As expected, the Cleveland Browns will hire Ray Horton as the team’s defensive coordinator. Horton joins the coaching staff from the Tennessee Titans.
Horton denied a riff between him and the team after he was passed over for the head coaching job. New Titans GM Jon Robinson hired Mike Mularkey, as the permanent head coach.
He was the team’s interim head coach after they fired Ken Whisenhunt several weeks into the season.
Besides Horton, Jackson has also added Al Saunders and Kirby Wilson to his coaching staff. Saunders will be the team’s senior assistant on the offensive side of the ball, while Wilson will be their running game coordinator.
Horton — who was reportedly negotiating a new contract with the Titans to stay there — was their defensive coordinator for the last two seasons. He interviewed with Jackson earlier today.
Horton rejoins the Browns after being their defensive coordinator in 2013. He had their defense ranked in the Top 10 during his year there.
He was also the Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator in 2011 and 2012.
This past season, the Titans defense was 12th overall. But, his role was reportedly diminished when they hired Dick LeBeau as assistant head coach before the 2015 season.
According to reports when LeBeau was hired, he was given “complete control” of the defense. Horton reportedly had to report to LeBeau throughout the season.
Saunders knows Jackson from their time with the Baltimore Ravens. Saunders was also a member of Jackson’s 2011 Oakland Raiders staff that went 8-8.
Saunders has been an NFL coach for four decades, and the 68-year-old was with the Miami Dolphins last season.
During his time in the NFL, he’s served as the offensive coordinator for four teams. The Browns are not expected to have an offensive coordinator as Jackson is expected to call the plays.
Wilson comes to the Browns after being the Minnesota Vikings running backs coach for the past three season. He’s also worked for six different NFL teams as their running backs coach since 1997.
According to ESPN’s Ben Goessling, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer tried to keep him. However, his contract expired after the season, which allowed him to land elsewhere.
The Browns running attack last season was 22nd in the NFL.
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