Report: Vikings expected to interview Ray Horton on Tuesday


The Browns are looking for a head coach and their defensive coordinator, of the moment anyway, is expected to interview for the Vikings head coaching job on Tuesday.

Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports, via John Wooten of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, that Ray Horton will meet with Minnesota next week. Horton spent one season running the Browns defense, producing a unit that finished seventh in yards allowed while the Browns gave up 25.4 points per game.

Horton was previously the defensive coordinator in Arizona and has made the head coaching interview rounds in the past. The longtime NFL defensive back was also a member of the Steelers staff from 2004-2010 before moving to the Cardinals.

Several other candidates have been linked to the Vikings since Leslie Frazier was relieved of duty, including Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles (who replaced Horton in that post) and both Bengals coordinators. There haven’t been any reports of interviews that have already taken place.

Former Lions coach Jim Schwartz is reportedly a contender to replace Horton as the defensive coordinator in Cleveland once they settle on a head coach.

62 responses to “Report: Vikings expected to interview Ray Horton on Tuesday

  1. PFT is getting classier – only five of the first ten comments had something to do with the man’s hair.

    “Hey, all I know about Ray Horton is that he had long hair one time. I better comment on this!”

  2. Did the Texans not break the Rooney Rule? Maybe it was posted somewhere else but why is no one making a stink?

  3. If would have focused more on the declining D he had in Cleveland he would get a HC job. Great at making speeches not so good as a D coordinator

  4. jbaxt

    Your point valid. However the Packers did. McCarthy presided over the worst offense in football as well. He became a head coach the next year. Yeah – easy peasy to look good with Favre than Rodgers as a QB… but the point is you gotta look beyond record and rankings. Leadership, respect, good ideas for assistants and the ability to delegate authority… As much as it would pain me – this would be a great move for the Vikings. As long as he gets someone to totally control the offense – he could be a special coach. From what I have heard, anyway.

  5. If he doesn’t get a head coaching gig the Bears would do great to bring this guy to Chicago. They will have money and draft picks to fix the defense since the offense is pretty much set to come back next year.

  6. mossnomore says:
    Jan 3, 2014 6:42 PM
    Did the Texans not break the Rooney Rule? Maybe it was posted somewhere else but why is no one making a stink?
    They interviewed Lovie Smith

  7. mossnomore, They interviewed Lovie Smith a few weeks ago, so no they didn’t break the Rooney Rule.

    84smooninlambeaunevergetsold, not sure what to say to you if you’ve never heard of a guy making the rounds for a possible head coaching gig over the last few years. This is the guy I wanted to be the Rams HC over Jeff Fisher a few years ago. He’s always had top notch defenses since he became a DC.

  8. I really liked the idea of Horton coming to the Browns for the 2013 season. But now that the season is over I was disappointed with the defense. I thought here is this great D-cord who had HC interviews. The Browns picked up Kruger, Groves, Bryant and already had Haden, Taylor, Rubin, Wynn, Hughes. Buster Skrine has improved. But they failed at the end of games and I believe that was on the D-cord with choosing schemes or failure to adjust. Dan Quinn and Todd Bowels did better.

  9. Any coach risks a major setback in their career taking this job. What they really need in minnysoda is a Circus Ring Master.

  10. PeterKingLovesCoqAVin says: Jan 3, 2014 6:36 PM

    PFT is getting classier – only five of the first ten comments had something to do with the man’s hair.


    Horton knew what he was getting himself into when he grew his hair that way!

  11. gb4mn0 says: Jan 3, 2014 7:04 PM

    Any coach risks a major setback in their career taking this job. What they really need in minnysoda is a Circus Ring Master.

    duece5 says:

    If I were you, I’d worry about your packer “defense”.

    It is, well, pretty offensive!!!!

  12. Chris Kluwe is a known “humanist”….err atheist.

    He feels no danger of any divine judgment for his actions, which probably why he speaks with venom about Priefer, Frazier, and Spielman.

    To that I say: C’MON MAN!!!!!!

  13. Yep,—-a surefire barometer of a persons competence is how they wear their hair. Geez, I thought we laid that to rest in the 70`s.

  14. mcmystery76 says: Wow he seems like a really popular candidate! I bet this has nothing to do with the Rooney rule…


    Perfect example of how the Rooney Rule has made a mockery out of decent head coaching candidates. Everyone will doubt the interview is granted on merit.

    Owners crave $$$ – there’s no room for racism any more. Oddly, that’s a good thing. Pull the Rooney Rule and let these candidates get the actual respect they deserve by working their way up the coaching ladder.

    We have a black President for goodness sake.

    If the American people can be trusted not to have a mandatory minority candidate for President, surely Roger Goodell can show a similar level of trust that the owners can rise above what must be REAL racism in their ranks if they truly need to be forced.

  15. mudmandenny says: Jan 3, 2014 7:35 PM

    Yep,—-a surefire barometer of a persons competence is how they wear their hair. Geez, I thought we laid that to rest in the 70`s.


    Horton’s hairstyle was clear evidence that he was going through a midlife crisis and therefore in no position to be anything more than a coordinator.

    A man who knows his hair is a man who knows himself. Confucius said that… possibly.

  16. This guy deserves a shot somewhere but he has always been a 3-4 guy and I’m not sure MN defensive personnel fits 3-4. Of course Allen and Kevin Williams are getting older and it may be time to retool

  17. Dear Jimmy,

    Hire Ray do not let him get away.
    His boys fell apart under pressure, but the D can only do so much in the W column.
    I like his don’t stop philosophy and teaching about working hard, and to play smart.
    That is the Identity the Browns need.

    Disgruntled fan,

    Go Browns

  18. All of you pointing to Rooney Rule shows your ignorance. Ray Horton is looked as one of the best defensive coordinators in NFL and prime candidate for head coaching job. He made his name with the Steelers as a secondary coach, elevated that last year a defensive coordinator for AZ. Browns defense looked legit for better part of the season with an inept offense.

    PFT has some of the biggest bigots hiding behind anonymous names posting non-sense.

  19. Ray Horton’s time has come. He’s better than 10-12 head coaches already. Hire him.

  20. It makes no difference the qualities in a head coach if he was the coordinator for a losing team, it is the scheme, leadership, game managing and people managing qualities that you look for! I would prefer an offensive guru that has a track record for developing QBs

  21. Ray Horton deserved a HC position last year. It would be a great hire for the Vikings. And I hope he brings Norv with him as his Offensive Coordinator. Norv is an awful HC, but is still a great OC. Sorry, Cleveland fans, but your ownership and front office doesn’t deserve these guys. Good luck on finding someone to take that job.

  22. All of these posts about the Rooney Rule and his qualifications for a head coaching position are missing the real key point: Ray Horton used to have a silly hairstyle! That’s funny!

  23. When I first heard this, I thought “satisfying the Rooney Rule, strikes again…” However, when you look a little deeper, this makes a ton of sense.

    If reports are true that Ken Whizenhunt is the leading candidate for the Detroit Lions job, it makes sense for the Vikings to nab his former DC as their own Head Coach. In a division that has three franchise quarterbacks, it is crucial the Vikings bring in a guy that can scheme to defend them, because after all it’s no guarantee that Minnesota will find a “franchise QB” this offseason…

    Secondly, and more importantly, our defense was without question our Achilles heel this season. Horton would (in theory) fix that with the help of the NFL Draft, Free Agency, and his scheme. And because of his close relationship with Norv Turner, maybe Turner will follow Horton to Minnesota as his OC.

    Make it happen, Spielman…

  24. duece5 says:
    Jan 3, 2014 7:31 PM
    Chris Kluwe is a known “humanist”….err atheist.
    If that’s true, he’s far smarter than I thought. But still not smart enough to keep his mouth shut when necessary.

  25. Wait a minute. The Browns are the only team in the league worse than Minnesota. And the Vikings are interviewing their coaches? Classic Vikings.


  26. This guy was all talk. His defense in Arizona was good because of the players, and now they’re even better because of Todd Bowles. He’s getting the most out of his players. Horton had Cleveland’s defense doing great in the first half of the season, but imploded in the second half. And Cleveland has a bunch of talent on defense.

  27. This isnt just a Roony rule obligation. Horton has consistently had a top 10 defense under him. And as a DB coach he helped shape players like Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark and Ike Taylor

    Horton is a well respected coach and is deserving of at the very least consideration of a HC spot.

  28. Let some other team follow the Rooney rule through hiring. I don’t want another dead end road for a coach.

  29. Hmm, another former secondary coach who has limited experience as even a coordinator and no head coaching experience. Sounds like another Rooney Rule candidate to me; we just fired a former secondary coach who was a defensive coordinator with no prior head coaching experience. At least Frazier has been a head coach for 3.25 years and probably can out coach this guy while napping.


  30. Me thinks the huge influx of Somolies in thetwin cities is embolding the Rooney Rule once again to an organization that is more concetened about not offending others ,rather than crushing their opponents.

  31. To those of you crying about the Rooney Rule, you do realize that this is NOT the only black coach that the Vikings are interviewing, right? Yeesh.

    pootytang: they are not ignoring Zimmer, they are reportedly going to interview him.

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