Skip to content

Report: “Insulted” Horton leaving Titans for Browns

In this photo taken July 27, 2014, Tennessee Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt, right, and defensive coordinator Ray Horton attend NFL football training camp in Nashville, Tenn. Both Whisenhunt and Horton have served on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team the Titans face Monday, Nov. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) AP

Ray Horton felt “insulted” by the Titans and will leave to become the Browns’ defensive coordinator, The Tennesseean reported Sunday.

The report said Horton had requested and been granted a release from the Titans to join Hue Jackson’s staff in Cleveland.

John Wooten, chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, said Horton felt insulted and “disrespected” that the Titans didn’t consider him a legitimate head coaching candidate.

“The Browns had put in a request to interview him, and then Tennessee interviewed him (for the head coaching job Saturday),” Wooten said. “And [the Titans] said that they didn’t know that he had any interest in being a head coach. Well, that’s an insult to the man. That is just an insult.

“And then when he got in the interview, they seemed shocked that he was as prepared and knowledgeable and everything else at that point. And they of course already interviewed [Mike] Mularkey on Friday, and they gave the job to Mularkey.”

Horton had been the Titans’ defensive coordinator the last two seasons. He was also the Browns’ defensive coordinator in 2013, two head coaches ago.

UPDATE 4:59 p.m. ET: In a phone interview with PFT, Horton disputed the contention that he’s insulted, and he said to his knowledge he has not been released from his contract.

Permalink 75 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Cleveland Browns, Home, Rumor Mill, Tennessee Titans
75 Responses to “Report: “Insulted” Horton leaving Titans for Browns”
  1. vbe2 says: Jan 17, 2016 4:21 PM

    This “alliance”, acting like a Nazi watchdog, needs to be gone. We’re beyond all this racial crap now. They’re just keeping it fueled in order to make money and gain more power.

  2. stoptrippn says: Jan 17, 2016 4:21 PM

    Good! Glad you left Ray, send a message to all these idiot decision maker

  3. nozzelhead says: Jan 17, 2016 4:21 PM

    This team sucks and the owners are killing their fans

  4. easydog100 says: Jan 17, 2016 4:22 PM

    Hope is a great DC ….. Browns certainly can use his knowledge and experience.

  5. willjasper says: Jan 17, 2016 4:22 PM

    Another white guy who was a failure at a previous stop being given the job over the more attractive minority candidate.

    Titans will be looking for another head coach in one to two years.

  6. jimnaizeeum says: Jan 17, 2016 4:22 PM

    Maybe they didn’t hire him because he isn’t a good coach.
    No disrespect.

  7. thejuddstir says: Jan 17, 2016 4:22 PM

    Grow up Mr. Horton or your ego might not ever get you a shot at head coach. Waiting for the race card to be played.

  8. floratiotime says: Jan 17, 2016 4:23 PM

    These tough guys get their feelings hurt really easy.

  9. mataug says: Jan 17, 2016 4:23 PM

    We will be talking about Titans looking for a new coach in 2 seasons.

  10. HankTheDog says: Jan 17, 2016 4:23 PM

    Can someone explain why Horton needs the Fritz Pollard alliance to speak for him? It seems to me Horton’s feelings would carry more weight if it came from the man himself rather than a spokesman from what appears to be a watchdog group.

  11. heymister24 says: Jan 17, 2016 4:25 PM

    How many times do I have to hear wooten bitchin’.

  12. hogue34 says: Jan 17, 2016 4:25 PM

    Well Coach Horton, we Titans fans were insulted by your defense and now we’re insulted by the new coaching hire as well

  13. realfootballfan says: Jan 17, 2016 4:26 PM

    The whole process was a sham as evidenced by Robinson getting the job when he agreed to keep Mularkey. Imo, the Titan sisters are planning to sell the team in the near future and are trying to operate on the cheap in the meantime despite their public declarations. Randy Lerner denied the Browns were for sale for a long time too and then it just happened overnight. I’m afraid the Adams girls aren’t being so subtle. Poor Mariota.

  14. tonebones says: Jan 17, 2016 4:28 PM

    The head coach is the face of the franchise. Ray Horton likes the dreadlocks and that promotes the drug culture. It is what it is. Some people might like all that stuff, but others don’t want their kids seeing that from an NFL coach. It’s just not a good look. Nobody’s kidding anyone here. It’s the Bob Marley look, and everyone knows what Bob Marley stands for. I personally don’t have anything against marijuana, but I don’t think the NFL is ready to promote it.

  15. tjacks7 says: Jan 17, 2016 4:29 PM

    Is Cleveland going to hire any white coaches? Seems a bit racist to me.

  16. heymister24 says: Jan 17, 2016 4:30 PM

    The browns are replacing DC O’Neil with Ray Norton who had similar stats to O’Neil when he was in Cleve before. I feel insulted..

  17. JSpicoli says: Jan 17, 2016 4:31 PM

    Movin on up?

  18. thegeneral7694 says: Jan 17, 2016 4:32 PM

    Titans hiring Mularkey is a total sham….the GM knows that he won’t win, but he’s trying to curry favor with the owner by hiring the guy she likes, so when the team goes 3-13 next year he can say “See? Now let me hire the guy of my choosing.” Buys the GM a free year….

  19. eselv73 says: Jan 17, 2016 4:32 PM

    Titans ownership is a disgrace.

  20. klabuckeye says: Jan 17, 2016 4:34 PM

    That’s the same thing he said when he left Cardinals for Browns the first time.

  21. heymister24 says: Jan 17, 2016 4:35 PM

    Ya mean Norton doesn’t have any gratitude for being hired with Tenn as DC in the first place.

  22. Ferdinand says: Jan 17, 2016 4:37 PM

    Does Wooten realize that all his whining about how none of his people are getting what they want is just pointing out how bad of an agent he is?

  23. bobnelsonjr says: Jan 17, 2016 4:37 PM

    He sounds like a silly viking demanding respect.

    Everyone knows that respect is earned and not granted.

    Whining about respect diminishes what little you may have. Maybe he is part of the problem with the Titans and his departure will improve the Titans.

  24. mikeyj73 says: Jan 17, 2016 4:39 PM

    His interview for the Titans HC position was an insult? Maybe cause of the Rooney Rule?

  25. kenman923 says: Jan 17, 2016 4:40 PM

    I don’t blame him. I hope the Titans go 1-15 and are forced to fire Mike Mularkey. I also hope the Titans will sell the team to someone who can make them into winners.

  26. savethebs says: Jan 17, 2016 4:40 PM

    Hate to lose him but I can’t blame him. I thought Bud was a bad owner but his daughter takes the cake.

  27. mjd08501 says: Jan 17, 2016 4:41 PM

    For all of you who get all bent out of shape that people point out when things have to do with race, let me ask you this:

    In what way is Mike Mularkey possibly more qualified to be a head coach than Ray Horton? Mularkey has been a failure at every stop in every capacity since he left Pittsburgh after the 2003 season. You all like to say “they just hire the best person.” Really? Mike Mularkey is the best? He’s not, and nobody could possibly legitimately think he is. So if it’s not because he’s a better coach, then why exactly was Mularkey given the job? I think the answer to that is obvious.

  28. nflrule says: Jan 17, 2016 4:41 PM

    Leaving the Titans for the Browns..Doesn’t get any lower than that.

  29. coltzfan166 says: Jan 17, 2016 4:42 PM

    This dude got his feelings hurt too when the Cardinals chose Arians over him. Reports came out saying he was “pissed,” about that and now this…not gonna help his chances down the road

  30. beaudreaux63 says: Jan 17, 2016 4:45 PM

    Well…….bye

  31. bluecat013 says: Jan 17, 2016 4:46 PM

    Hank, you can’t blame Horton for the comments someone else says about him. Maybe he feels that way, maybe not, but it’s not uncommon for a coach who has interviewed for a higher position to leave when they don’t get the job.
    Few coaches will say those things publicly – except maybe Jackson when he was canned by the Raiders. It’s not good business to trash your former employer when you’re in a business that’s so tight knit. And you never know when you might want to work for a team you left…like Horton going back to the Browns.

  32. ballbreaker707 says: Jan 17, 2016 4:47 PM

    Omg is this the race card being used? Honestly I never even heard of the guy.

  33. mmmpierogi says: Jan 17, 2016 4:49 PM

    vbe2 says:
    Jan 17, 2016 4:21 PM
    This “alliance”, acting like a Nazi watchdog, needs to be gone. We’re beyond all this racial crap now.

    ******************************************************************************************

    Guessing you haven’t seen the news in the past few years?

  34. Mr. Wright 212 says: Jan 17, 2016 4:49 PM

    vbe2 says:
    Jan 17, 2016 4:21 PM
    This “alliance”, acting like a Nazi watchdog, needs to be gone. We’re beyond all this racial crap now. They’re just keeping it fueled in order to make money and gain more power.
    ———–

    If you call sweeping “it” under the rug, getting offended whenever “it” is the central topic and subsequently refusing to deal with “it” as being “beyond it”, then yes.

    That said, these guys and that stupid Rooney Rule are even more insulting than being blatantly passed over due to favoritism and close relationships, which often trump race in pro sports; particularly in the NFL where relationships are everything in terms of moving up the ladder.

  35. Mr. Wright 212 says: Jan 17, 2016 4:51 PM

    tonebones says:
    Jan 17, 2016 4:28 PM
    The head coach is the face of the franchise. Ray Horton likes the dreadlocks and that promotes the drug culture. It is what it is. Some people might like all that stuff, but others don’t want their kids seeing that from an NFL coach. It’s just not a good look. Nobody’s kidding anyone here. It’s the Bob Marley look, and everyone knows what Bob Marley stands for. I personally don’t have anything against marijuana, but I don’t think the NFL is ready to promote it.
    ————

    Meanwhile, he had corn rows and wears a 1 cut now.

    You typed all that for… what?

  36. dreadedotaku says: Jan 17, 2016 4:53 PM

    First off the Dreadlocks does not promote “Drug cultrue” it is one of the oldest hairstyles known to man and only got the name when european settlers first encountered the Rastafarians and said their hair was “Simply dreadful” liking the named the phrase dreadocks was coined. To even have them takes patience, care and a great deal of washing to keep them pristine. Yes you can wash them and no they will not fall out from it.

    Second to say Horton was terrible as a Defensive coach you obviously werent paying attention through the midseason the titans had the fifth ranked defense and finished still in the top 12. Not giving proper respect to a coach that had a hand in that is proof the Titans are set up for failure.

  37. Mr. Wright 212 says: Jan 17, 2016 4:55 PM

    realfootballfan says:
    Jan 17, 2016 4:26 PM
    The whole process was a sham as evidenced by Robinson getting the job when he agreed to keep Mularkey. Imo, the Titan sisters are planning to sell the team in the near future and are trying to operate on the cheap in the meantime despite their public declarations. Randy Lerner denied the Browns were for sale for a long time too and then it just happened overnight. I’m afraid the Adams girls aren’t being so subtle. Poor Mariota.
    —————-

    I would love if they moved to LA and force Spanos to stay in San Diego and force HIM to sell the Bolts.

  38. rutherforddabrave says: Jan 17, 2016 4:55 PM

    tonebones
    Jan 17, 2016, 4:28 PM EST
    The head coach is the face of the franchise. Ray Horton likes the dreadlocks and that promotes the drug culture. It is what it is. Some people might like all that stuff, but others don’t want their kids seeing that from an NFL coach. It’s just not a good look. Nobody’s kidding anyone here. It’s the Bob Marley look, and everyone knows what Bob Marley stands for. I personally don’t have anything against marijuana, but I don’t think the NFL is ready to promote it.

    Hey, Judgey McJudgerson. You do know Horton cut off his braids like a year ago, right? But you know, keep on judging. Apparently, it’s what you do!

  39. akboots says: Jan 17, 2016 4:57 PM

    Everyone knows that respect is earned and not granted.
    ———————————————————
    I think they did earn it??? I for one am not demanding a thing from anyone. Your pack got beat, you lost the division. Quit your damn whining already. Sheesh!!!

  40. roddoliver says: Jan 17, 2016 4:58 PM

    Thanks to the Rooney Rule, everytime I see a black guy getting an interview I think “there’s the Rooney Rule guy”.

  41. lorettap2013 says: Jan 17, 2016 4:58 PM

    For the guy who mentioned that the coach is the face of the franchise and the dreadlocks are a bad look, take a look at a recent photo of Ray Horton. If you see dreadlocks, you need to get your eyes checked. The dreadlocks are gone. Unfortunately for Ray Horton, the photo will also show that his skin color is still dark so his likelihood of landing a head coaching gig is diminished. If you think that isn’t the case, look at the skin color and qualifications of all of the guys who have gotten head coaching jobs this year. One candidate, black, was highly qualified and more than ready for the job – Hue Jackson. The rest, white, had pretty light resumes. The race card will keep getting played until there isn’t so much data to support it.

  42. Mr. Wright 212 says: Jan 17, 2016 4:58 PM

    mikeyj73 says:
    Jan 17, 2016 4:39 PM
    His interview for the Titans HC position was an insult? Maybe cause of the Rooney Rule?
    ———–

    They had already conducted that insult, perfunctory interview with Teryl Austin. Only thing worse than the Rooney Rule is those who aren’t adversely affected by it (or share the same hue as those who aren’t adversely affected by it) is those who have now turned it into a tongue-in-cheek jab any time a Black man seeks a head coaching position on merit.

  43. Mr. Wright 212 says: Jan 17, 2016 4:59 PM

    jimnaizeeum says:
    Jan 17, 2016 4:22 PM
    Maybe they didn’t hire him because he isn’t a good coach.
    No disrespect.
    ———–

    And Mularkey is? Got it.

  44. blackandbluedivision says: Jan 17, 2016 4:59 PM

    Rooney Rule finally exposed from the inside. Fans always speculate and call him a joke. Why the heck do you interview a guy who you had no idea had interest in becoming a HC if not for the Rooney Rule? Basically means you had no intention of hiring him. Unbelievable!

    People say his feelings were hurt, never been on a job interview. That is an insult to go on an interview for a job you wanted and were qualified and more prepared for than the interviewers and it turns out they didn’t want you in the first place. You just wasted your time. You could have interviewed Joe Schmoe off the street or an intern

    There needs to be something better than the Rooney Rule. This is ridiculous.

  45. jjackwagon says: Jan 17, 2016 5:01 PM

    Titan Fans were insulted by the performance of his defense last year.

  46. brenenostler says: Jan 17, 2016 5:02 PM

    I’d hate to see his reaction when he gets used to satisfy the Rooney Rule one day

  47. jimmysee says: Jan 17, 2016 5:04 PM

    Calling it the “race card” is a cheap way of blowing off racism that has existed and continues to exist everywhere.

    Wake up.

  48. bebopa says: Jan 17, 2016 5:14 PM

    good move Horton

  49. Cavs2016NBAWorldChampions says: Jan 17, 2016 5:18 PM

    26th ranked scoring defense with Tennesee. 12th in total defense.

    No offense but DC’s with the 26th ranked scoring D really dont have a whole lot of leverage for being insulted.

    I dont want this clown coming here either.

    As far as this John Wooten clown, another racist pig that thinks coaches should get a job because of the color of their skin. Who’s the racist here?

    The NFL has no problem blackballing players its time to start blackballing these coaches represented by this pig. As far as Im concerned Jackson can be fired too with his affirmative action agenda. Bruce Arians had a horrible time getting a HC job and hes white. Has nothing to do with color of your skin as Arians demonstrates.

  50. eric0711 says: Jan 17, 2016 5:19 PM

    Mularkey is a joke of a hire and an insult to all Titans fans but Robinson was right to do that to get the job. It will be easy to fire him after another 3 win season and then he’ll hire “his” guy. Amy Adams is obviously out of her depth running the team and presumably will sell. Horton would have been an equally bad choice. Keep in mind he inherited the Arizona defence from Teddy Pendergast who was DC when they went to the Super Bowl and did a bad job. Todd Bowles revived them and got an HC job in reward. Horton is not even a good DC.

  51. manderson4150 says: Jan 17, 2016 5:32 PM

    Is John Wooten the new commissioner….everyone is wrong according to the Pollard Alliance….

  52. njraiderfan19 says: Jan 17, 2016 5:37 PM

    @willjasper

    Nice race card, bunkie! He’s going to a team that chose a borderline failure, less-experienced minority former head coach with known power-hungry tendencies over several experienced white candidates. Sounds like racism over there in Cleveland to me.

  53. coachd33 says: Jan 17, 2016 5:38 PM

    How was his defense last yr.?
    Don’t titans have first pick?

  54. theuncletodd says: Jan 17, 2016 5:45 PM

    I’m insulted that he’s coming back to the Browns—ugh

  55. nonyt says: Jan 17, 2016 5:47 PM

    “Maybe they didn’t hire him because he isn’t a good coach.
    No disrespect.”

    And Mularkey is? They could have done better with anyone else.

  56. cptmars says: Jan 17, 2016 5:51 PM

    1. Horton refuted the claim
    2. if minority coaches were interviewed based on merit then the Roomey Rule would be obsolete but look at the comments directed at Horton for something he did not say or do

    3. Mularky has a losing resume as a head coach

  57. cwjim says: Jan 17, 2016 6:10 PM

    Probably would have made more sense to pick a team that has a chance of winning more than 4 games if he wanted to show the Titans…

  58. mrboots721 says: Jan 17, 2016 6:49 PM

    Titans did not know Horton was interested in being a head coach yet they interview him for the head coaching job? Sounds like the Titans are about as dysfunctional as the Browns.

  59. crossdamon says: Jan 17, 2016 6:59 PM

    Maybe they were 27th in scoring defense because the offense was 31st in turnovers. Being that the defense was ranked 12th in overall defense, the points against seems to be a byproduct of a Mularkey offense that turned the ball over more than all but one team in the league.

    Further, the offensive coordinator (new head coach) commanded an offense that was also 27th in first downs, 30th in yards, and 28 in scoring. Horton should feel insulted. His unit performed decently this season, and his competence was ignored in favor of a 2-time coaching failure whose primary unit was among the worst in the league.

    And you clowns are on here whining about the Rooney Rule? The Mularkey hiring is proof positive of why the Rooney Rule was implemented in the first place – competent black coaches being totally ignored to hire good ole boy LOSERS.

  60. wallabear says: Jan 17, 2016 7:16 PM

    The Head Coach and the Defensive Coaches should all be fired for allowing Nos.24 & 25 (Sensabaugh & Wreh-Wilson) to continue to play on the field. They canned Poutasi, so why not them? SMH

  61. leef2020 says: Jan 17, 2016 7:30 PM

    Hello, Jim Schwartz?

  62. huggybear2014 says: Jan 17, 2016 8:47 PM

    Poop comes in all colors.

  63. deafoh23 says: Jan 17, 2016 9:15 PM

    Jan 17, 2016 4:41 PM

    For all of you who get all bent out of shape that people point out when things have to do with race, let me ask you this:

    In what way is Mike Mularkey possibly more qualified to be a head coach than Ray Horton? Mularkey has been a failure at every stop in every capacity since he left Pittsburgh after the 2003 season. You all like to say “they just hire the best person.” Really? Mike Mularkey is the best? He’s not, and nobody could possibly legitimately think he is. So if it’s not because he’s a better coach, then why exactly was Mularkey given the job? I think the answer to that is obvious.

    Simple, he interviews better

  64. ncisagent says: Jan 17, 2016 9:28 PM

    How many times did Mike Zimmer get passed over for head coaching positions, and when it didn’t work out, he just kept his mouth shut, went back to work, and waited for the next opportunity. It finally came to him in Minnesota and he has made the most of it, all the while keeping and building respect from others and probably making those who didn’t hire him kick themselves. This guy should just shut up and keep his head down and stay classy.

  65. thegeneral7694 says: Jan 17, 2016 9:53 PM

    @Eric0711:

    I think you mean “Clancy Pendergast”. “Teddy Pendergrass” was an R&B singer, not a defensive coordinator….and he’s been dead for several years.

  66. alongthegulf says: Jan 17, 2016 11:29 PM

    I lived in Phoenix when Horton was named the DC. He is an excellent defensive coach. Like many other coaches, he wants to be a HC. He has made that known since Wisenhunt was fired in Phoenix. He has been interviewed as a minority candidate a number of times. I’m sure the Titan organization knew of his desire to be a HC. Titans should have given him a courtesy staff interview like Mularkey. Titans dropped the ball!

    Titans are quickly becoming the Philadelphia ’76ers on the NFL. What’s Mularkey record as a HC? I feel for Titan fans! They deserve better than what the organization is giving.

  67. gonesouth61 says: Jan 18, 2016 12:04 AM

    Hmmm,and for the longest time now the “media experts” have been telling everyone that no legitimate coach would have any interest in working in Cleveland.
    I hope people will remember this lack of credibility in the future.

  68. bill14224 says: Jan 18, 2016 2:04 AM

    Going from the Titans to the Browns is like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.

  69. tluckett0708 says: Jan 18, 2016 3:06 AM

    Rooney Rule at work I see. It’s a darn shame,but same thing different day.

  70. vonbewhite says: Jan 18, 2016 4:41 PM

    I didn’t want him to leave the first time with the Browns. He should be happy to come to a great place like Cleveland. The Browns need someone to connect with the players it seemed like the coaches last season did not have the players playing as hard as they could.

  71. condor75 says: Jan 19, 2016 12:23 PM

    vbe2 says:
    Jan 17, 2016 4:21 PM
    This “alliance”, acting like a Nazi watchdog, needs to be gone. We’re beyond all this racial crap now. They’re just keeping it fueled in order to make money and gain more power.

    yeah I mean this is America we all no race doesn’t matter and people are simply judged on their ability and character. Ok that all I have go to beach home Nebraska and feed my unicorn

  72. kfoyo808 says: Jan 20, 2016 9:41 AM

    not saying they should have hired Horton over Mularkey…but Mularkey was the best you could do??!?!? Every other team had already hired a coach. All of the very best teams still playing in the playoffs had numerous candidates to be HC (Patricia, McDaniels, McDermott, Bevell, Winston Moss, Goodwin, probably at least 1 more I’m leaving out). Why not just wait so you can really sit down and talk to all of those folks?

    A: probably because the team ‘quietly’ reached out to several of those people and were politely told they weren’t interested in the job, thanks.

  73. realitycheck21 says: Jan 20, 2016 2:26 PM

    nozzelhead says:
    Jan 17, 2016 4:21 PM
    This team sucks and the owners are killing their fans.

    The same scenario exists in San Diego amigo.

  74. keem513 says: Jan 21, 2016 8:33 AM

    Sounds Like my internship, We didnt know you wanted job security lol

  75. diealreadyralphwilson says: Jan 21, 2016 9:36 PM

    And I really don’t want to pick a new login

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!