Horton will help, but players make the difference

Aug 16, 2011, 6:58 PM | Updated: 11:47 pm

Ray Horton is not Bill Davis, and that might be a good thing.

Not to knock Davis, the Cardinals’ defensive coordinator the last two seasons, but Arizona rarely stopped anyone during his tenure.

“The Arizona Cardinals, last year, we all were privy to it, we were witness of their futility,” Sports 620 KTAR’s Ron Wolfley said. “They just could not stop anybody.”

The stats would agree with Wolf.

The Cardinals, as it was, gave up the fourth-most yards in the NFL and third-most points. Combine that with an offense that struggled to score and, well, you get a team that was probably lucky to even win five games.

So, the Cardinals brought former Steelers assistant Ray Horton in to run the defense, hoping he can get the players to do what Davis could not: play up to their abilities.

While Wolfley said it would be unfair to blame Davis for the defense’s shortcomings, Sports 620 KTAR’s Doug Franz pointed to multiple players being used in what appeared to be a non-advantageous way as reason for why things may be better under Horton.

“I’ll always point at [Adrian Wilson], I don’t know what happened to A-Dub last year, why he was so pedestrian,” Franz said. “I look at his performance last year and I see that he was used differently than what he had been used in the past.”

Franz pointed to the safety being used to cover receivers more than blitz and play on the box as problems with the scheme Davis employed.

“Does scheme matter,” Wolfley said, “yes, scheme does matter. There’s no denying that.”

However, Wolfley refused to place the blame at Davis’ feet or say the new guy, Horton, will solve all the defense’s ills.

“What happened to the Arizona Cardinals defense last year,” Wolfley said, “the yolk of responsibility falls right on the players’ shoulders.”

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Horton will help, but players make the difference