The Browns have hired former Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams to the same position, the team announced Sunday. After spending two seasons with the Tennessee Titans, Horton returned for his second stint with Cleveland during the 2016 season, but after the team finished 31st for overall defense, it's clear a change is needed at defensive coordinator. It's quite common in the National Football League for a new head coach to bring on their own guys, and no matter who ends up coming on board, Williams will always be linked as Fisher's guy at defensive coordinator.
Now Williams becomes the defensive coordinator in Cleveland, as if his pattern of misconduct (which possibly traced to every prior stop as a defensive coordinator and head coach) never even happened. Regarded as damaged goods after serving a one-year suspension (and testifying against players as part of the league's effort to enforce suspensions that former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue eventually scrapped), Williams eventually found work with his longtime friend Jeff Fisher.
"This is really about my vision", Jackson said on a conference call.
"I know what it looks like and I know what it feels like for everybody here", Jackson told reporters on Sunday.
"They are hard. But you have to make them if that is where you are trying to go".
Williams, who is best known for his base 4-3 scheme that adapts to the strengths of the defensive personnel, inherits a unit that includes veterans in Joe Haden, Desmond Bryant, Jamie Collins Sr.
"We all know we are going to have an opportunity to improve our football team as we move forward through free agency and the draft, and I think that is very important".
Still, moving from a 3-4 to a 4-3 is no small project, especially not for a team that is making a big deal out of not changing anything.
"I get what it feels like to everybody and I respect that, but at the same time, I think everybody would be disappointed in me if I did not as the leader make tough decisions that I think are going to get us to where we want to go to", he said. I don't worry about that. Sure, some outside linebackers in a 3-4 can become defensive ends in a 4-3, and some inside linebackers in a 3-4 can become outside linebackers in a 4-3 and some defensive ends in a 3-4 can become defensive tackles in a 4-3. I think that's truly our charge.