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Ray Horton returns to Tennessee determined to lift Browns to 1st win

Ray Horton will head back to Tennessee with no hard feelings.

The Browns defensive coordinator, who spent the past two seasons in the same role with the Titans, said he's too focused on helping Cleveland notch its first win of the season.

"What fuels me is the next win. You know people, and you know people around the league obviously but for me every week is critical that you get yourself an opportunity to get yourself in the playoffs," Horton said Friday morning.

"And for us, it's an opportunity to get a win and make strides and get better. I don't look at is as anything personal or 'I've been there' or know people, it's just the next opponent we want to beat."

That approach has trickled down to the members of the Browns defense, who described Horton as measured with a road trip to Nashville this weekend.

"He's the same guy regardless of what's going to happen or where he came from … he's not going to change, he has his game plan," outside linebacker Christian Kirksey said. "He wants to take down Tennessee and we just got to execute. I know Ray Horton will be ready for this game.

"I really don't see a difference," nose tackle Danny Shelton added. "Coach Horton is the same every week, passionate, he's determined."

After surrendering 500-plus yards in a loss to the Patriots, the Browns will try to bounce back against the Titans and a powerful run game that has caught the attention of Cleveland's defense.

Horton described Tennessee's DeMarco Murray as perhaps the league's most "polished" running back and said second-year quarterback Marcus Mariota, who has proven to be a dual-threat player, has a promising future.

Against that backdrop, Horton called for another "all hands on deck" effort this weekend.

"The whole defensive team needs better fundamentals. We have to keep improving to produce wins. We have not won – we have been in position to win – but we have to be able to finish. We need to see improvement across the board," Horton said, adding, "I'm not happy with myself either. We have to win games here. That is what we were brought here for. Coach Hue (Jackson) has been doing a fantastic job of motivating and talking and leading and inspiration. We will get it figured out."

Horton, who previously served as Cleveland's defensive coordinator in 2013 and spoke of a warm homecoming when hired by Jackson in January, reiterated as much Friday when asked about why he left the Titans.

"Where I'm at is where I want to be, I'm very happy here, I made that point very clear that I love this city and I love what Hue's doing and the direction that we're heading," he said.

And while Horton might not concern himself with that dynamic, his players have rallied around him.

'With every defensive coordinator going back to their previous team you always want to play for something bigger than yourself," Kirksey said, "you want to play for your defensive coordinator, you want to execute and go out there and make plays and make him look good."

Shelton added: "He wants his defense to look a certain way and he wants us to represent him a certain way so that's just how it is every week."

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