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Browns Officially Announce Hire of DC Ray Horton

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Ray Horton is officially coming back to Cleveland.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It's finally official.

Ray Horton is a Cleveland Brown again.

The team officially announced the re-hire Friday morning after unofficial word leaked out days ago.

Horton will serve as the defensive coordinator under new head coach Hue Jackson. Horton spent the 2013 season in the same role with the Browns under then-head coach Rob Chudzinski. The Browns finished ninth in total defense under Horton in 2013.

Following his departure after the season, Horton spent 2014-15 as the Titans' defensive coordinator. The Titans enjoyed modest success under Horton last season, though the Titans are also in the midst of a lengthy rebuilding process.

As strange as it sounds, Horton's re-hire is kind of a contract extension, as ESPN.com's Pat McManamon pointed out. The Browns signed a four-year contract with Horton in 2013.

Either way, Jackson raved about Horton in the press release:

"I have always watched Ray from afar. We have known each other. I have competed against him. I remember my time in Cincinnati competing against him when he was here. The guy is a tremendous football coach. He knows this division. He was raised in this division. He played in this division. He understands what needs to be done to get our defense back to where it needs to be. I wanted somebody that knew the lay of the land and understood the division, understands the culture here and understands the change that we need to make and someone who can lead our young players and develop players to get better.

"His defenses have gone after the quarterback. They have been effective in stopping the run. They had a very good pass defense when he was here. That is what we need to do. We have some of the premier passers in this division when you talk about Ben Roethlisberger, Andy Dalton and Joe Flacco. We are going to have slow those guys down to have a chance to compete in this division. That is what we expect from our defense."

Horton's staff is beginning to take shape, as the Browns hired defensive backs coach Louie Cioffi on Thursday and Robert Nunn on Friday morning.

Horton will certainly need all the help he can get, as he has a tall task ahead of him.