Ray Horton looks like the best DC fit

January, 20, 2014
Jan 20
7:19
PM ET
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Ray Horton is officially the Titans defensive coordinator.

The only bad thing I've heard about him is that some Arizona defenders felt they were able to play with more freedom after his two seasons. And that's commonplace for guys up front in a Pittsburgh-style, 2-gap, 3-4.

Horton
Ken Whisenhunt has said that's not what the Titans will run. They will be a hybrid front showing multiple looks.

"His body of work speaks for itself over the last few years as a coordinator and a position coach," Whisenhunt said of Horton in the release announcing the addition to his staff. "Not only was he a good player in the league for a number of years, but he has transferred that into becoming a very good NFL coach.

"Scheme-wise, one of the most impressive things about Ray is his flexibility. He has the ability to go between a 4-3 and 3-4 and put our players in the best position to succeed. It has been evident by what he done and where his defenses have ranked in the league over the last few years."

Here's a look at how the Titans defense and Browns defense compared last year. The yardage numbers were good in Cleveland, with the overall defense moving up to ninth from 23rd in 2012. But Horton will have to mold a group that fares better on third down and in scoring defense.

 

"I am excited about this opportunity, to be reunited with coach Whisenhunt and to be a piece of the puzzle to move this team forward," Horton said. "I have a great deal of respect for Whiz, as someone who took a franchise that had never been to the Super Bowl, he was able to take them to one. I was with him in Pittsburgh as well and he is a leader, a great play-caller and has a love for the game.

"As for our defensive system, I have said from day one that I don't coach a particular alignment, I coach men who want to get after it and we will play physical and fundamentally sound. We will do whatever suits the men that I coach and whatever the Tennessee Titans can do best."

Whisenhunt has been working quickly on his staff. Still open are jobs coaching quarterbacks, offensive line and defensive line.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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