Cleveland Browns Reportedly Hire Ray Horton as Defensive Coordinator

Ethan Grant@DowntownEGAnalyst IJanuary 18, 2013

TEMPE, AZ - MAY 11:  Defensive Coordinator Ray Horton of the Arizona Cardinals in the minicamp at the team's training center facility on May 11, 2012 in Tempe, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Defensive coordinator and NFL head coaching job hopeful Ray Horton didn't stay unemployed long after the Arizona Cardinals cut ties with him on Thursday.

As reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Cleveland Browns have wasted no time in scooping Horton up and naming him to the same position he coached in Arizona.

Browns officially hired former Cardinals DC Ray Horton as their DC.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 18, 2013

Horton will join new head coach Rob Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner in Cleveland as the Browns have done a complete revamping of their coaching staff over the last 10 days.

The Cardinals were the last NFL team to have a head coaching vacancy, and Horton was one of the final candidates. Arizona instead filled the position with former Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians on Thursday night, per Schefter, thus ending the head coaching vacancies in the NFL this offseason.

Horton didn't take well (via Pro Football Talk) to that hiring and had a heated exchange with new general manager Steve Keim before leaving the building—and his job as Cardinals defensive coordinator—behind him.

An up-and-comer in the NFL head coaching ranks, Horton will bring both NFL playing and coaching experience to Cleveland while being tasked with turning around a defense that doesn't have the kind of talent that was featured in Arizona during his tenure there—the Browns finished 23rd in total defense in 2012. 

Cleveland will have the sixth overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft, and it will have the option to help Horton find some defensive pieces to put around current stars Joe Haden and D'Qwell Jackson.

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Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for B/R's Breaking News Team.


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