In Tennessee, Horton will reunite with new head coach Ken Whisenhunt, a three-time interviewee over the past two seasons for the Browns opening. Horton was Whisenhunt’s defensive coordinator in Arizona from 2011-2012. They both have a background of working for the Pittsburgh Steelers organization.
Horton, 53, had a difficult year in Cleveland. Despite his reputation as a very good coordinator with an attacking hybrid defense, the team’s unit was one of the NFL’s worst in the second half of the season, the second half of games and in third-down situations. The pass rush — bolstered by new additions Paul Kruger, Desmond Bryant and rookie Barkevious Mingo — regressed mightily down the stretch.
Throughout the process, the Browns were letting Horton interview for any position, even lateral moves. Two weeks ago, he interviewed for the Minnesota Vikings vacancy. That position was later filled by Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. They then brought on former Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who also spent only one season in Cleveland..
Including those two, the Browns have now reportedly lost five members of its coaching staff from 2013. The other three: DL coach Joe Cullen to Tampa Bay, OLB coach Brian Baker to Washington and TE coach Jon Embree to Tampa Bay.
Jacob Rosen is a long-time contributor to WaitingForNextYear. He's also a writer online at SportsAnalyticsBlog and Nylon Calculus . An Akron native, Jacob is a current MBA student at the University of Oregon's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center. You can follow him on Twitter @WFNYJacob or e-mail him at udjrosen(at)gmail(dot)com.