Jeff Fisher had a choice to make - would it be the Rams or the Dolphins? Yesterday afternoon, Fisher decided that having a 4-3 defense already installed, a young franchise quarterback and control over much of the team's decision making would be enough to lure him into signing a contract to become the head coach in St. Louis.
So, the Dolphins were spurned and the Rams got their guy, but how does this concern the Arizona Cardinals? Find out after the jump.
With the hiring of Jeff Fisher complete, the head coaching vacancy in St. Louis is no more. This is good news for Cardinals fans, as it seems that Ray Horton, Arizona's defensive coordinator, is much more likely to return to the Cardinals next season. The Rams were reportedly extremely impressed with Horton's interview and with what he was able to do with the defense in the desert, but ultimately, it seems that his lack of experience may have hurt his chances.
The defense as a whole was vastly improved under Horton's watch, especially towards the latter half of the 2011 schedule. Losing him would have been a big blow to the strong foundation that the Cardinals have built heading into the 2012 season. Another team that is still looking for a head coach, such as the Dolphins or the Raiders, could still swoop in and hire Horton, but it seems highly unlikely at this juncture. No reports have come out that he has interviewed with any other teams.
Also of note is that with Horton not heading to Missouri, it seems less likely that Steve Keim will do so as well. Keim currently holds the position of Director of Player Personnel with the Cardinals and is/was among many in consideration for the vacant general manager position in the Rams organization.
Fisher will assume many powers now that he has become head coach, most notably, the power of persuasion. Many have speculated that not only will he have full authority in choosing his coaching staff, but that he may have some say in who gets hired in the front office. The Rams' owner, Stan Kroenke, will ultimately make that decision, but Fisher's advice should be taken into consideration. It is assumed that he would recommend someone he has worked with in his previous years with the Titans, such as their current VP of Football Operations, Lake Dawson.
As with Horton, Keim could still leave for another position with a different ball club, but it seems far less likely that he would do so if he is not hired to become a GM. Keim will be entering his 13th year with the Cardinals (if he stays) and is a testament to how well the team has done in their drafting and scouting departments in recent years.