A day after the Bills interviewed their first head coaching candidate in Ken Whisenhunt, their second interview subject was a man that served as Whisenhunt’s defensive coordinator. Buffalobills.com confirmed late Wednesday night that Cardinals current defensive coordinator Ray Horton met with the Bills in Arizona.
Horton told Arizona reporters that he had an interview scheduled with Buffalo’s top brass late Wednesday and hoped to “knock their socks off.”
As Cardinals defensive coordinator, Horton led a unit that finished 12th in the NFL in total defense, third against the pass, third in third down defense, fifth in sacks per play and 16th in points allowed. Considering the Cardinals had the lowest-ranked offense in the NFL it stands to reason that Arizona’s defense could’ve ranked even higher knowing how often they were on the field this season. The Cardinals offense finished 24th in time of possession.
Horton has a prior working relationship with Bills Assistant GM Doug Whaley. While Whaley served with the Steelers as a Pro Scouting Coordinator, Horton was an assistant defensive backs coach with Pittsburgh (2004-2006) before being promoted to defensive backs coach under Mike Tomlin (2007-2010).
He began his NFL coaching career in Washington where he was a defensive assistant and assistant defensive backs coach (1994-1996). Then he was hired by Cincinnati to coach their defensive backs for the next five seasons (1997-2001). From 2002-2003 he coached Detroit’s defensive backs.
A former second-round pick of the Bengals in 1983, Horton played 10 years in the NFL (1983-1992) as a defensive back for Cincinnati and Dallas. He appeared in 147 career games (99 starts) and had 19 interceptions, five touchdowns, 11 fumble recoveries and five forced fumbles.
He also appeared in two Super Bowls, playing in Super Bowl XXIII with Cincinnati and winning Super Bowl XXVII with Dallas in his final game as a player.
Horton has reportedly interviewed twice with the Cardinals for their vacant head coaching position. He has also reportedly interviewed with the Cleveland Browns.