2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Browns' Horton says defense feeling pressure

By TOM WITHERS - AP Sports Writer
    2013-12-19 17:26

BEREA, Ohio (AP) - The numbers in crunch time are appalling.

Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton, a statistical nut, can't stomach them.

In Cleveland's last three losses, the Browns' defense has given up 47 points in the fourth quarter. They've allowed eight scores - six touchdowns - in the last nine possessions while losing to Jacksonville, New England and Chicago. Those games were all winnable, but the Browns, who have given up 128 points in the fourth, couldn't make the plays when they needed to.

When they had to be their strongest, the Browns broke down.

Under pressure, they buckled.

''It's very disappointing,'' Horton said Thursday as the Browns prepared for this week's game against the New York Jets. ''We talk to our players about it. You can not play well for three quarters and then come crunch time tighten up.''

Horton has spent his first season in Cleveland building a defense he can be proud of. And while the Browns rank eighth overall in total defense - after finishing 23rd last season - and there are strong signs of progress, the team's inability to close out games has Horton scratching his head. This week, he's pushed his players to finish what they've started.

''We're talking about accountability,'' he said. ''All of our games except for two are close or one-score games and we need somebody to step up and not take that backstep and say, `I'm going to wait for somebody else to do it.' To me, that's been the biggest disappointment as our big-time players play well, but we also need our role players to do their role.''

Horton's unit has been stretched thin by injuries, forcing him to make lineup changes and use some inexperienced players. However, Horton said the bottom line is that the Browns must protect leads and not let them melt away in the closing quarter.

''I don't want to use any kind of excuse or crutch to say we're young or this and that,'' he said. ''It's not acceptable at this point in the season. You have to do your job and you have to be accountable or at some point you move on and we have failed the last three weeks. We talk about being the backbone of the team. Well, you can't do that. You don't do that.''

Like Horton, Browns linebacker D'Qwell Jackson can't put his finger on the exact reason the Browns (4-10) aren't closing games. Jackson doesn't feel as if nerves are a factor, but he does think there are times when players are trying to do too much and those late mistakes are costly because there isn't time to correct them.

''It's what we talk about, just do your job, don't try to do anything more and everything else will work itself out,'' he said. ''It's just a matter of doing your job and not trying to press when there's a play.''

Horton could be in his final weeks with the Browns. He interviewed for head coaching vacancies last winter with Arizona and Cleveland, and he's likely to be considered again this offseason as several teams will be making changes at the top.

Horton was identified this week by an advisory panel appointed by the NFL as a top minority candidate. Asked about his future, Horton didn't want to look any further ahead than this Sunday.

Jackson would hate to see Horton anywhere but in Cleveland next season.

''The selfish part of me says I hope he's here,'' Jackson said. ''We've learned a ton from him with his experience. That's the name of this game. If he has an opportunity to go somewhere, I'll be the first guy to support him if that's the case. If not, I'm glad he's with us. If he has an opportunity to go elsewhere, he has every right to. But I want him here, I tell you that.''

NOTES: CB Joe Haden (hip pointer) did not practice a second day in a row, but he participated in a defensive walk-through following the workout. ... TE Jordan Cameron was out again as he recovers from a concussion sustained in Sunday's loss to the Bears. ... LT Joe Thomas (back) was listed as limited on the injury report. He did take part in more drills than on Wednesday. He has made 110 consecutive starts.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Carlos HydeJul 29 11:13a

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde is not believed to be injured and shouldn't be on the non-football injury list for long. Hyde suffered a calf injury during spring [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 29 09:23a

Updating previous reports, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady posted on Facebook that he replaced his broken phone with a new one after his attorneys told the NFL 'my [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 29 01:53a

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady could have had his suspended reduced based on a series of conditions. According to a source with knowledge of [ More ]

Eric BerryJul 29 01:43a

Kansas City Chiefs SS Eric Berry (illness) has been cleared to take the practice field with the team Wednesday, July 29. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in December [ More ]

Geno SmithJul 28 08:03p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith could be benched if he struggles early in the season, according to head coach Todd Bowles Tuesday, July 28. 'If you feel that [ More ]

Ryan WilliamsJul 28 05:53p

Dallas Cowboys RB Ryan Williams (knee) was placed on Reserve/Injured Tuesday, July 28.

Brodrick BunkleyJul 28 05:43p

New Orleans Saints DT Brodrick Bunkley (undisclosed) was released with a failed physical designation Tuesday, July 28.

James WrightJul 28 05:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR James Wright (knee) was waived with an injured designation Tuesday, July 28.

Darrin ReavesJul 28 05:33p

Carolina Panthers RB Darrin Reaves was waived Tuesday, July 28.

Tom BradyJul 28 05:13p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is facing a four-game suspension, but the Patriots have done fairly well without him. In games Brady has missed since he became a [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 28 04:53p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has given permission to the NFL Players Association to appeal his case in federal court, according to a source. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell [ More ]

Lamar MillerJul 28 03:43p

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller may see an increase in carries in 2015, according to head coach Joe Philbin. 'If he's cranking and he got it 24 times a [ More ]

Le'Veon BellJul 28 03:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell's original three-game suspension has been reduced to a two-game suspension Tuesday, July 28.

Tom BradyJul 28 02:53p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's four-game suspension has been upheld by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell Tuesday, July 28.

Victor CruzJul 28 02:23p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) is supposedly faster now than he was before he tore his patellar tendon last season, according to teammate CB Prince Amukamara. Amukamara [ More ]

Ryan WilliamsJul 28 11:53a

Dallas Cowboys RB Ryan Williams (knee) was waived/injured Tuesday, July 28.

Josh FreemanJul 28 10:43a

Free-agent QB Josh Freeman (Dolphins) was re-signed by the Miami Dolphins Tuesday, July 28, according to his agent, Ron Freeman.

Tom BradyJul 28 10:13a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is expected to have his four-game suspension upheld, a source told ESPN's Stephen A. Smith. Smith said on 'ESPN First Take' Tuesday, July [ More ]

Chris CooleyJul 27 10:42p

Free-agent TE Chris Cooley (Redskins) is still considering a comeback, although he said Monday, July 27, in a radio interview that he does not anticipate a team signing him [ More ]

Josh McCownJul 27 10:32p

Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown enters training camp as the team's starting signal caller, but head coach Mike Pettine said Monday, July 27, that McCown is not guaranteed of [ More ]

Markus WheatonJul 27 07:12p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Markus Wheaton is believed to have performed the best among the wide receivers during offseason workouts.

Brandon LaFellJul 27 05:22p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (foot) was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list Monday, July 27.

Jadeveon ClowneyJul 27 05:12p

Houston Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list Monday, July 27.

Kevin BrockJul 27 05:02p

Free-agent TE Kevin Brock (Bengals) signed with the New Orleans Saints Monday, July 27.

Matthew TuckerJul 27 05:02p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Matthew Tucker (undisclosed) was waived from the Non-Football Injury list Monday, July 27.

Da'Quan BowersJul 27 04:52p

Free-agent DE Da'Quan Bowers (Buccaneers) signed an undisclosed deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Monday, July 27.

Jonathan MartinJul 27 03:02p

Carolina Panthers OT Jonathan Martin (back) has chosen to retire. Martin will need surgery on his injured back.

Tom BradyJul 27 02:02p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension still has not been announced, and the NFL is now open to talking with the NFL Players Association [ More ]

Doug MartinJul 27 12:02p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin could be in line for a big, bounce-back year, in the opinion of beat writer Roy Cummings.

Casey MatthewsJul 27 09:12a

Minnesota Vikings LB Casey Matthews (hip) was placed on season-ending Injured Reserve due to a hip injury Sunday, July 26.

Casey MatthewsJul 26 02:52p

Minnesota Vikings LB Casey Matthews (hip) has been placed on injured reserve due to a hip injury that occurred during the team's offseason program.

Blair WalshJul 26 02:32p

Minnesota Vikings PK Blair Walsh signed a four-year contract extension Sunday, July 26, worth $14 million. The deal includes $5.25 million in guaranteed money.

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