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Browns training camp preview: Ray Horton wants your QB

Browns Minicamp FootballThe Cleveland Browns opened training camp on Thursday with new personnel and a new outlook on the defensive side of the ball.

While there will be plenty of new faces on defense this year, the most important addition may be defensive coordinator Ray Horton.

“We teach legal punishment of the quarterback,” Horton has said in published reports. “You have to get after him.”

We could probably stop this preview right now as those words are enough to warm any Browns fans on a cold Northeast Ohio winter night.

But there is more to look at as we focus on the defense in Part 2 of our training camp preview at The Cleveland Fan.

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Warming up to Ray Horton and an attacking Browns defense

ray horton browns defenseWe admit to being a bit apprehensive when the news first broke that the Cleveland Browns intended to hire Ray Horton and his 3-4 defensive principles to be the team’s defensive coordinator.

But Horton’s introductory press conference, combined with some time to consider what he wants to do, has us starting to buy into what Horton is selling on defense.

“We are going to be a defense that gives offenses problems,” Horton said (and when was the last time anyone could say that about a Browns defense?). “Our guys can play a multitude of things. I don’t like to get pigeonholed into, ‘Well, he is this.’ Here’s what we’re going to be. We’re 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. That’s why I go back to the multi-front defense.

“I can’t tell you what we’re 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 I’m most excited about is I have a group of athletes that can run and hit and they’re not limited to just saying, ‘Coach, line me up in a specific front, number system and play.’ Just run and hit.”

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