NFL Rumors: Arizona’s Ray Horton potentially landing in Cleveland

While all has been quiet on the defensive coordinator front in Berea, CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora speculates that the Cleveland Browns’ future defensive coordinator will be Ray Horton.

Presently employed by the Arizona Cardinals, the recent hiring of Bruce Arians as their new head coach means that is increasingly less likely that Horton is retained. In a game of musical chairs, Todd Bowles will be ushered out of Philadelphia — with Chip Kelly looking to bring in his own coordinator — and potentially to Arizona, leaving Horton with options after a reported “heated exchange” following the hiring of Arians.

Horton, who did an otherwise excellent job in 2012 while the Cardinals’ offense fell apart, was considered a strong candidate to replace the fired Ken Whisenhunt as the next head coach.

It was Ray Horton who was not only interviewed early on by the Browns, but had his name in the mix for the head coaching gig at a time when Penn State’s Bill O’Brien and Syracuse’s Doug Marrone were still considered candidates.

He was hired by the Cardinals in 2011 after working seven seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2004-10). He is a 3-4 defensive coordinator from the Dick Lebeau tree.

[Related: WFNY Podcast – 2013-01-17 – Craig and TD talking Browns]

  • BomberDawg

    Please God. This would be amazing. Chip Kelly can suck it. Chud is the man. In Haslam I trust.

  • dimoko

    What kind of system did Horton run?

  • Scott @ WFNY


  • JHop

    I’m not much of a fan of the 3-4 defense. However, if having it as our defense is inevitable at this point, there’s no one else I’d rather have in charge.

  • TSR3000

    Not fair to force our Defensive players to keep switching schemes. That would drive me nuts.

  • Harv 21

    So does Jason La Canfora base his “sounds like … Horton ends up in Cleveland” on something other than the public knowledge that Horton’s interviewing in Berea today? Or is he saying that he has different reason to believe it’s a done deal without an interview? Maybe “sounds like” are the magic words: if he’s hired you heard it here first, folks, and if he’s not I was just reporting the, um, sounds.

    Looove this brave new world of “sports journalism.” Anyone can play – all’s you need is some tearable paper, a little saliva and a twitter account.

  • Harv 21

    That would be the Remedial Read and React defense.

  • Justin

    Haha, this made my morning!

  • Garry_Owen

    Sound and fury, my friend. Sound and fury.

  • Garry_Owen

    According to the article, a 5-2; sometimes shifting to a 6-1.

  • ConcernedFan

    In all seriousness, what defense did the Browns run in 2012? 3-4 or 4-3? With all this talk of defensive switching I am honestly confused to what the Browns would be best suited for currently. Thanks.

  • mgbode

    but can Horton hatch an egg?

  • mgbode

    Horton is considered the best young DC in the NFL. he has led a Cardinals pass defense to the #1 ranking this past season despite their dismal offense not helping matters (and this is using efficiency rankings too – not just pure yardage).

    He is aggressive. He made Daryl Washington into an impact player. And his schemes are top-notch. He would be exactly the type of guy that Chud promised for DC and someone who would make me feel 100% better about doing a scheme shift.

    Really, the only issue with hiring Horton (unlike Norv) is that he will likely continue to be a HC candidate in the future and he obviously wants to make that transition. But, that is true of most potential DC’s worth hiring and is not a reason to not bring him aboard.

    Please be true, please be true.

  • Sam

    Oh sweet baby Brandon Weeden Jesus please make this happen

  • Jaker

    You sir get a D for listening skills