The Cleveland Browns are entering the 2013 season with a new-look defense under the guidance of coordinator Ray Horton, formerly of the Arizona Cardinals. Horton’s defense is already impressing Browns players such as T.J. Ward.
Ward says the defense more suits his physical style and Horton is the ultimate motivator on the practice field (via the Browns’ official website):
“He’s always ramped up; he’s always ready,” Ward told “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven By Liberty Ford.” “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.”
The report also goes on to quote Ward as saying the chemistry of the unit overall has improved since Horton’s arrival.
None of this should come as a surprise. Horton is one of the NFL’s greatest defensive minds and routinely took a mediocre overall unit and turned it into a ferocious pass-rushing monster in Arizona.
In Cleveland Horton has new toys to work with such as linebackers Paul Kruger and Barkevious Mingo. Talented defensive backs in Ward and Joe Haden. Perhaps most importantly Horton has promising talent in the trenches with guys like Desmond Bryant, Phil Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin.
Horton is the type of coach and leader that can get the most out of his talent. These are early signs, but if Ward’s comments are to be believed the Browns defense could be much better in the coming season.
Follow me on Twitter for more NFL news and analysis @Chris_Roling