Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL Nation [Print without images]

Friday, January 18, 2013
Horton for Bowles: In Arians they trust

By Mike Sando

Todd Bowles' relationship with new Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians makes him a logical candidate to replace Ray Horton as the team's defensive coordinator.

Bowles, who spent last season on Andy Reid's staff in Philadelphia, played for Arians at Temple and coached with him for the Cleveland Browns.

Arians' hiring in Arizona gives Bowles a fresh start following a rough season with the Eagles. Philadelphia's defense went from bad to worse after Bowles took over as coordinator following a Week 6 defeat to Detroit. There were multiple factors at work, including the growing inevitability of Reid's firing as the season progressed.

Cardinals fans could feel better about ditching Horton for Bowles if the Eagles' defense had suddenly come on strong following the switch. Instead, they will have to trust Arians' judgment in putting together a staff.

Bowles, like Arians, has experience as an interim head coach. The Miami Dolphins went 2-1 during the 2011 season after Bowles replaced Tony Sparano.

The chart compares the Eagles' and Cardinals' defensive statistics from 2012 based on which coordinator was in charge. Juan Castillo was the Eagles' coordinator through Week 6. Horton was in his second full season as the Cardinals' coordinator.