4:46pm: In another twist regarding Horton’s future, the Browns have received permission from the Titans to talk to Horton about their DC job, Kuharsky reports. The ESPN.com reporter notes the Browns will interview Horton later this week.
MONDAY, 1:02pm: After Sunday’s Horton-related drama, the presumption from his side is that he’ll remain with the Titans going forward, tweets Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com. Nothing is official yet, however.
SUNDAY, 3:54pm: Horton is actually talking about a contract extension with the Titans, he tells Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com, and he also rejects the notion that he was insulted by the club’s interview process. The situation seems a lot more fluid than originally presented, so we’ll likely have to wait for a more definite outcome.
3:45pm: Ray Horton is set to join the Browns as defensive coordinator for a second time, according to Jason Wolf of the Tennessean, who cites John Wooten in reporting that Horton will be let out of his Titans contract to join Hue Jackson‘s staff in Cleveland. Horton was previously the Browns DC in 2013.
The 55-year-old Horton, who has been Tennessee’s defensive coordinator for the past two seasons, is not leaving the Titans on good terms. Horton, who interviewed last week for the Titans head coaching position, was passed over in favor of Mike Mularkey, and apparently feels insulted that he was not seriously considered for the job.
“The Browns had put in a request to interview him, and then Tennessee interviewed him (for the head-coaching job Saturday),” said Wooten, chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which encourages NFL clubs to consider minority candidates. “And they said that they didn’t know that he had any interest in being a head coach. Well, that’s an insult to the man. That is just an insult. And then when he got in the interview, they seemed shocked that he was as prepared and knowledgeable and everything else at that point.”
Horton has been a defensive coordinator since 2011, first with the Cardinals before moving onto Cleveland and then Tennessee. His role with the Titans was arguably marginalized prior to the 2015 season, when the Titans hired former Steelers DC Dick LeBeau as an assistant head coach. LeBeau was given “complete control” of the defense, and Horton was directed to report to him.
In Cleveland, Horton should have more of a say under the offensive-minded Jackson, and he’ll try to turn around a defense that ranked just 29th in DVOA last season. Horton will likely be the only coordinator the Browns hire, as the club is expected to go without an OC (Jackson will call the offensive plays).