Friday, January 18, 2013
Tasks ahead for Arians
By Tim Kavanagh
UPDATE: Ray Horton is out as DC of the Cardinals, according to Kyndra de St. Aubin of 620 AM Arizona Sports, and Todd Bowles is Bruce Arians' desired candidate to replace him. It appears that Arians and new GM Steve Keim are willing to push forward with a pretty clean slate. How far this extends to on-field personnel remains to be seen.
The final NFL head-coaching vacancy was filled on Thursday night, as the Arizona Cardinals elected to hire Colts OC Bruce Arians as their next head coach. That development only brings about a slew of additional questions, however.
First: who is going to be his defensive coordinator? Ray Horton served in that role up through 2012, but seeing as Horton interviewed for the HC job and was passed over, it's possible that he'll want to make a move elsewhere. There are still some DC openings on other teams. Horton remains under contract for another season, so the Cardinals would have to pay his salary if they fired him, but it remains a possibility. If Horton is out, one name we've heard buzzed about is Eagles DC Todd Bowles (who, incidentally, also has a year left on his deal).
The next issue is the QB position. Arians will either need to fix what's wrong with Kevin Kolb, John Skelton and/or Ryan Lindley, or he'll need to find another option. The play that the Cards got out of their passers in 2012 will not cut it in what's become one of the NFL's dominant divisions. Part of the solution will be making some improvements to an offensive line that left the men behind them running for their lives on a weekly basis. If Luke Joeckel somehow makes it to No. 7 overall in the draft, the Cards may set a new record in how quickly they get their pick in. (And don't discount the chances of their trading up if they can get a good deal to do so).