Browns hire Ray Horton defensive coordinator

Browns hire Ray Horton defensive coordinator

BEREA, Ohio (AP) The Browns considered Ray Horton for their head coaching vacancy. They hired him to fill another one.

Horton, who spent the past two seasons as Arizona's defensive coordinator, was named to the same position with the Browns on Friday. The 52-year-old recently interviewed with Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner before the team chose Rob Chudzinski as its sixth coach since 1999. Horton replaces Dick Jauron, who was not retained on Chudzinski's staff.

``We are truly excited that we were able to get someone of Ray's caliber as our defensive coordinator,'' Chudzinski said. ``He possesses a great deal of experience as a player, position coach and coordinator in the NFL and has been part of some of the top defenses in the league throughout his career. He is an extremely talented coach and I know that he will work very well with the young nucleus of players we have on defense.''

Under Horton last season, Arizona's defense ranked second in the NFL in interceptions and third-down efficiency. Horton, who was considered for Arizona's head coaching job before the team hired Bruce Arians, has 19 years of experience as a pro assistant.

Before he went to Arizona, Horton spent seven seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played 10 years as a defensive back in the league.

It's not yet known if Horton will switch Cleveland's base defense from a 4-3 to a 3-4 scheme.

Horton's hiring is the second major one in two days for Chudzinski's staff. On Thursday, fired San Diego coach Norv Turner was named the team's new offensive coordinator. Chudzinski coached the Chargers tight ends for two seasons under Turner.

``As we've said before, an important factor in hiring Rob was our confidence in him being able to put together a top-quality staff,'' Banner said. ``He has assembled an extremely impressive group of coaches, and that will be very beneficial as we develop our players.''

Before he went to Arizona, Horton spent seven seasons coaching the Steelers secondary. During his time with Pittsburgh, the Steelers ranked in the top 10 in total defense each season. Horton helped in the development of star safety Troy Polamalu, who selected to six consecutive Pro Bowls with Horton as his coach.

A second-round selection by Cincinnati in 1983, Horton appeared in 147 games - 99 starts - for the Bengals (1983-88) and Dallas Cowboys (1989-92). He had 19 career interceptions, 11 fumble recoveries, forced five fumbles and scored five defensive touchdowns. He played in one Super Bowl with Cincinnati and one for Dallas.

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3 reasons the Caps beat the Red Wings

3 reasons the Caps beat the Red Wings

Not much separated the Washington Capitals and the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. A late 2-on-0 goal for Brett Connolly proved to be the difference.

Here's why the Caps ultimately walked away with the 1-0 win.

A first period goalie interference call

Andreas Athanasiou thought he had given the Red Wings a first period lead, but Barry Trotz challenged the call for goalie interference. The review showed that Tyler Bertuzzi clipped Philipp Grubauer in the head with an elbow right before the shot went in. Given how long it took the Caps to get going in this game, it is fair to say an early deficit would have been hard to overcome.


Killing off a full two-minute 5-on-3

Two man advantages are hard to kill. Killing off a full two-minutes at 5-on-3, that's a tall task. With the game still scoreless in the second period, T.J. Oshie and Lars Eller were both assessed penalties giving Detroit two-full minutes at 5-on-3. The Red Wings managed four shots on goal, but Washington was able to successfully kill off the penalty and keep the game scoreless.

Philipp Grubauer

There were few players who had strong efforts on Tuesday, but Grubauer was phenomenal. Even when the game felt sleepy in the first two periods, Detroit still managed 28 shots on goal, all of which were turned aside by the German netminder. When Washington finally took the lead in the third, the Red Wings woke up and began pushing the offense, but Grubauer was in the zone at that point and could not be beaten. His best save came in the third period when he stared down a breakaway from Athanasiou and extended the pad to deny the shot.


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Tarik's 3 stars: Grubauer, Caps shut down the Red Wings

Tarik's 3 stars: Grubauer, Caps shut down the Red Wings

It wasn’t pretty but the Caps eventually got what they needed in Detroit: two points.  

After a sleepy first 40 minutes, Brett Connolly scored midway through the third period and then Philipp Grubauer made sure it stood up at Little Caesars Arena, where Washington eked out a 1-0 victory Thursday over the scuffling Red Wings.


Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Philipp Grubauer, Capitals

For much of the game, Grubi was left to fend for himself. Good thing for the Caps he was up to the task. The German netminder, who has been one of the NHL’s top goaltenders since Thanksgiving, turned aside 39 shots, including three stops on a pivotal 5-on-3 penalty kill in the second period.

2-Brett Connolly, Capitals

The Caps didn’t get many Grade-A opportunities vs. Jimmy Howard. But Connolly buried one of the few they got…on a 2-on-0, set up by Jakub Vrana in the third period.

Connolly’s goal was his 15th of the season in his 63rd game, equaling the career-high he set a year ago in 66 contests. Vrana, meantime, has three goals and five assists since getting scratched 12 games ago.

3-Lars Eller, Capitals

Eller didn’t record a point, but he was all over the puck in Motown. The veteran center finished with a game-high six shots on net. He also had a key backcheck against Darren Helm, on a shorthanded breakaway, in the first period.

Eller was good in the dot, too, winning eight of 12 faceoffs.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments.