Cleveland Browns: A new defensive coordinator is nothing to worry about
The Cleveland Browns fired defensive coordinator Ray Horton after one season, replacing him former Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
Cleveland Browns fans were promised stability in 2017, and while the front office and head coaching roles remain the same, there will be some changes coming to the staff in 2017.
There were rumors all weekend about the Browns moving on from defensive coordinator Ray Horton, with the rumors becoming fact on Saturday night when Gregg Williams was announced as the new defensive coordinator.
Horton was in his second stint with the Browns. He did lead the group to finish ninth overall in total defense in 2013, but a 31st overall ranking in 2016 was enough to get him fired once again.
Williams comes to Cleveland after leading the Los Angeles Rams to a ninth overall finish in total defense. His work may have been overshadowed by how horrible the Rams’ offense was all season.
The change may have some Browns fans wondering what happened to the claims of no more coaching turnover, but anyone who watched the team in 2016 should know that things just weren’t working out with Horton.
The Browns allowed a staggering 6,279 yards of offense to opponents this season, along with 452 points.
The defense’s performance this year does not fall entirely upon Horton, as he was given very little talent to work with. This move instead seems to be an upgrade that the Browns were smart to take advantage of.
Williams comes to town as a coach who favors the 4-3 defense, compared to the 3-4 ran by Horton. And with the Browns pegged to select either Myles Garrett or Jonathan Allen with the No. 1 overall pick, the defensive front in 2017 should be much improved.
Williams is an accomplished coach in the NFL, and one who should be able to take one of the worst defenses in the NFL and make it better. It won’t take much to improve upon what was one of the worst seasons in franchise history, but the new scheme will hopefully change things up and allow the young talent up front to have more of an effect all season long.
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So fans shouldn’t look at this move as a “same ‘ole Browns” situation, but rather as a calculated decision to make incremental improvements in the second year of this rebuilding process. As for Ray Horton, he is simply a casualty of the master plan.