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Ray Horton accepts Titans’ defensive coordinator job

Ray Horton AP

Ray Horton is leaving Cleveland for Tennessee.

Horton has accepted the Titans’ defensive coordinator job, Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reports. As we noted earlier this week, Horton was believed to be new Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt’s top choice. Horton was also Whisenhunt’s defensive coordinator in Arizona in 2011 and 2012.

The 53-year-old Horton has long been a well-regarded defensive coordinator, as well as a head-coaching candidate. He interviewed for the Vikings’ head-coaching job this year but lost out to Mike Zimmer.

Horton has also been a secondary coach in Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cincinnati and Washington. He was an NFL cornerback from 1983 to 1992, with the Bengals and Cowboys.

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41 Responses to “Ray Horton accepts Titans’ defensive coordinator job”
  1. timbuttrum says: Jan 18, 2014 8:51 AM

    And the Redskins decided to keep Haslett when Horton was available.The circus continues in Dannyland

  2. Xenu D. Alien says: Jan 18, 2014 8:54 AM

    Damn, Cleveland can’t ever seem to catch a break.

  3. azjam says: Jan 18, 2014 9:00 AM

    Good hire. Really did a nice job with the Cardinal defense.

  4. paulz624 says: Jan 18, 2014 9:04 AM

    Great hire! They worked well together in Arizona and built a good team on both sides of the ball, Titan fans should be excited.

  5. The League's Crusade Against The Steelers Continues says: Jan 18, 2014 9:04 AM

    The Browns have given up.

  6. 1971siebs says: Jan 18, 2014 9:07 AM

    By the time Larry, Curley, and Mo get around to hiring the next coach of the Cleveland Browns, their won’t be anyone left to be coordinators, assistant coaches, etc. I know that Horton would not have been back in Cleveland, and this again shows the complete incompetence of the organization run by the Three Stooges. As a Browns’ fan, I wish Coach Horton the best in his new job. I imagine he feels like the last person getting into the life boat fleeing a sinking ship, seeing the Stooges standing on deck thinking nothing is wrong……….

  7. luz56 says: Jan 18, 2014 9:10 AM

    Horton should be the HC in Tennessee …is the last man standing in Cleveland going to be the man?

  8. JMClarkent says: Jan 18, 2014 9:13 AM

    I wonder if the Titans will be switching to a 3-4 defense…

  9. daddyb1gdrawz says: Jan 18, 2014 9:15 AM

    I do not understand the NFL. A year ago this man was considered a head coaching candidate. He even cut his corn roles. Now he is scumming to find a defensive coordinator role after accepting one last year? I do not get it.

  10. pabrownsfan says: Jan 18, 2014 9:15 AM

    Good luck in your new job Ray. The browns front office really screwed the pooch in getting rid of Chud after the season.

  11. bengalskuta82 says: Jan 18, 2014 9:31 AM

    Why would Cleveland let this guy walk away to the Titans. He did have an aggressive scheme like Dick Lebau. WHAT??

  12. pacodawg says: Jan 18, 2014 9:39 AM

    I watched every browns game closely his d folded like a tent in most games. Way overrated

  13. 1pwrightt says: Jan 18, 2014 9:39 AM

    Just look at the Cardinals defense. One of the best in the NFL. Who was the one who got that going? Ray Horton. I think he is a great choice for the Titans.

  14. billytodd2013blbaad says: Jan 18, 2014 9:39 AM

    at this rate the Browns are gonna have to hire a pee wee football coach to be their head coach LOL team can’t seem to catch a break.

  15. gbrim says: Jan 18, 2014 9:44 AM

    Glad for Horton that he was chosen in TEN. Supposedly Whiz wanted to interview Butler from PIT (which he tried to interview for DC two times when in AZ). In AZ, Butler waffled on his interest level and Whiz moved on to other choices (Horton in ’11). Horton has proved himself, and Butler can keep his LB coaching job in PIT if that is what he wants.

  16. musicman495 says: Jan 18, 2014 9:49 AM

    This guy should already be a HC. But the Rooney Rule cannot cure the stupidity of NFL owners and executives.

  17. clssylssy says: Jan 18, 2014 10:01 AM

    GREAT GOING COACH WHIZ! These coaches are a dynamic duo who took the Cardinals to the Superbowl in ’08 and do great things together. The Cardinal team this year was built on the foundation built by Whiz/Horton with all of these coaches being from the Dick Lebau tree. Very exciting news for Titans fans. While Horton would make a good HC, sometimes the job title isn’t what it’s cracked up to be and being a DC, he gets to do what he loves without all the politics and BS associated with navigating the waters of franchise politics and chucklehead fans. Good Luck Coach, Nashville seems like it would be a cool place to live!

  18. drbob117 says: Jan 18, 2014 10:05 AM

    As an Eagles fan, I’m just glad Joe Banner is in Cleveland. He was either signing the wrong guy, or poisoning the waters with his award winning personality with a veteran they should have resigned, or making a terrible draft pick even though he knew nothing about football. All you folks in Cleveland can do is hope that Haslem has the brains to fire him like Lurie did.

  19. gary2525 says: Jan 18, 2014 10:12 AM

    I hope Banner and fata$$ Lombardi read this stuff you suck you guys r embracing the Cleveland browns

  20. mylionsroaring says: Jan 18, 2014 10:14 AM

    I didn’t like the Whiz hire and don’t like this one. Just because it worked in Arizona don’t mean it will work here in Tennessee. Lets not forget the only reason they went to the Superbowl was because Kurt Warner was coaching the team. He brought in 10 new plays a week and told Whiz they were running them the next game and they did. Locker or Fitz wont be able to bail out Whiz in Tennessee.

    Sorry Titan fans but you are about to realize you should have stuck with your last coach. If not for injuries you would have been a playoff team. Big mistake IMHO Big Mistake!!!!

    Now time will tell if I am right

  21. vicnocal says: Jan 18, 2014 10:19 AM

    “I will not be pressured to cut my corn rows.”

  22. thetooloftools says: Jan 18, 2014 10:20 AM

    Now, not only is the ugly girl NOT being asked to dance, her friends are moving away from her. Our owner,Jimmy Haslam, is a joke. He is too stupid to realize the damage he has done. At least we had a little pride… now we are a laughing stock.

  23. george1859 says: Jan 18, 2014 10:21 AM

    What’s up with the kiddie corn rows?

  24. oldcracker says: Jan 18, 2014 10:24 AM

    God damn it! Is Cleveland cursed, or what?

    Modell fires Paul Brown, and then moves the team out of town. (No judgement there, it was his business)

    Then we have to deal with an expansion franchise, begrudgingly from the NFL, and Al Lerner had no clue. Cake-eating Dandy Randy would rather watch the London Dance Academy with Prince Tampon.

    Then, we get a lying thief for an owner, an egomaniac bean counter as CEO, and Dumbardi!

    We fire a HC with local ties, with less than 1 year, and no tools to work with. No O-line, no QB, no FB, no real HB, and no PK.

    Once again, we retooled from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4, back to 4-3, and again to a 3-4. Isn’t that why they just cut Frosty Rucker?

    The OC & DC come highly regarded and now we let them walk. J.C., WTF? The first to fire and now the last to hire. Who’s left out there???

    I wish Chud, Norv, and Ray all the best in their futures. The same for Mr. Farmer if he leaves.

    I wouldn’t wish this franchise on L.A.

  25. sportsguy82288 says: Jan 18, 2014 10:26 AM

    Rob chudzinski, Norv Turner, Ray Horton…at least on the surface, that looked like a damn good coaching staff. Even the Browns don’t know what they’re doing…

  26. thefiesty1 says: Jan 18, 2014 10:26 AM

    Any move is a good move if you can get out of Cleveland.

  27. truths4all says: Jan 18, 2014 10:29 AM

    “clssylssy says: Jan 18, 2014 10:01 AM

    GREAT GOING COACH WHIZ! These coaches are a dynamic duo who took the Cardinals to the Superbowl in ’08 and do great things together.”

    Enough propaganda and foolishness here!

    The truth (check NFL records and Wiki) is Clancy Pendergast was the DC when the Cards went to the SB. As for the offense, Whiz was totally hands off after declaring his offense to be 67% run and 33% pass which Kurt Warner and Todd Haley took, threw out the window, reversed, and created their own potent offense to take to the Cards to the Super Bowl. Case in point, after Haley and Warner left, Whisenhunt and his subsequent offensive staff could NEVER figure out how to run the offense Warner and Haley created. That is why none of the QBs (including the holdover Leinart) Whisenhunt brought in could ever run the offense that Warner and Haley designed.

    Is Whisenhunt an offensive genius? Not where the Cards are concerned; just look at his records after Warner left. Does Whisenhunt know defenses? NO, he keeps the DC in charge so he has someone to blame. And did Horton have even a top 10 defense in AZ? NO. Only part of the defense was ever rated in the top 10 while the other parts were far, far down in the lower depths.

    Guaranteed Titan fans, at the first dry patch where the Cleveland type of folding defenses show up in your team, Whisenhunt will throw Horton under the bus. Whisenhunt might actually be a decent offensive coordinator when he is under a HC who demands he not play mind games with his players, but he is horrible as a HC, as the Titans will soon find out.

    Again, many deep thanks for these hires from the Jags, Texans, and Colts. You’ve made our next season so much easier to compete in the division.

  28. gbrim says: Jan 18, 2014 10:37 AM

    clssylssy–

    Horton wasn’t in AZ for their Super Bowl. He joined the AZ coaching staff in 2011. He was in the stadium for the Super Bowl, though, as DB coach for the Steelers……..

  29. horsepedlr says: Jan 18, 2014 10:51 AM

    he didn’t get the hc job so he probably threw a fit and walked like he did in az. also he got a lot of players hurt with his 2 gap scheme. ( cambell, dockett, williams.) grimm is next hire, look out oline.

  30. larryfitzgerald4mvp says: Jan 18, 2014 11:27 AM

    I like Horton, but I’m skeptical as to whether he actually uses his players to their strengths. He certainly improved the Cardinals defense, but it got better once he left, and players like Dockett and Campbell noted that Horton’s scheme limited their effectiveness.

    Either way, I’m sure he’ll do a fine job in Tennessee.

  31. thebirdofprey2 says: Jan 18, 2014 11:30 AM

    The Titans defense has some talent, Ray Horton will get the best out of them without a question in my mind.

    Maybe the Colts have some competition next year.

  32. dkgambler1 says: Jan 18, 2014 11:36 AM

    Smart move for Whis, bringing in the guy who put together a defense that allowed him to post an 8-8 record in between 5-11 disasters where Whis was exposed.

    Now let’s see if Whis brings in Grimm and seals the fate of Titans fans’ hope for the amount of time it takes for Whis to get Peter Principled back to an OC position.

    Or maybe Whis has learned that he has to put his genius aside and adapt to the personnel he has in front of him, instead of the other way around.

  33. budmanjim says: Jan 18, 2014 11:58 AM

    Overrated… His D had 5-6 chances to win game in 4th qtr and couldn’t hold the lead…

  34. truths4all says: Jan 18, 2014 12:12 PM

    Is there a line yet on the odds when will Whisenhunt jettison Locker the minute he dares to disagrees with Whisenhunt’s genius, just as Leinart was shown the door when he spoke out?

    That selfish and rash move left the Cards offense in shambles, even though Whisenhunt predicted his genius would work with any QB he approved for signing. Of course reality reared its head when Derek Anderson, Max Hall, Brian St. Pierre, and John Skelton all tried unsuccessfully to execute an offense (the one Kurt Warner and Todd Haley put together) that Whisenhunt himself had no clue on how to run.

  35. mdcatlos says: Jan 18, 2014 12:39 PM

    As a Browns fan, all I can say is have fun watching your team blow their lead in the 4th quarter every week.

  36. clebrowns216 says: Jan 18, 2014 1:51 PM

    Congrats Titans fans this is a great hire. I was hoping that when the Browns fired Chad that they would just give Horton the job. But Horton is clearly too experienced and accomplished to get the Browns job.

    And don’t listen to all of these other Browns fans talking about how Ray Horton blew a bunch of 4th quarter leads. Sadly the constant ineptitude of our football franchise has made most of our fans delusional.

    The truth is that our players blew those leads. Such as Haden getting caught on a double move for a GW touchdown. Ray Horton and his scheme were not the problem. Ray’s entire defense is predicated on pressuring the QB. And our sack leader had 5 sacks… Our pass rush (that we spent our entire offseason and roughly 70 million dollars and a 6th overall pick on) was not winning their 1-on-1 battles. The only reason our defense as a whole had as many sacks as we did was because of Ray’s blitze scheme and getting the DB’s involved.

    Fact is that we were a top 5 defense all year that was constantly on the field because of our completely inept offense. Our D was on the field much more than other defenses and still finished top 10 at the end of the year. The Browns finally had a good unit and of course “Browns fans” moan and complain. We finished TOP 10!!!

    Oh and most importantly: it was our FIRST year in a BRAND NEW SCHEME! My god.

    Can’t wait to hear those same people begging for Horton next year when we have some scrub DC and the Browns are once again in the 25th ranked defense.

    Titans fans enjoy an immediate improvement in defense over the first season and great improvement going forward beyond that.

  37. dodohead418 says: Jan 18, 2014 2:31 PM

    Can’t wait to see what Horton does with our fast LBs!

  38. mystereo says: Jan 18, 2014 2:52 PM

    This guy wasn’t the DC when the Cardinals went to the Super Bowl. That was Clancy Pendergast.

  39. Brandon in Northwest Suburbia says: Jan 18, 2014 3:18 PM

    Well now that the Titans have an established OC masquerading as a HC and an established DC, they just need a real head coach…who can win without Kurt Warner running the team.

  40. ericn42000 says: Jan 18, 2014 3:30 PM

    everyone wants out of Cleveland, Michael Lombardi has not a clue

  41. dubs7 says: Jan 18, 2014 6:01 PM

    News Flash!

    Cleveland hires the coach from the arena league New Orleans VooDoo as well as OC from Iowa Barnstromers and DC from The Spokane Shock

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