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5 things to know about Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton

Ray Horton's a familiar name for Browns fans, but there's always time for a refresher course on the former and current Cleveland defensive coordinator.

Here are the five things to know about the man who will lead Cleveland's defense in 2016.

  1. Since he spent 2013 in Cleveland, Horton has been with the Tennessee Titans for the past two seasons. Though it was a rough year for the Titans as a whole, Tennessee's defense produced some positive moments and statistics. The Titans finished sixth in the NFL in sacks per pass play, seventh in passing yards allowed and eighth in rush average against in 2015. The Titans held their opponents at 20 or fewer points on four occasions but came up on the losing end of all four games. In 2014, the Titans set a team record with 18 different players recording sacks.
  1. A refresher on what Horton accomplished during his one season with the Browns. Cleveland ranked ninth in the NFL in total defense (332.4 yards per game). The unit's strength was against the pass, where it ranked eighth overall (221.1 yards per game). The rushing defense was strong, too, allowing an average of 3.9 yards per carry -- the team's best mark in 18 years. Shortly after he arrived in Cleveland in 2013, he said he wanted cornerback Joe Haden to be an "elite" player. Months later, Haden made his first Pro Bowl alongside safety T.J. Ward.
  1. In an interview with Cleveland Browns Daily in 2013, Horton, a longtime defensive backs coach with the Steelers from 2004-10, described the philosophy of his defense. "The genesis probably comes from the 3-4 of Pittsburgh because everybody is familiar with that, but since I left, I've changed quite a bit and we do some things they do not that are unique to us," Horton said. "The personnel here will allow me to do even more creative things. I've talked about a multiple defensive front. It could be a 3-4, it could be a 4-3, it could be a 5-2, sometimes it will be a 4-4 depending on what we do. I guarantee we'll have 11 on the field but the arrangement and configuration will be limitless."
  1. Horton, who interviewed for Cleveland's head coaching position in 2013 and with the Titans for their top job this past month, emerged as a premier coach on the rise after his two seasons as defensive coordinator with the Cardinals. Arizona was one of the league's best against the pass in 2012, ranking first passer rating allowed (71.2) and interception percentage (4.4%). The unit was top five in interceptions (22), third-down efficiency (32.9%), red zone defense (44.4%), takeaways (33), passing defense (200.8 ypg), first downs allowed (288) and points allowed per drive (1.42).
  1. Horton's history in the AFC North is deep. Not only did he coach with the Steelers for seven seasons, but he also played for the Bengals from 1983-88. He has three Super Bowl rings, winning once as a player with the Cowboys in 1993 and twice with the Steelers as a coach in the 2005 and 2009 seasons. In his rookie season with the Bengals, Horton intercepted five passes, amassed 121 return yards and scored his first career touchdown at Denver. In his final NFL season, Horton put the exclamation point on a 27-0 win over the Seahawks with a 15-yard interception return for a touchdown, his fifth and final of his 10-year playing career. The interception was his 19th and final of his career.
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