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

Adrian PetersonApr 23 05:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson may not be in the Dallas Cowboys' plans after all, according Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports. Robinson said the Cowboys have not spoken to the Vikings regarding Peterson.

Demaryius ThomasApr 23 03:32p

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas has decided not to participate in offseason workouts because he does not want to suffer an injury, but general manager John Elway does not [ More ]

Will HillApr 23 03:12p

Baltimore Ravens restricted free-agent FS Will Hill signed his tender offer Thursday, April 23, according to sources. Hill received a one-year deal worth $1.54 million.

Andre EllingtonApr 23 03:02p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington's (foot) injured foot is about 95 percent healed, and Ellington has not suffered any setbacks, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

M. Jones-DrewApr 23 02:22p

Free-agent RB Maurice Jones-Drew (Raiders) will sign a one-day deal to retire as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars next Tuesday, April 28. He played nine seasons and rushed [ More ]

Victor CruzApr 23 02:12p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) said he believes that he will be ready to play in the season opener next season and play like he did before he suffered the injury.

Justin TuckerApr 23 01:52p

Baltimore Ravens restricted free-agent PK Justin Tucker has signed his one-year tender offer. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bear PascoeApr 23 12:52p

Free-agent TE Bear Pascoe (Falcons) signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears Thursday, April 23. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sam BradfordApr 23 01:53a

The Philadelphia Eagles and QB Sam Bradford have yet to make significant progress on a contract extension sparking speculation the quarterback might be traded again, although head coach Chip [ More ]

Brandin CooksApr 22 11:43p

New Orleans Saints WR Brandin Cooks (knee) spent time training together with QB Drew Brees during the offseason in San Diego. 'Man, I love everything about him, his makeup, [ More ]

Greg JenningsApr 22 06:13p

Free-agent WR Greg Jennings (Vikings) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, April 22.

Philip RiversApr 22 05:33p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers may be losing faith in the organization, according to NFL Network analyst and former Chargers' RB LaDainian Tomlinson. 'The parts around him keep [ More ]

Jacques McClendonApr 22 04:13p

Free-agent OG Jacques McClendon (Jaguars) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, April 22.

Adrian PetersonApr 22 02:23p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not expected to be traded by the Vikings unless the team is overwhelmed by an offer from another team, according to a source. [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 22 02:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown said he is not participating in voluntary workouts because he is spending time with his newborn child. Brown said he will report to offseason [ More ]

Marvin LewisApr 22 11:33a

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis signed a one-year extension Wednesday, April 22. He's under contract through the 2016 season.

S. RichardsonApr 21 05:23p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Shaquille Richardson (undisclosed) was released Tuesday, April 21, with a failure to disclose physical condition designation.

Adrian PetersonApr 21 01:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson remains a candidate to be traded, and a source close to the situation believes that if he isn't traded before or during the 2015 [ More ]

Dennis PittaApr 20 06:52p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) is participating in the team's voluntary conditioning program that started Monday, April 20. Pitta's career remains in doubt after fracturing his right hip [ More ]

Prince AmukamaraApr 20 05:22p

New York Giants CB Prince Amukamara (biceps) said he's about 90% recovered from a torn biceps he suffered last season.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 05:02p

Updating a previous item, free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) signed a contract to officially retire with the Arizona Cardinals.

Tim TebowApr 20 03:52p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) officially signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 20 01:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not in attendance for the start of the team's offseason workout program Monday, April 20, according to league sources. However, Peterson hasn't attended [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 20 11:02a

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown is seeking a new contract and could hold out from minicamps and training camp, according to sources.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 07:22a

Free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) is expected to retire Monday, April 20, and join the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff. The Cardinals, the team Wilson played for from 2001-2012, have announced a press conference.

Tim TebowApr 19 07:42p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) is expected to sign a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20.

Stefen WisniewskiApr 18 01:02p

Free-agent C Stefen Wisniewski (Raiders) signed a one-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday, April 18. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Ryan JensenApr 17 05:02p

Baltimore Ravens exclusive rights free-agent TE Phillip Supernaw, SS Brynden Trawick, CB Rashaan Melvin and OT Ryan Jensen re-signed with the team Friday, April 17. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 17 12:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said earlier this week that he's not sure if he'll participate in the team's offseason program. Minnesota is set to start their offseason workouts [ More ]

Adrian PetersonApr 16 03:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson will not receive any further suspension after he is reinstated from the commissioner's exempt list, according to a source.

Adrian PetersonApr 16 02:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has been informed that he will be reinstated from the commissioner exempt list starting Friday, April 17.

Sammy WatkinsApr 15 11:33p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (hip) is able to work out in some capacity during the team's offseason program, although head coach Rex Ryan indicated Wednesday, April 15, that [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group