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Horton named Titans defensive coordinator

The SportsXchange

The Tennessee Titans confirmed the hiring of Ray Horton as defensive coordinator on Monday.

The move was reported during the weekend. Horton spent last season with the Cleveland Browns in the same position.

The 53-year-old Horton previously was the defensive coordinator under new Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt in Arizona during Whisenhunt's final two seasons as the Cardinals' head coach in 2011 and 2012.

"Scheme-wise, one of the most impressive things about Ray is his flexibility," Whisenhunt said in a statement. "He has the ability to go between a 4-3 and 3-4 and put our players in the best position to succeed. It has been evident by what he's done and where his defenses have ranked in the league over the last few years."

Under Horton last season, the Browns were ninth in the NFL in yards allowed per game (332.4) after the defense ranked 23rd the year before he arrived in Cleveland.

"I am excited about this opportunity, to be reunited with Coach Whisenhunt and to be a piece of the puzzle to move this team forward," Horton said, according to The Tennesseean. "I have a great deal of respect for Whiz, as someone who took a franchise (Cardinals) that had never been to the Super Bowl, he was able to take them to one.

"I was with him in Pittsburgh as well and he is a leader, a great play-caller and has a love for the game. As for our defensive system, I have said from day one that I don't coach a particular alignment. I coach men who want to get after it, and we will play physical and fundamentally sound. We will do whatever suits the men that I coach and whatever the Tennessee Titans can do best."

Horton also worked as a defensive backs coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit Lions, Cincinnati Bengals and Washington Redskins.

"Louie coached with me in Arizona and did an outstanding job," Whisenhunt said. "He has a background with Marvin Lewis, who has a great defensive mind and been the leader of some of the league's best defenses. In Arizona, he did really good work with (cornerback) Patrick Peterson and the rest of the (defensive backs), and then went on to Cleveland to bring out the best in (Pro Bowl cornerback) Joe Haden."
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