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)
In 2011, the defense of the Arizona Cardinals struggled mightily in adopting new defensive coordinator Ray Horton's scheme. His Pittsburgh style blitzing schemes and coverages were much different than anything the players had come across before, including the veterans like Darnell Dockett and Adrian Wilson.
So, to help them ease their way into it, Horton began installing only portions of the playbook, mixing in more plays as the weeks went on. He needed to simplify his defense in order to allow his players to get a firm grasp on it. Once they understood it all, we saw a resurgence from the Cardinals in the second half of the season.
Heading into 2012, it seems that the team may be looking to help the new players adjust even more. According to Sam Acho, an outside linebacker for the Cardinals, they are adding in an element that even we as fans may be familiar with.
Here is what Sam tweeted out a couple of days ago:
This is awesome. I remember playing Madden and running certain plays, and now I'm seeing our defense put in the same ones #excited— Sam Acho (@TheSamAcho) June 4, 2012
Personally, I see this as a pretty great idea coming from Ray Horton. Making the plays easier for his team to remember, all while getting maximum production from them is his ultimate goal. If it requires him to buy 20 Xbox consoles and stick them in each of their dorms at training camp, then that's what he will do.
What do you think about this? Is it a good idea for Horton to be making plays that look similar to the ones we use on a video game? Or will they be too recognizable? Tell us what you think.