Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton held his introductory news conference today. Here is a transcript from the news conference:



Rob Chudzinski



(Opening statement)- ďGood morning. Thanks for coming. I want to take this opportunity to introduce Ray Horton as our defensive coordinator. Iím extremely excited that Ray is here. Heís had success as a player, as a coach and obviously, the last two years as a defensive coordinator at Arizona. Heís an outstanding person and coach and comes highly recommended and highly regarded from people that Iíve talked to as I went through my research in finding out about Ray. People have great things to say about him. Heís a very competitive, fiery guy as a coach. He relates very well to the players and is an outstanding teacher and those are all three qualities that will bode well for us here and help us be the best we can be. As Iíve mentioned from the beginning, my vision of the Browns defense and what I want the Browns defensive to be is an attacking style defense where guys are flying around, weíre getting after it, playing fast and playing physical. I want an emphasis on fundamentals, tackling, covering, rushing the passer, playing run defense and thatís extremely important for me as well. I want us to be innovative in our ability to put our guys in position for them to be successful and be able to make plays and do what they do best. Rayís demonstrated these things as a defensive coordinator and as a defensive coach throughout his career and those are the things that, really, I want to be the Browns defense and define the Browns defense. From an offensive perspective, Iíve always felt that the 3-4 multi-front, multi-look defenses are the toughest ones to play against because of the reasons that they show multiple looks that you have to prepare for, they create confusion in your blocking schemes and then also in the pass game as well. The flexibility that they give in terms of the blitz packages that they can play and then just not knowing, basically, what theyíre doing. They really attack the offense and are in position to attack the offense and play that style. Iíve used the word hybrid to describe that as a descriptive term for that style of defense as that defense has become more common in moving away from the traditional 3-4 single front defense. That style of defense, the multi-front attacking defense is the defense that Iíve looked at as the toughest to play against from an offensive perspective and the defense that we want to be here as the Browns defense. As Iíve looked at Ray and studied Ray for what heís done at Arizona, it fits perfectly and meshes perfectly with the vision that I have for this defense and thatís what this Browns defense will be. Again, Iím extremely excited for Ray to be here. I canít wait to get started and Iíll introduce Ray now as the new defensive coordinator.Ē



Ray Horton



(Opening statement)- ďThanks Coach. First off all, Iíd like to say Iím excited to be here in Cleveland. Iíd like to thank Mr. (Jimmy) Haslam, Mr. (Joe) Banner and Mr. (Michael) Lombardi for the opportunity to come here and be a part of Coach Robís (Chudzinski) team. What are we? I donít really care what we are on defense. I want to know, what are we going to look like? Weíre going to look like an aggressive, forward attacking defense that has big men that can run and little men that can hit. Iíve seen that on tape and thatís the most important thing to me is what do we look like, not what we line up in. We may be a 3-4 on one snap. We may be a 4-3 on another snap. I guarantee weíll be a 5-2 sometimes and weíll be a 4-4 sometimes. We are a multi-front, attacking defense and thatís the most important thing, not what player lines up where, how he stands, what stance heís in. Attacking, aggressive defense and Iím excited because Iíve been in the airport here in Cleveland, Iíve been around the city and Iíve met season ticket holders. I met a guy last night in the airport that was flying out. He said, ĎIím in the Dawg Pound three rows up on the right hand side.í Iíve met baggage handlers that are saying, ĎHey, weíre excited to have this group of men here leading the Cleveland Browns team.í So Iím excited about the fansí excitement about the Cleveland Browns and what Coach Robís going to put together here with a fantastic staff. I just want to take the opportunity to thank the fans out there that have been truly welcoming to me, new into Cleveland and Iím excited to be on Coach Robís staff. Iíve coached against him a number of times here in Cleveland, in San Diego, in Carolina and heís always given me fits with his offense so Iím just glad I donít have to defense him anymore. With that, Iíd like to open it up to any questions you may have.Ē



Ray Horton



(On what it is like for an old Steeler to wear brown and orange)- ďIíll tell you what, the day I walked in, everybodyís been supportive. Iím excited about the Dawg Pound, about Cleveland, about the fan support, the fan base welcoming a team back and welcoming winners. What weíre trying to do here is just improve every day and the fansí support is already there. Iím excited to be here on the other side of the field now.Ē



Ray Horton



(On if he thought he would be a head coach right now after going through the interview process)- ďI had hoped that, but you know itís a process and I didnít make the saying, but you can only control what you can control. I canít control that other than myself interviewing well. Itís really, I think a factor and I think Coach Rob can echo this, itís really a reflection of your men, how they perform on the field for you and thatís really what my resume is. My resume is the players we have on the field and how they perform. Am I disappointed? Yes. Am I excited to be here? Iím absolutely excited to be here and I think as you go through that process, it was a great learning experience for me, myself and I think, hopefully, Mr. Haslam and Mr. Banner, they learned something too. Itís important, I think, that you do go through the process because it opens up avenues of the ability to get yourself in front of some owners, some GMís, some CEOís that go, ĎWow, I didnít realize this person was that.í And Coach Rob may echo that, but it is important to go through the process and most importantly, to respect the process.Ē



Rob Chudzinski



(On if he is concerned that this might just be a one-year deal and that Horton may leave to be a head coach next year)- ďNot at all. I feel like, as a head coach, you want to bring the best people and if youíre doing a good job of bringing those people, theyíre going to have opportunities down the road. Iím excited about Ray being here and bringing what he brings from an expertise standpoint, some of the things Iíve talked about from a defensive style standpoint. Weíre building the Browns defense and I would hope that Ray, along with any other coach on the staff, will have opportunities to have their day and rise up the ladder.Ē



Ray Horton



(On if he combed through the defensive side of the Browns roster before he accepted the job)- ďYeah, I did. Both sides actually. I think you have to be diligent. Yes, I did and what I saw was one of the opening statements. What I saw was big men that can run and little men that will hit and if you give me those two things, weíll be a good defense.Ē



Ray Horton



(On what he saw from looking at the Browns defense and if he is excited about what he has)- ďIím very excited. I think youíll hear this, probably all through spring, itís a combination of big men that can run. When you watch our defensive line, they get after the quarterback and then they turn and run and make multiple plays downfield. Then you see our little guys, who you know can run, but the thing that impresses you is that they can hit. Iíll say that repeatedly, if you can give me these two things, big men that can run like our guys can and little men that will hit, we have a chance to be a very successful defense.Ē



Ray Horton



(On how much of an overhaul he has to do to the defense to turn it into a 3-4)- ďGoing back, I use the word multiple front. Coach Rob uses hybrid. Theyíre the same term. Theyíre just different semantics of language. We are going to be a defense that gives offenses problems. Our guys can play a multitude of things. I donít like to get pigeonholed into, ĎWell, he is this.í Hereís what weíre going to be. Weíre going to be a team that looks at the offense and tries to take away what they do best. Now, that may mean one snap being a 5-2. The next snap it may be a 4-4. It will be predicated by what the offense does and we have athletes that can stand up, that can put their hand in the ground and that can run. Thatís why I go back to the multi-front defense. I canít tell you what weíre going to be right now, it depends on who we line up game one against. What do they do? What do we need to take away? The thing Iím most excited about is I have a group of athletes that can run and hit and theyíre not limited to just saying, ĎCoach, line me up in a specific front, number system and play.í Just run and hit.Ē



Ray Horton



(On what type of defense Arizona was running before he got there and how much did it change when he arrived)- ďThey were running a hybrid 3-4, 4-3 and we came in and ran my package of a multiple front attacking so there was a difference. As Coach Rob said, some traditional 3-4ís are what you would call a zero and two fives. They donít move. We move so again, I think a lot of people would get caught up in semantics of, ĎWhat are you?í Weíre an attacking, multi-front, multi-coverage defense.Ē



Ray Horton



(On if he understands why there is so much trepidation about changing the defense scheme because of so many changes here in the past)- ďNo, Iím not aware of the trepidation because Coach Rob and I are just new here. Weíre going to build a Cleveland Brown foundation from the top with Mr. Haslam, Mr. Banner, Mr. Lombardi and Coach Rob. Something thatís going to be very successful here because the fan support is fantastic, the leadership support is fantastic. I donít believe we have any trepidation about what happened in the past, weíre just looking forward to getting better every day and weíve got some very good players.Ē



Ray Horton



(On how long it takes players to get up to speed to play all of the multiple defensive fronts)- ďHopefully not long. I would hope the biggest transition is terminology because if Iím a nose tackle, Iím somewhere in the vicinity of the center. If Iím an end, Iím somewhere in the vicinity of the guard or the tackle. Now, whether you line up on the outside shade, head up or the inside shade, youíve played football before. All Iím asking my players to do is trust us as a coaching staff that weíll put them in great positions. So whether youíre a guard, center, tackle on offense or on defense whether youíre on the center, guard or tackle, itís still football and I keep going back to my point, Iíve got big men that will run, little men that will hit. Thatís all I need and itís still football.Ē



Ray Horton



(On if his defense will really be a mirror image of Pittsburgh)- ďI didnít say that, I donít believe. This will be a mirror image of Coach Rob and his wishes, his likes and his desires of having a multi-front, attacking defense. Iím not sure what Pittsburgh is. I know what we will be.Ē



Ray Horton



(On if he has been influenced by Dick LeBeau)- ďQuite a bit. I have a big influence by him. Probably the biggest influence I have from him is how you treat people.Ē



Ray Horton



(On if Jabaal Sheard can play outside linebacker and drop back into coverage)- ďI would hope my answer would be, ĎLetís not put limits on what players can or cannot do.í Jabaal is a guy that Iíve seen on film that can rush the quarterback, is athletic so what weíre going to do as a coaching staff is try to put each one of our players in the best position. Now, I donít want to put limits or expectations on anybody other than I know that they can run and that theyíll hit. So from that form, Iíll go back to my original thing of, Iím really predicated by the offense that weíre playing. What do they do best? What can I do to take it away? He may be a strong safety sometimes, he could be a linebacker or he could be a d-end. I want him to tell me what he can do best and not put a label on what he is.Ē



(On what he thinks of T.J. Ward)- ďWhat I see in T.J. is a player thatís dynamic in the run game, a player thatís going to get better because heís a smart player that will hit. Heís one of those, Iíll keep going back to it, little men that will hit and thatís what he is. Heís a smaller man, heís not a big man, but heíll hit you. Iím excited to have T.J., to be able to coach him and grow with him and understand what he does best. Heíll tell me what he does best by the way he practices, how he plays and again, itís limitless what we can do with players that can run and hit.Ē



(On if the Cardinalsí high interception total last year was because of the players or the because of the defensive scheme)- ďItís a by-product of both. Understanding what the players can do best and putting them in the position. Thatís why I go back to, Iíll use Coach Robís term, a hybrid of what do you do best? Itís what they do best and sometimes it's a 4-4, sometimes itís a 3-4, sometimes itís a 4-3. I think thatís one of the things that I do well is I let the players tell me what to do because they will by how they play, how they react, what they do on the field, what they do in the meeting room. I like to be malleable where Iím not so rigid that this is it, this is the only way to do it. Youíve got to be flexible and let your players tell you what they do best in the certain forms of how they tell you.Ē



Ray Horton



(On how disappointed he was that minorities were overlooked in all the head coaching and front office hires this year)- ďI wasnít disappointed at all for minorities. I was disappointed for Ray Horton. I canít speak for anybody, but myself. Thatís another label and Iím not one to put labels on people, I talk about players. I respect the process and the process this year appeared to be offensive minded coaches for the most part. Thatís what the ownership wants. You canít control what they want, you can just control yourself and how you prepare just as I do each week. Iím just disappointed because you have expectations. I have expectations for our team, for our defense and if you donít meet them, youíre disappointed. Iím not mad, Iím not frustrated. Disappointment is the right adjective for me because I was disappointed and you move on.Ē



Roy Horton



(On if he thinks his time will come as a head coach)- ďI hope and you know something, if it doesnít, right now Iím very happy with this defensive team that Iíve inherited. With the ability of Coach (Norv) Turner and Coach Rob to lead the offense, Iím just hoping to get sucked up in the draft and put a good defense out there.Ē



Ray Horton



(On elaborating on his previous comments about how Dick LeBeau treats people)- ďIf youíve ever spent any time with Coach Lebeau, thereís an old poem that you can be with kings and still walk and have a common touch. He does. He treats every single person like theyíre the most important person in the room and itís a gift that not everybody has to really care, genuinely, about strangers, about other people, about your fellow coaches, about your players. Thereís a word, itís man-love if you will. Players love playing for Coach LeBeau and I think thatís the highest form of respect that you can get is that your players love playing for you.Ē



Ray Horton



(On if he is excited to match up against the great defenses in the AFC North)- ďI know the Baltimore Ravens are in the Super Bowl and thatís, I believe, our ultimate goal. Youíd love to be that kind of team year in and year out. You love to be talked about year in and year out of having a great offense, great defense, great special teams, great team. I know weíve got great fans. Iíve met them out there so that parts done. All weíre trying to do is be in the same breath of the great teamís year in and year out whether itís the AFC North, whatever division. It is a competitive division and weíre going to try to produce as well as we can day in and day out of getting better and better every day.Ē



Ray Horton



(On how many key players they need to add to the defense to run his style)- ďOf what Iíve seen on film, Iíve got big men that can run, little men that can hit. I love this team. I love the way itís constituted right now because they give effort. I saw the first game from Philadelphia all the way through to the last game against Pittsburgh and I donít see a drop off of effort. If you give me that for 16 weeks like they did, you donít need anything else. You need big men that can run and little men that can hit.Ē



Ray Horton



(On how much of his attacking defense is purely blitzing)- ďIt goes back to Coach Rob, again, with what his desires are, first of all and then this hybrid defense. I bring a lot. I bring little guys, the corners, they blitz. I bring big guys, I drop big guys into coverage and thatís what Coach Rob is saying in this Ė as heís prepared for defenses, this hybrid of, ĎWhat are you looking at?í Weíre a little bit different. We bring little guys because they can run and they can hit. I bring big guys and I drop big guys because they can run. Iíve got the perfect mix here of big guys that can run and little guys that can hit.Ē



Ray Horton



(On how he can convince fans that this change will not be a step back in the win-loss column)- ďYou know something, I donít think itís my job to convince anybody. I think the fans that Iíve met, theyíve been very supportive. Theyíve done an excellent job of supporting the Cleveland Browns and our job is to get better every day and theyíll see it. Theyíll see the effort and those things come, they really do. Itís not my job to convince anybody. I think itís our job to keep putting out the best product we can every day - getting better and better and that will take care of itself.Ē



Rob Chudzinski



(On if he sees a big period of adjustment for the defensive players switching to a new scheme)- ďThereís always a period of adjustment anytime thereís a new scheme or new terminology put in place and I think Ray spoke to that. As far as the roster itself, we felt like from the very beginning that this roster, that this group of players had some flexibility. As we get into the process a little more deeply of looking at specifics and different guys playing specific positions, weíll get to those and have those discussions at that time. But, if youíre a good football player, youíre a good football player. I donít think that in what we talked about that the scheme is so different that good football players wonít fit and be able to play in this scheme.Ē



Ray Horton



(On his impressions of Billy Winn and if he would envision him more of a defensive end now)- ďIíve seen Billy quite a bit during the season and he came up with a fantastic interception where he was rushing, the ball was tipped, he came back and made a great diving catch. That goes back to my point of what these big men can do. They can all run and theyíre athletic so it just gives us the ability to move guys around where, as Coach Rob said, when you prepare for somebody, thatís the hardest thing of, where are they going to be because we donít know and it just gives me more flexibility. Maybe Billyís inside, maybe Billyís outside, maybe heís dropping because heís so athletic and thatís what weíre talking about in this defense. You canít predict what we do because we are a multiple-front, multiple-coverage defense and Iíve got great flexibility because of the big men that can run.Ē



Rob Chudzinski



(On if Ray Horton was always on his radar for the defensive coordinator position)- ďYes, absolutely.Ē



Rob Chudzinski



(On if he had a personal relationship with Horton previously)- ďI hadnít known Ray personally until after we had the opportunity to talk and talk on the phone. We talked at length about philosophy and I had done a lot of research on Ray prior to that. Specifically talking to people that I knew very well and trusted very well that knew Ray. I spoke to the kind of person that he is and that kept coming up over and over again. The type of coach that he is as an outstanding coach, thatís his track record and you can see it. All you need to do is turn the tape on to find those things out and I just felt like it was such a great fit and weíre so fortunate to have Ray here, that things worked out that heís here. Iím extremely excited with both Ray and with Norv (Turner) that we have two men that are leaders of men and have done a great job and will do a great job here.Ē



Rob Chudzinski



(On if he talked to Dick LeBeau about Horton)- ďI did not.Ē



Ray Horton



(On if the Rooney rule works)- ďThis is my personal opinion and I canít speak for anybody else whether minority or not or whatever that label may be, to me I believe that every NFL team owner is trying to get the best coach for their team. I donít think anybody goes into it thinking, ĎIím going to hire this guy because of X reason other than heís going to lead the team to victory.í So from that standpoint, I respect the process. Does it work or not work? I think it worked because I think every NFL team this year hired a guy they thought was going to lead them to victory. I donít think there was one owner that said, ĎIím hiring this guy because I think heís going to run my program into the ground.í So does it work? Sure it works.Ē



Ray Horton



(On bringing up his hair during interviews and if that was an issue)- ďI donít think itís an issue. As you look at me, is it an issue? I mean, am I tall, short, fat, skinny, white, black? Iím just a person, but I think Iím a little different looking than most people. Iím different than everybody in this room from the way I look, but itís not an issue. Sometimes it is and you want to be forward with how you present yourself. Iím sure the 3-4, 4-3 was an issue here. Thatís not an issue to me. I just wanted to be upfront and open because it is an abnormality if you will.Ē