Early in his introductory press conference on Friday, new Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians reminded the assembled media how close his new team came to the promised land in the not-too-distant past.
"A short time ago, this organization was 37 seconds away from a Super Bowl trophy. I just happened to be calling the plays on the other side," Arians said, drawing laughs. "Got really lucky, too."
Arians and Ray Horton were assistant coaches together when the Pittsburgh Steelers narrowly defeated the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLVIII. There will be no reunion for the men, however. Arians confirmed Friday that Horton is out as defensive coordinator in Arizona.
"I've got all the respect in the world about the way we worked together in Pittsburgh," said Arians, who believes Horton will get a head-coaching job eventually. "We worked together with a Super Bowl team and he's done a great job here. But having (a head-coach job) for my first time this is a direction I feel very strong about.
"It needed to be a football team that was directed by me. And any time there's carry over, you don't want guys being able to go somewhere else to voice their opinion," Arians continued. "I didn't want to put Ray in the situation, that's not fair to him. If a guy's got a gripe or concern, come to me and that's just the way we're going to do business."
Horton reportedly got into a heated exchange with general manager Steve Keim after he learned he didn't get the job that eventually went to Arians. If true, it makes sense why Arians believed a clean slate was necessary.
Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.