Vikings to interview Browns’ Ray Horton for head coaching job

ray horton brownsThe Minnesota Vikings will interview Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton for their open head coaching position on Tuesday next week.

The Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett first reported the story on Friday evening. ESPN’s Adam Schefter later confirmed it.

Horton, 53, had just one year with the Browns after serving in the same role with the Arizona Cardinals for two seasons. He honed his skills as the Pittsburgh Steelers secondary coach for seven years previously. His hybrid defensive style was hyped in the 2013 preseason, but struggled as did the Browns en route to a 4-12 season with the NFL’s 23rd-best defense by points allowed.

The Vikings also will be interviewing current Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles on Tuesday in Arizona. The Browns interviewed Bowles on Friday. Both teams have interest in Seattle D-coordinator Dan Quinn as well, with Minnesota meeting with him today and the Browns meeting with him earlier in the week.

Previously, Cleveland CEO Joe Banner announced that the team would not interview candidates that interviewed in the process one year ago. Thus, Horton is unlikely to garner an interview this time around. He still could theoretically be a candidate, although that has not been reported by the media just yet.

Josh McDaniels, New England’s offensive coordinator, appears to be the favorite for the team. They’re meeting with him today in Boston. The Browns also were rumored to be interested with a number of college coaches, as was reported earlier in the week.

[Related: Joe Banner, the 3-4 versus the 4-3 and agent Jimmy Sexton]

Photo: Cleveland Browns

  • maxfnmloans

    Anytime you can hire a guy who oversaw a defense that gave up over 400 points the previous year, you just gotta do it!

    In all seriousness, how amazing/stupefying/ridiculous is it that the defense gave up more points this season than any other Browns team since 2000? It’s not like we even had any mediocre defenses during that time. To be the worst of the worst is pretty bad, I don’t care what the advanced metrics say.

    So happy we dumped all expendable (not available, of course, who wants to actually try as hard as they can to get better?) into overhauling a defense that didn’t need it and making it worse.

    Browns football! Feel the excitement!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    This was one of those big checkmarks in the “Reasons to fire Rob Chudzinski” columns. The problem as I see it with those assets they used to address the defense is that first they weren’t as good as they thought i.e. Kruger absolutely was a byproduct of the Ravens defense and second those assets were like a band aid. As I see it now this defense still needs another CB they definitely need another S possibly two if Ward is gone and they need two young, athletic, big LBs along with a dominant defensive lineman. Not much huh?