Cardinals beat writer Kent Somers reported late Thursday night that Ray Horton will not return to the Arizona Cardinals after the team’s head coaching vacancy was filled by Bruce Arians and that Todd Bowles will take his place.
Horton was very upset by the hire, feeling he deserved to be the Cardinals next Head coach. With inevitable dies looming between Arians and Horton, the Cardinals have decided to move on from Horton.
The Cards defense, lead by Horton, was one of the better defenses in the league, highlighted by an amazing Week 2 effort where they held the Patriots to only 18 points in New England. Horton spent seven seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers before being hired by the Cards in 2011. Horton employs a 3-4 defense which is rumored to be the preference of new Eagles head coach Chip Kelly.
There are currently 5 defensive coordinator openings in the NFL (Browns, Rams, Jaguars, Eagles, and Bears). The problem for Horton is that all 5 teams run a 4-3 defense, which could make it difficult for him to find a job in 2013.
With a new head coach and a new team philosophy, the Eagles may indeed switch to a 3-4 defense, which would open up the possibility for Horton to join Chip Kelly as his defensive coordinator. With the Eagles seemingly being the only team with a defensive coordinator vacancy that is willing to switch to a 3-4 scheme, the chances of Ray Horton running the Eagles defense next year is a strong possibility.