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Ray Horton

Team/position: Arizona defensive coordinator

Age: 52

Previous NFL head coaching interviews: Horton met with St. Louis after the Cardinals became one of the NFL’s dominant defenses in the second half of last season. The position later went to Jeff Fisher, who was the clear front-runner before the Rams ever began the interview process.

Why is Horton radar-worthy?: All the time Horton spent with the playing and coaching under the great Dick LeBeau with the Bengals and Steelers paid dividends. Horton has built one of the NFL’s stingiest 3-4 defenses during his two seasons with the Cardinals. Inside linebacker Daryl Washington, cornerback Patrick Peterson and defensive end Calais Campbell are three of the unit’s blue-chip members who have blossomed under his watch.

Potential fit: If the Cardinals (5-10) decide to part ways with Ken Whisenhunt after this year’s disastrous offensive showing, Horton would be a natural replacement.

Trivia note: Horton would become the first NFL head coach with dreadlocks. No, the magazine cover featuring Mike Ditka in a wig from his days with Ricky Williams in New Orleans doesn’t count. - Alex Marvez (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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