Ray Horton isn’t married to the 3-4 defense

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Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton admits that he’s disappointed that he didn’t land a head coaching job this year, but that disappointment doesn’t take away his excitement over his new job.

Horton, who left the Cardinals after Bruce Arians was named the team’s head coach, said that he’s excited about the defense in Cleveland and about reuniting with new Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Horton’s first coaching job came as a member of Turner’s staff with the Redskins and Horton told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that the two of them are “going to put up points and we’re going to stop ’em from scoring points and we’re going to have a fantastic team.”

As for how the Browns will stop ’em from scoring points, Horton said that he’s not married to the 3-4 defense that he ran in Arizona and when he was on Dick LeBeau’s staff with the Steelers. He only promises one thing about the defense you’ll see in Cleveland.

“Aggressive. I don’t know if anybody pressured more than I did last year and that’s the kind of stuff we’ll do here,” Horton said. “I’m a coach of men, whether it’s 3-4, 4-3, 5-5, I don’t care. I’m going to coach men.”

The Browns ran a 4-3 last season so there would likely need to be some adjustments to personnel if Horton does decide to stick with the familiar 3-4 look he’s been running for the last decade.

17 responses to “Ray Horton isn’t married to the 3-4 defense

  1. Horton is a great motivator and I’d hoped the Cardinals could have kept him. Given how much the players on D loved him, I could see how Bruce Arians was concerned about a divided team so the decision to part ways makes sense in that context.

    The Browns will certainly benefit from solid coaching this season.

  2. Good. They’ve stocked up on 4-3 defenders. Changing would have been typical of the Brown’s recent ”permanently rebuilding” policy.

  3. Some good assistants the Browns have hired. Things are looking up,but It’s interesting that both new coordinators are actually more qualified to a run the football team then their new head coach.

  4. Not sure about the Lombardi hire. He’s entertaining on TV and on podcasts, but he’s been loud wrong on a lot of guys.

    Other than that, it’s kind of hard to look at the overall coach/front office hiring season and say that the Browns weren’t the winners.

    A solid hire of a guy whose been considered ready for a shot for awhile in Chud, and arguably the two best coordinators in the NFL with Horton and Turner.

    If the Browns don’t turn it around, I don’t think you’ll be able to blame the coaching staff.

  5. Horton will have the Browns D swarming to the ball! Hated to see him go. Especially to be replaced by Bowles! Cards in in the top tier of taking the ball away. Browns will be too soon. Great hire!

  6. I remember the Steelers defense played an aggressive brand of football. Today, Steelers defense keeps quarterbacks clean and pray the other team make mistakes on a 14 play drive. They have become statistical geniuses with the number 1 defense each year. Unfortunately, that ranking is foo’l’s gold without turnovers/splash plays etc.

  7. Horton will push for the Browns to bring in more impact players on D which is gonna help him get a HC job in the future. Win win situation.

  8. The unfortunate thing is that I doubt he’ll be in Cleveland very long…he will be a HC soon if he is remotely successful in Cle……so after changing slowly towards a 3-4, we will have another “permanently rebuilding” change happen……{sigh}

  9. I really enjoyed Dick Jauron’s D and was not happy to see him go. That sense of loss evaporated with this hire.
    The missing part of the story was Horton playing golf with Dick LeBeau Friday after he accepted the offer from the Brownies. That’s consistent with Jauron who openly calls LeBeau his BFF 😉
    Really…I’m psyched about the new staff ‘cept for joke VP

  10. shivasirons3 says:
    Jan 20, 2013 12:13 PM
    The unfortunate thing is that I doubt he’ll be in Cleveland very long…he will be a HC soon if he is remotely successful in Cle……so after changing slowly towards a 3-4, we will have another “permanently rebuilding” change happen……{sigh}


    But you certainly won’t have to worry about that on the offensive side of the ball. It will be a cold day in hades before Norv Turner gets another shot as HC.

  11. I don’t think Norv would take another HC job.

    If the Browns win the Big One under this regime, Turner can hang his hat on the legend that he is: Great OC…

    One needs to understand what one is great at. Clint Eastwood is Dirty Harry, not the owner of an Orangutan etc etc …

  12. Big Ray Horton fan, but I don’t know about this. While head coaches can change schemes at the drop of a hat (which is to say the firing and hiring of defensive coordinators), I don’t know how easily a DC, especially one whose success has come entirely in the 3-4, can change his entire philosophy and enjoy similar levels of success with his new team.

    That said, Cleveland seems to be a good place to make that transition, as they already have a number of aggressive, Horton-style pieces in place.

    On the other hand, if they were to switch to the 3-4, I don’t see that as a “neverending rebuild”. Wade Philips is a vastly inferior coach in my book, but he turned the Texans from a good 4-3 defense to a very solid 3-4 in record time, even without holding onto their two best defensive players.

    Basically, whichever direction Horton and the Browns want to go is the right one, as long as they commit quickly, decisively, and unwaveringly.

  13. Well the cool part about Norv and the possibility of winning a Lombardi trophy in CLE is he’s a sure HoF’er and Canton is right down the road from Berea.

    One more note on the LeBeau/Horton golf outing…Horton said he and Dick are excited about the great games the Steelers and Browns will have this year.
    More reason to be optimistic

  14. Why r people on here still talking about the defense switching to a 3-4? The man said he’s a coach of men. He’s gonna run what works best idiots. That means using what u have to get pressure and creat TOs just like he did in Arizona. I can’t understand why people r so intent on the doom and gloom side of any convo about this team. We finally have a good coaching staff and people r effing complaining! Unreal!

  15. These so called billionaires and millionaires suppose 2 make smart decisions, if every fan and browns sports writers are saying the same thing about vince lombardi, why they still hire him as GM is mind bothering. Lombardi gave the browns draft a F!, newsflash! This coming from a person that drafted a person that liked to drink syrup ( Russell). Lombardi drafts that he drafted failed. And for Josh Gordan, keep your head up, and keep maturing, cause vince lombardi sure didnt know what he seen in you. A+ for Tom Heckart, Lombardi!

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