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Browns hire Ray Horton as new defensive coordinator

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Newly anointed Browns coach Hue Jackson has found his defensive coordinator.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that Cleveland has hired Ray Horton for the role. The team made it official on Friday. Rapoport also reported former Bills assistant Kirby Wilson is the team's new run-game coordinator. Pep Hamilton -- the former Colts' assistant -- will coach QBs, per NFL Media's Albert Breer.

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The Horton move reunites him with plenty of the players he tutored during his lone year as the team's defensive play-caller in 2013. Let go soon after the firing of coach Rob Chudzinski, Horton already was being paid by the Browns.

Horton spent the past two seasons as the defensive coordinator of the Titans, but Tennessee granted permission for him to meet with the Browns after officially naming Mike Mularkey as their new coach. Horton was overshadowed last season by legendary defensive aide Dick LeBeau, but he still helped Tennessee to a better-than-expected season on defense.

It's highly unusual to see a coordinator return to a team he so recently left, but the Browns have shuffled through hundreds of assistants since their ill-fated return to the NFL in 1999.

On the bright side, Horton knows the division after spending years in Pittsburgh. He also knows a bunch of Cleveland's players, although he'll be asked to flip the switch on a pack of new faces, including defensive tackle Danny Shelton and, if they keep him, enigmatic cornerback Justin Gilbert. Maybe the second time's a charm?

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