Ray Horton fired as Browns defensive coordinator?

The Cleveland Browns are making a coordinator change on the defensive side of the ball.

Alex Marvez of Sirius XM and the Sporting News was the first to report

The team is currently denying but the local media is reporting a change could come soon.

Ray Horton in his second stint with the Cleveland Browns will potentially once again only last one season with the organization. He was let go as defensive coordinator in 2013 when then head coach Rob Chudzinski was also let go after one season.

Horton was brought back last year when head coach Hue Jackson tabbed him as the defensive coordinator. 

Now while some players took a leap forward under Horton like linebacker Christian Kirksey and defensive tackle Danny Shelton, the team was at the bottom of the major statistical categories in the NFL.

  • 30th in points allowed per game (28.2)
  • 31st in yards allowed per game (392.4)
  • 21st in passing yards allowed per game (249.8)
  • 31st in rushing yards allowed per game (142.7)
  • Tied for 30th in sacks (26)

A change was needed and it looks like it’s going to happen.

Now the only two candidates linked to the jobs are the ones Marvez reported: Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips

Williams is a 25 year veteran of coaching in the NFL. He’s been the defensive coordinator of the Titans, Redskins, Jaguars, Saints and Rams. 

He’s been the coach of one of the best defensive lines in the last decade with the Rams, led by Aaron Donald and a Robert Quinn who are two of the best at their positions.

He’s best known for the “BountyGate” scandal when he was with the New Orleans Saints. He started the fund when he joined the Saints in 2009 and it went on during his entire tenure with the team, targeting the likes of Brett Favre, Kurt Warner and Aaron Rodgers among other quarterbacks.

Williams was indefinitely suspended by the NFL in 2012 for his role but was reinstated after one year.

Because a certain Cleveland media member gets angry that the Browns were running a 3-4 defense, he’ll probably want Williams because he runs a 4-3 defense.

Williams will have to make a quick decision according to Marvez and according to CBS’ Jason La Canfora, looks like it’s Williams’ job to lose 

Wade Phillips is one of the best defensive minds football has ever seen. A 40 year veteran in the NFL as a defensive coordinator and head coach, the 69 year old has coached some of the best defensive players of this generation.

In his 3-4 defense, he’s ranked in the top ten in points allowed four times in his last five seasons as a coordinator. He’s finished in the top seven in yards allowed all five times. 

And he’s been able to coach the two of the best defensive players in the league since they both were drafted in 2011: Texans defensive end JJ Watt and Broncos linebacker Von Miller.

Whomever Hue Jackson selects as defensive coordinator shouldn’t affect their draft plans. Both Myles Garrett and Jonathan Allen can fit in both a 3-4 or a 4-3 defense as both are likely to be the first overall selection for the Browns in the NFL draft.


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