With a new regime in place, the Cleveland Browns are looking to turn things around and get out of the AFC North cellar in 2013. One of the more notable personnel changes for the Browns this offseason, was the hiring of new defensive coordinator Ray Horton. The 53-year old comes to Cleveland after two years of being the DC for the Arizona Cardinals, and after many years of being a secondary/defensive backs coach around the NFL.
Horton’s defense was one of the few bright spots for the Cardinals last season, but after a bunch of changes in the desert, the DC found himself on the way out of town. Now he’s landed in Cleveland with a defense that has a lot of young bright spots. One particular defender that’s already buying into Horton’s aggressive style, is safety T.J. Ward.
“He’s always ramped up, he’s always ready. He’s always here to pump you up. You hear him on the field, and he’s always giving out checks and calls, running around. Besides that, it’s the ferocity of his defense. It’s an attack style, all downhill. We’re really getting after the guys. That’s what I’m most excited about,” said Ward.
The safety also mentioned that the comradery among Browns’ players has increased since Horton took over. He alluded to the fact that all the defenders are basically in the same boat, learning a new scheme. But all indications are that the team has bought into this new aggressive style, and that’s exactly what you want to hear if you’re a Browns’ fan.
Cleveland’s defense is going to have to do it’s fair share of the work this season if the team is going to have any chance at becoming respectable again. The offense clearly isn’t anywhere near an elite level, so the defense is going to have to keep games close, while forcing turnovers in Horton’s new scheme.
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