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I have a new hero in Cleveland

By Pat McManamon

Ray Horton is my new hero.

The Browns new defensive coordinator is an aberration in the NFL. He’s a guy who will answer a question, and do so honestly.

Perish the thought.

What about competitive advantage and all that stuff?

He’s also a guy who demands the same accountability from the media he does from himself and his players.

How can you not love this guy?

All the evidence anyone needs is right here in this interview Horton did the other day with XTRA Sports 910 AM in Phoenix, an interview chock full of highlights.

Among them:

–Horton widely praised Bruce Arians, who was hired to coach the Cardinals instead of him, calling Arians a “good golfing partner and friend.” (The two coached together in Pittsburgh). When Arians told Horton he was hiring Todd Bowles as defensive coordinator instead of Horton, Arians was up-front. Horton said Arians told him he had his guy, and that it was fair.

–After questioning the host for releasing information that Horton would hire Norv Turner as offensive coordinator and Mike Tice as offensive line coach if he became coach of the Cardinals, Horton was asked directly if he told teams he had those guys hired. Absolutely, Horton said, I said it in every interview. He spoke … the truth!

–Why did Horton question the host? Because Horton hadn’t provided the information, and he wanted to know where it came from. When the host said he couldn’t say, Horton said: “That’s fair.”

–Horton admitted he brought up his hair to teams that interviewed him, calling his braids “the elephant in the room” and he didn’t want a team to be afraid to hire him because of the hair. So Horton brought it up. And he said no team used it against him.

In conclusion, Horton said he will always answer a question, and he will always be honest.

At this point, you almost wonder how long he can last in the NFL. Here’s an up-and-coming, hard-working coach who plays an aggressive zone-blitz style defense — and he’s NOT AFRAID TO ANSWER A QUESTION.

Heck, when he got to Arizona last season he promised he would blitz on the first defensive play. And he did.

Get the tank ready.

I may be jumping in for this guy.

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