Bruce Arians did what every head coach is entitled to do, therefore he did nothing wrong.
The Arizona Cardinals did what every franchise should do, therefore they did nothing wrong.
Ray Horton is no longer the defensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals, therefore everyone is wrong.
Bruce Arians has been the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals for less than 24 hours and the honeymoon for GM Steve Keim and Arians is over before the press conference starts.
Arizona Sports 620 and ArizonaSports.com was the first and only media outlet to report before the interview of Bruce Arians that Ray Horton would not be retained as defensive coordinator if Arians earned the head coaching job. The report was 100% correct. The decision was 100% wrong.
It is wrong for any franchise to hire a head coach and then dictate to that head coach who his assistants will be. It shows the players the head coach isn't really in charge. The head coach and the retained assistants need to develop chemistry at best and make sure they aren't being back-stabbed at worst. Forcing assistants on to a head coach tells other potential head coaches of the future that the organization is cheap because it won't pay coaches under contract from the old regime to do nothing. Those assistants will be forced upon the new head coach where they are not wanted. The Cardinals did the right thing to allow Bruce Arians to bring in his own staff.
If Bruce Arians accepted the job despite being forced to keep certain assistants, he shows he's not convicted enough in his principles. It's easy to foreshadow a conviction-less coach's failure in the coming years. Arians was right to stand up for his passion. He clearly isn't a strong leader if he doesn't surround himself with people in which he believes.
Hiring someone who doesn't stand up for themselves is like your daughter's fiancée agreeing to change HIS name. Sure, you're thrilled to see your last name live on for another generation but you have to question what kind of man your daughter has chosen to raise your grandchildren.
I support the hiring of Bruce Arians. It's a coup to be the last team to hire a coach in the 2012-13 carousel and get the most qualified assistant coach on the market.
He's the only coordinator who was actually a playoff "head coach", since it was Arians who led the Colts in Chuck Pagano's health-related absence. The Cardinals just hired the quarterback mentor to Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck. This should be a great day in the history of the Arizona Cardinals. Michael Bidwill and Steve Keim should be applauded for nailing the best candidate outside of Andy Reid.
So why doesn't it feel that way?
So why aren't I clapping?
The first major decision in the history of the Steve Keim/Bruce Arians regime appears so blind that it takes the wind out of the sails before the boat leaves the dock.
I can't get excited about the hire despite it being the right hire. A head coach told Ray Horton-- in no uncertain terms -- that he has a better defensive coordinator to bring in the fold. Sure, if that DC was Dick LeBeau or Monte Kiffin, I'd be telling Horton to suck it up and move on. Since that's not what is happening, I'm being asked to support a great decision immediately followed by a horrific decision, leaving me stuck in neutral.
Removing Ray Horton is no different than going for a fake punt from your own 10-yard line on the first fourth down of your head coaching career: IT BETTER WORK.