the Pro Bowl in his career, but NFL.com's Nick Shook thinks that could change in 2022.
2 days ago
Head coach Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams talks with players before mini camp on June 8, 2022 a...
Tyler Drake

NFC West offseason outlook: The Los Angeles Rams

After diving into the 49ers' current state of affairs, it's time to take a look at the 2021 Super Bowl champion Rams.
2 days ago
Detroit Lions fullback Jason Cabinda (45) pulls away from Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Isaia...
Wills Rice

PFF’s Linsey: Arizona Cardinals have NFL’s No. 23 ranked roster for 2022

Pro Football Focus' Ben Linsey has the Arizona Cardinals as the No. 23 ranked roster heading into the 2022 season.
2 days ago
Kyler Murray #1 and Justin Pugh #67 of the Arizona Cardinals react after a penalty during the secon...
Arizona Sports

ESPN: OL Justin Pugh is Arizona Cardinals’ most underrated player

ESPN posted a list made by Football Outsiders of every team's most underrated player, and Justin Pugh was selected to represent the Cardinals.
3 days ago
Arizona Cardinals GM Steve Keim tips his cap to defensive coordinator Todd Bowles