June 25, 2016

Mostly sunny

Defensive coordinator Ray Horton says he’ll run the 3-4, not a hybrid system

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski and defensive coordinator Ray Horton seem to have a disagreement on what kind of defense they’ll run.

Chudzinski repeated Thursday night that the Browns will use a hybrid of 3-4 and 4-3 schemes, while Horton told 910-AM in Arizona he’s sticking with the 3-4 he used with the Cardinals.

“It won’t be a hybrid, not unless we’re playing golf,” Horton said. “It will be the same defense we ran here. It’ll be a stick-’em defense, go get ’em. That’s what we do.”

The Browns ran a 4-3 the last two seasons under former coordinator Dick Jauron after six years in the 3-4 under coaches Romeo Crennel and Eric Mangini. Horton’s 3-4 scheme is more aggressive after spending seven years working for Steelers coordinator Dick LeBeau.

“On defense, we’re going to be mirror teams,” Horton said of the Steelers. “We’re going to look exactly the same. We want to be one of the top defenses in the league.”

The biggest issue with a switch to the 3-4 is how core members of the defense fit. Tackle Phil Taylor and end Jabaal Sheard were drafted to play in a 4-3, while middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson’s play was much improved in the 4-3.

Horton interviewed for head coaching jobs with the Browns, Cardinals and Bills and said Norv Turner was on board to be his offensive coordinator if he got the job in Arizona. Turner was hired by Chudzinski.

“He was excited,” Horton said of Turner. “His wife was ecstatic about it.”

Turner gave Horton his first coaching job with the Washington Redskins.