Ray Horton Impresses At Rams Head Coach Interview, But All Signs Point To Jeff Fisher

FLAGSTAFF, AZ - AUGUST 04: Defensive Coordinator Ray Horton of the Arizona Cardinals watches practice during the team training camp at Northern Arizona University on August 4, 2011 in Flagstaff, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

On Friday, Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton interviewed for the head coaching vacancy with the St. Louis Rams. That interview reportedly went well. However, even with the interview going well, it does not appear to matter as some events lead most to believe that Jeff Fisher will take the job as soon as this weekend.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweeted this Friday afternoon:

Rams interview went well with Arizona defensive coordinator Ray Horton. Team sources say he was impressive.
Jan 06 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

For Cardinals fans, this is nothing new. Ever since his arrival, any time he has spoken publicly, he exudes a feeling of confidence in what he is trying to do. He impressed when interviewing for his current job. He impresses every single press session. He is likely going to be a very successful head coach at some point.

It apparently just won't be now.

According to a report by Thomas, the Rams gave the Patriots permission to discuss their soon to be vacant offensive coordinator position with Josh McDaniels.

McDaniels still had a year left on his Rams contract once head coach Steve Spagnuolo is fired. From a St. Louis standpoint it made sense to keep McDaniels around until a new head coach is hired -- just in case the coach wanted to work with McDaniels.

But league sources close to Fisher have said that Fisher almost certainly wouldn't retain McDaniels if he took the Rams' job -- their offensive philosophies are too different.

It turns out that the interview will fulfill the "Rooney Rule" the NFL has that requires that at least one minority be interviewed in any head coaching vacancy. St. Louis also had interest in Miami defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, but it was never clear whether they asked permission or, if they had, if they were granted permission.

For Arizona Cardinals fans and the organization, this is great news. They were not ready yet to let him go after he transformed the Cardinals defense in just a half season into one of the league's best. We all would like to see this continue and improve, instead of having to start again.

If Jeff Fisher does end up landing with the Rams, it will be the third consecutive year in which the division has a new coach. The previous two won the division in their first season. Hopefully that trend comes to a screeching halt.

So, Cardinals fans, it appears you can breathe easier. But realize, if the organization continues down the Steelers path of sustained success, it will come at a cost of losing great coaching staff members. We should definitely welcome that with open arms.

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