Cardinals defensive leaders want Horton to stay

Arizona Sports News online

Ken Whisenhunt is gone as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals and the search for a new head coach has begun.

As the Cardinals players cleared out their lockers on Monday at the Cardinals facilities following a loss to the San Francisco 49ers to end their 2012 season, the notion of change was very prevalent in each of the players.

However, in talking to some of the defensive leaders on the team, the notion of defensive coordinator Ray Horton not being with the team anymore is a scary thought.

“It would be very disappointing because then we would have to start over from ground zero,” said Cardinals corner back Patrick Peterson who had seven interceptions in 2012. “But at the end of the day, Ray (Horton) has to make a decision for himself. We definitely hope that he comes back to help pursue greatness to the road to a championship.”

“He’s important to us,” added Cardinals safety Kerry Rhodes who had four interceptions in 2012. “He has brought a different mentality to that side of the ball. He is a guy we know is a hot commodity and we know teams are going to come after him. For us we just need to sit back and see what he decides.”

Horton was already a head coaching candidate before last season when he was in the mix for the St. Louis Rams job. With so many coaching spots open this off-season this time around, he seems like he will be even more of prime candidate.

Could he be someone the Cardinals promote to the head coaching spot or will another team snatch him away?

“I respect Ray Horton a lot,” mentioned Cardinals line backer Daryl Washington who lead the team with 134 tackles in 2012. “Hopefully somehow he does stay and doesn’t have a change of heart but you never know what happens in this business. The guy is a great coach and will probably be a head coach anyway if he wants to be. But changes have to be made and somehow we need to adjust.”

“Ray (Horton) will be a great head coach in this league,” Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell mentioned. “I wouldn’t be mad at him if he did (leave). That’s the way the business is. But I love to play for him and I hope I can play for him for a long time.”

Black Monday hit the Cardinals organization hard on Monday with the firing of almost every coach on the offensive side of the football along with Whisenhunt and general manager Rod Graves. More movement could still be on the horizon. From the sound of it, Ray Horton would be the number one candidate to slide into that head coach spot if it were up to some of the Cardinals leaders on that side of the ball.