Ray Horton knows he is ready to be a head coach. He said as much. In fact, he said that he hadn't even thought about staying as defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals. Now, after the Buffalo Bills and then the Cleveland Browns both interviewed him for their head coaching vacancies and then hired other men, Horton sits and waits for the decision of the Arizona Cardinals.
He was the first candidate interviewed by Arizona. He also had his second interview before anyone else had his first. And yet he still remains a candidate.
One reader posed the question whether Horton would be upset or should be upset after waiting so long.
The answer? No.
First of all, getting passed over for coaching jobs is part of the deal in the NFL. There are only 32 teams and head coaching positions and only a handful open up every year. Patience is something you have to have.
It would seem that the Cardinals still view him as a finalist, if we must call him that. Mike McCoy was supposed to interview on Tuesday and he would have been the only other candidate to meet with the team a second time. McCoy ended up taking the job with the San Diego Chargers before coming to Arizona.
Why have the Cardinals waited so long, and why would they have waited so long if they end up going with Horton? It is pretty simple. They could.
Horton only has a couple of years under his belt as a coordinator. The team apparently played its cards well enough to know that Horton's interviews with Buffalo and Cleveland were not home runs. Plus, Horton is already under contract with the Cardinals and he has already said that Arizona is his first choice.
This allowed the Cardinals to go and look for a candidate that had "everything" they are looking for.
It is clear that the organization would prefer to hire someone with an offensive background, based on the candidates considered. Only Horton is a defensive coach. The fact that Horton is likely a finalist is actually a testament to what the team sees in him.
The thing is that if all things are equal between candidates, and one is an offensive guy, it would seem that the offensive guy would land the job, especially since Horton would still be here to coach the defense.
The team knows what it has in Horton. They obviously were impressed enough to interview him twice before anyone else got one. But when it comes to offense, hiring him would also be a hire on potential rather than on previous success (offensively, that is).
This is why they have looked at other offensive guys.
So after looking at all the other guys, should Horton feel like the last choice? Nope.
Why? Because he got the job. that would mean he was their choice, especially if the other candidates don't end up being hired anywhere.
Michael Bidwill will have done his due diligence. They would know that Horton is, in fact, the best man for the job, and Horton should not be slighted at all. It is a case of a team seeing if there is any better candidate and then being certain of it.
The bigger question remains whether or not he will feel slighted if he is passed over and then is asked to coach the defense.
While it may be a little awkward, it should not be too much of an issue. After all, Russ Grimm came to join Ken Whisenhunt's staff after both interviewed for the head coaching position.
Should Ray Horton be upset by the wait? Absolutely not. He has a job...and he might have a better one. That is worth waiting for.
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