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Arizona Cardinals

Updated Jan 3, 2013 - 2:49 pm

ESPN NFL analyst: All about assistant coaches

So the Arizona Cardinals are not going to hire Andy Reid.

Moving on.

One of the more likely scenarios would have Arizona promoting Ray Horton from defensive coordinator to head coach. Or, maybe, Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy will get the job.

Either way, it would appear the Cardinals may end up choosing someone without experience as a head coach, which is fine.

So long, of course, as he surrounds himself with quality assistants.

"I think it's absolutely critical now to be able to procure assistant coaches," ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski told Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo Thursday. "The head coaches have now become CEOs to a certain degree, and you better have rock-solid assistant coaches."

Jaworski notes that head coaches nowadays are more like CEOs of companies, men who need to delegate a multitude of tasks to those around them.

With regards to Horton, Jaworski said it's clear to see the guy knows how to coach a defense. But until he's actually been a head coach, the analyst said, you just don't know if he can handle the job.

"But when it comes to being a head coach, quite honestly guys, you just don't know," he said. "If a guy has not been a head coach, I always believe there's some risk involved."

Jaworski said "the unknown is a scary part" and that if it was up to him the choice would be someone with head coach experience.

However, every head coach was a first-time boss at some point, so sometimes it's worth taking a flier on a rising assistant rather than going after a "retread", or someone who has already failed as a head coach.

"I think it's incumbent on the front office of all these teams looking for coaches," Jaworski said. "They need to develop their philosophy first. What do we want to be as an organization and as a football team?

"And find a guy that fits what they want to do, or else every three or four years you're going to have a new coach that's going to come in with a new philosophy and a new approach, and you're going to have one or two good years out of those four but you're always going to be looking for a new coach."

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