How the Rams could knock down Cardinals

January, 11, 2012
1/11/12
1:46
PM ET
The St. Louis Rams continue to interview backup candidates while waiting to find out whether Jeff Fisher will accept their offer to become head coach.

They have reportedly received permission to speak with Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski. Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Dennis Allen has also been on their radar. Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden was another possibility until withdrawing from consideration.

What about Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton? He interviewed for the job and reportedly made a positive impression. He owns but one season of experience at the coordinator level, an obvious concern. But if the Rams felt as though Horton were right for the job, his hiring would qualify as a "win" for them in more ways than one.

Whether or not Horton succeeded in St. Louis, his departure from Arizona would severely damage the Cardinals' efforts to rebuild their defense. The Cardinals have burned through coordinators on defense since hiring Ken Whisenhunt as head coach in 2007. They made obvious progress under Horton during the second half of the 2011 season.

Starting over again at coordinator would set back the Cardinals significantly while helping the Rams, who went 0-6 in the NFC West this season.

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