Horton was the Browns DC for 1 year, installing his ultra aggressive “hybrid” 3-4 defense. Horton had interviewed for the Browns head coaching position before accepting the DC position under Rob Chudzinski. Horton’s defense was the stalwart of the team early in the season but seemed to wear down, or get caught up to, as the season progressed. Instead of putting himself in the running for a head coaching position, Horton’s future was quickly in doubt when Chud was fired.
His fit with the Titans is clear. Horton worked with the new Titans Head Coach, Ken Whisenhunt, in both Pittsburgh and Arizona. Horton will now have a similar transition as he worked with here in Cleveland. The Titans have run the 4-3 for years and have their personnel setup for that system. Horton will have to find out who can rush the passer from the linebacker spot, who can hold up in 1 on 1 coverage and who can play the TJ Ward role all over the field. Horton will look for his “Little guys who can hit and big guys who can run” to fill in his defense.
For the Browns it was unlikely any of the coaches would return, but Horton was an option. Continuity on the defense is something lacking over the years and the Front Office seemed to like his aggressive nature.
Will the Browns find another 3-4 coach? Is Jim Schwartz, as rumored, a shoe in for the position? How do you think Horton will do in Tennessee with that personnel? Tell us your thoughts on Coach Horton’s time in Cleveland in the comments below.