2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Browns' Horton believes NFL hiring practice works

By TOM WITHERS - AP Sports Writer
    2013-01-29 15:11

BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Ray Horton doesn't believe his skin color played any role in him not being hired as an NFL head coach.

It just wasn't his time.

Introduced as Cleveland's new defensive coordinator on Tuesday, Horton said while he's ``disappointed'' that he didn't get a head coaching job after interviewing with several teams, he's grateful to have gone through the process and feels the league's Rooney Rule to promote minorities works despite contrary statistics.

Minority candidates were shut out of 15 coaching and top front-office jobs this offseason, a troubling disparity that led to criticism of the NFL's hiring practices. There are only four minority head coaches going into the 2013 season, the fewest since 2003, when the Rooney Rule was implemented.

Horton, however, feels he wasn't bypassed because he's African-American or because wears his hair in tight braids. There's no doubt he's got the credentials.

``I believe every NFL team owner is trying to get the best coach for their team,'' he said. ``I don't think anybody goes into it thinking, `I'm going to hire this guy because of `X' reason other than he's going to lead the team to victories. So from that standpoint, I respect the process. So does it (the Rooney Rule) work or not work? I think it worked because I think every NFL team this year hired a guy that they thought was going to lead them to victory. I don't think there was one owner that said, `I'm hiring this guy because I think he's going to run my program into the ground.' So does it work? Sure it works.''

Horton was one of the candidates who met with Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner before they hired Rob Chudzinski, who spent the past two seasons as Carolina's offensive coordinator. Horton noted that hiring offensive-minded coaches seemed to be this year's trend.

The 52-year-old, who played in 147 career games as a defensive back for Cincinnati and Dallas, remains hopeful he'll one day get his shot at being a head coach. But until that time arrives he won't be bitter and he's protesting against what appears to be an unequal system in a league where about 70 percent of the players are minorities.

``I wasn't disappointed at all for minorities,'' he said. ``I was disappointed for Ray Horton. ... I'm just disappointed because I have expectations. I have expectations for our team, for our defense. If you don't meet them, you're disappointed. I'm not mad. I'm not frustrated. Disappointment is the right adjective for me because you're disappointed and you move on.''

Horton, who spent the past two seasons as Arizona's defensive coordinator, can't wait to get his hands on a young Cleveland defense he hopes to mold into one of the league's best units.

After recently stating in a radio interview that he intended to switch the Browns from a 4-3 front to a 3-4, Horton refused to put any numerical label on the base scheme he'll use next season.

``We're going to look like an aggressive, forward attacking defense that has big men that can run and little men that can hit,'' he said. ``That's the most important thing to me - what do we look like, not what we line up in. We may be a 3-4 on one snap. We may be a 4-3 on another snap. I guarantee you we'll be a 5-2 sometimes, and we'll be a 4-4 sometimes. We are a multi-front, attacking defense, and that's the most important thing, not what player lines up where, how he stands, what stance he's in. Attacking, aggressive defense.''

Fine with Chudzinski, who envisions a Browns defense with ``guys flying around.''

``That style of defense, the multi-front, attacking defense is the defense that I looked at is the toughest to play against from an offensive perspective and the defense that we want to be here,'' Chudzinski said.

Under Horton, the Cardinals' defense ranked among the league leader in several statistical categories last season. Arizona was second in interceptions (22) and fourth in takeaways (33).

Horton has been breaking down game film as he evaluates Cleveland's defense and he's been impressed.

``I've got big men that can run, little men that can hit,'' he said, drawing laughter at the catchphrase he repeated several times. ``I love this team. I love the way it's constituted right now because they give effort. From the first game against Philadelphia all the way through to the last game against Pittsburgh, I don't see a dropoff of effort.

``If you can give me that for 16 weeks like they did, you don't need anything else.''

Horton said Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, known for his blitz-at-any-time style, has been a major influence on his life on and off the field.

``He treats every single person like they're the most important person in the room,'' Horton said of the Hall of Famer. ``It's a gift. Players love playing for coach LeBeau. That's the highest form of respect that your players love playing for you.''

Horton hopes to build that type of relationship with his players in Cleveland. He has already been contacted by a few, including linebacker and captain D'Qwell Jackson. Horton views trust as an essential component, and he wants the Browns to believe in him from the start.

``I'm sure they have some apprehension about `Who is this guy? What's he going to do? What's that mean to me?'' he said. ``I just keep going back to as long as you do your job well, nobody has an issue.''

----

NOTES: Chudzinski joked that former San Diego coach Norv Turner, Cleveland's new offensive coordinator, is getting used to the drastic weather change. ``I saw him out jogging the other day with his shirt off through Berea,'' Chudzinski cracked. ``He's excited to be here.'' ... Chudzinski has spoken by phone with quarterback Brandon Weeden and met Colt McCoy, who stopped at the facility for a visit on Monday. ... Chudzinski said LB Chris Gocong, who missed all of last season with a torn Achilles, is on track to return next season.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Lardarius WebbJul 29 10:45a

Baltimore Ravens CB Lardarius Webb (back) missed his third straight day of practice Monday, July 28, and will undergo further testing to determine the extent of the injury, according [ More ]

Jairus ByrdJul 29 10:43a

New Orleans Saints FS Jairus Byrd (back) was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Alfonso SmithJul 29 10:43a

The San Francisco 49ers signed free-agent RB Alfonso Smith (Cardinals) to an undisclosed deal and waived/injured OT Fou Fonoti (undisclosed).

Eric WinstonJul 29 10:43a

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent OT Eric Winston (Cardinals) to a one-year deal.

Kelvin BenjaminJul 29 10:40a

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) doesn't have a timetable for his return after bruising his left knee, but he is expected to be back in days, not weeks. [ More ]

Josh ThomasJul 29 10:03a

Carolina Panthers CB Josh Thomas (undisclosed) was activated from the Non-Football Injury list and is practicing Tuesday, July 29.

Chris IvoryJul 29 09:53a

New York Jets RB Chris Ivory is likely to be the team's goal line back, according to running backs coach Anthony Lynn.

D'Aundre ReedJul 29 08:53a

The Miami Dolphins signed free-agent TE Brett Brackett (Cardinals), undrafted free-agent QB Seth Lobato (Northern Colorado) and DE D'Aundre Reed. QB Brock Jensen was waived and OG Davonte Wallace (undisclosed) was waived/injured.

Ricky SappJul 29 08:43a

The Houston Texans signed free-agent RB Tim Cornett (Cardinals) and OT Mike Farrell (Broncos) to undisclosed deals. LB Ricky Sapp was waived.

Alan BonnerJul 29 02:23a

Houston Texans WR Alan Bonner (foot) was placed on the Texans' Reserve/Injured list after clearing waivers Monday, July 28.

Brandon JenkinsJul 29 02:13a

OG James Dunbar (Bears), OT Anthony Dima (Texans), OT Jack Breckner (Colts) and LB Brandon Jenkins (Redskins) all cleared waivers Monday, July 28, and are free to sign with any team.

Menelik WatsonJul 29 01:43a

Oakland Raiders OT Menelik Watson is slated to start at right tackle. The coaching staff has confidence in his ability after what was largely viewed as a disappointing 2013 [ More ]

Jimmy ClausenJul 29 12:22a

Chicago Bears QB Jimmy Clausen was accurate with his throws during practice Monday, July 28, and he led a touchdown drive during a two-minute drill. Larry Mayer of ChicagoBears.com [ More ]

Jordan ZumwaltJul 28 11:43p

Pittsburgh Steelers LB Jordan Zumwalt (groin) left practice early Monday, July 28, and WR C.J. Goodwin (shoulder) was held out of drills during practice.

Rod StreaterJul 28 11:33p

Oakland Raiders WR Rod Streater (concussion) is dealing with a concussion, head coach Dennis Allen confirmed Monday, July 28.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 28 11:33p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) is expected to be sidelined at least another week due to his hamstring injury. Beckham was originally [ More ]

Marcus LattimoreJul 28 11:33p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) has not been cleared to practice yet due to lingering concerns about his surgically repaired right knee. However, he appears close to joining his teammates.

Chris CantyJul 28 11:33p

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty (family issue) missed practice Monday, July 28. OG Will Rackley (head) and OT Parker Graham (groin) also missed practice.

Alfonso SmithJul 28 11:33p

The San Francisco 49ers are expected to announce the signing of free-agent RB Alfonso Smith (Cardinals) Tuesday, July 29. The team needs healthy reinforcements with RBs Kendall Hunter (knee) [ More ]

Juron CrinerJul 28 11:33p

Oakland Raiders WR Juron Criner (hamstring) has been sidelined from practice due to a hamstring injury, head coach Dennis Allen confirmed Monday, July 28.

Gavin EscobarJul 28 11:23p

Dallas Cowboys TE Gavin Escobar has often lined up out wide during training camp, and offensive play-caller Scott Linehan is experimenting with different ways to get him involved in the offense.

Roy MillerJul 28 10:52p

Jacksonville Jaguars DT Roy Miller (shoulder) returned to practice Monday, July 28, after being given the day off Sunday, July 27, to rest his shoulder that he had surgery on in the offseason.

Cyrus KouandjioJul 28 10:43p

Buffalo Bills OT Cyrus Kouandjio has struggled in training camp, and Joe Buscaglia of 550 Sports Radio believes that OT Erik Pears is now the frontrunner for the starting RT job.

Mario ManninghamJul 28 10:42p

New York Giants WR Mario Manningham (knee) said he is still not 100 percent confident in his surgically repaired knee. 'I'm working on it,' he said of overcoming that [ More ]

John AbrahamJul 28 10:23p

Arizona Cardinals DE John Abraham was detained, questioned and later charged with multiple counts, including DUI, on Sunday, June 29, according to arrest reports in DeKalb County. Abraham missed [ More ]

Anthony DixonJul 28 10:12p

Buffalo Bills RB Anthony Dixon was listed as the No. 3 back on the team's first official depth chart with RB Bryce Brown listed as the No. 4 back.

Scott ChandlerJul 28 10:12p

Buffalo Bills FS Kenny Ladler (hamstring), TE Scott Chandler (groin), TE Tony Moeaki (hamstring) and TE Chris Gragg (cramps) were held out of practice Monday, July 28.

Joe HawleyJul 28 10:02p

Atlanta Falcons C Joe Hawley and C Peter Konz have both been taking reps with the first-team this offseason.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 28 09:53p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) had tests on his injured hamstring Monday, July 28, and the results were negative, according to two sources briefed on the injury.

Danny AmendolaJul 28 09:43p

New England Patriots WR Danny Amendola has spent the offseason working with trainer Alex Guerrero. Guerrero is also QB Tom Brady's trainer, and he helped WR Julian Edelman prior to last season.

Marlon MooreJul 28 08:42p

The Cleveland Browns signed WR Marlon Moore (Dolphins) Monday, July 28.

Clay HarborJul 28 08:32p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Clay Harbor (calf) will miss some time with a strained calf, according to John Oehser of Jaguars.com.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group