Titans hire Ray Horton as defensive coordinator

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Nashville, TN, United States (4E Sports) – The Tennessee Titans have hired Ray Horton as their new defensive coordinator, reuniting him with former boss Ken Whisenhunt, who was recently hired as the team’s head coach.

The 53-year-old Horton worked under Whisenhunt with the Arizona Cardinals in 2011 and 2012 before he moved to the Cleveland Browns the next year.

In 2013, the Browns defensive finished No. 9 overall and No. 8 against the pass. The Browns were 23rd in the NFL with 25.4 points per allowed and 16th with 40 sacks.

Under Horton, the Browns were also second-last in the league in red zone, with opponents scoring touchdowns 64 percent of the time.

Two of Horton’s players received postseason honors, with cornerback Joe Haden being voted to the Pro Bowl and earning first-team All-Pro honors while safety T.J. Ward earned a second-team All-Pro selection.

However, the Browns doomed their playoff chances by surrendering 145 total points in the fourth quarter and committing defensive meltdowns at the end of the first half and the end of games.

“I’m disappointed that I didn’t get our guys, my guys better equipped to finish, whether it’s the fourth quarter or however that comes out, because we didn’t finish, and that falls on my shoulders,” Horton then said.

In Horton’s final season with Whisenhunt in Arizona, the Cardinals led the NFL in passer-rating allowed (71.2) and interception percentage (4.4%).

Horton’s defense also ranked second in the NFL in interceptions (22), third in third-down efficiency (32.9), third in red zone defense (44.4%) and fourth in takeaways (33).

Horton, who had three years remaining on his Browns contract, interviewed for the Vikings head coaching position this offseason, but the job went to former Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.

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