Time for Plan B, and that doesn't have to be a bad thing
Harrison Ford wasn't the first choice to play Indiana Jones; Tom Selleck was. Both Tom Hanks and Kevin Costner turned down the role of Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption. Thank you very much, says Tim Robbins. Keanu Reeves can also send a thank you note to Will Smith for turning down the role of Neo in The Matrix.
By now, we all know that Pete Carroll wasn't the first or even second choice to be the USC coach. I'd say that one worked out ok for everyone involved...well right up until all those pesky sanctions anyway.
This is being written under the assumption that Mike McCoy was the first choice of the Arizona Cardinals to be their head coach. It is not a known fact but rather speculation based on their reported desire to interview him again. But after the Chargers sent a jet to pick up McCoy for his interview (with the contract waiting for him inside the cabin) the Cardinals were never going to get that chance. Besides, San Diego has a quarterback, Arizona doesn't. Seems like a no-brainer from here.
So now it just feels like it's time for Plan B, which could very well end up being the guy many figured would get the job before Ken Whisenhunt was even fired: Ray Horton.
If that happens, I wouldn't expect him to be miffed that he had to endure this process; at the end of the day he wants to be a head coach in the NFL and that's exactly what he'll be. That's my point about Indiana Jones and Shawshank. There is nothing wrong with being Plan B -- Unless you think you're never going to be picked at all. Again...more on that in a sec.
If you really think about it, it's the lack of interest in Horton that has allowed the Cardinals to pursue this at their pace. No rush. No pressure. No panic. It's a different story if there is tremendous demand for Horton.
But if this continues to stretch out, you can't help but wonder if the Cards are set on hiring an offensive-minded coach. One who can keep up with ever-evolving offenses. One who can do what Whiz couldn't; select and develop a quarterback. And one who keeps Ray Horton right where he is -- in charge of one of the best defenses in the NFL. There is some logic to it -- fix what is actually broken and leave Ray and the defense alone, don't take a chance that his promotion weakens the defense and hire a head coach that can fix what is broken.
And after news broke of the Cardinals' interest in Seattle O.C. Darrell Bevell, the evidence is mounting that is precisely the direction they are leaning.
Either way, what a weird trip it's been for the Cards. Getting played by Andy Reid and getting beat by San Diego. Safe to say it's led to some unrest among the fans and it looks from here like the Cardinals can relate to that feeling of not being somebody's first choice.
But like I say, being someone's first choice isn't always the best choice. Maybe that will turn out for Ray Horton and the Cardinals.
Dave Burns, Co-host of Burns & Gambo