Titans DC Ray Horton denies report he was insulted by club’s interview process

Ray Horton was defensive coordinator for the Browns in 2013.

Ron Schwane/Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

Ray Horton says he was not insulted by how the Titans treated him in the interview process for head coach and has not received his release to go to another team, despite statements to the contrary from the head of a group promoting NFL minority hiring.

"I was very happy that the Strunk family gave me the interview," Horton, Tennessee’s defensive coordinator, told Pro Football Talk. "It was a great interview. … I’m not insulted. I’m not mad. I’m very happy they gave me opportunity to interview."


As for receiving his release from the Titans — who named Mike Mularkey head coach on Saturday — so he can take the defensive coordinator’s post with the Browns, Horton told PFT: "As far as I know, that is not true. No one has contacted me to say I’m free to go anywhere."

Word to the opposite came from John Wooten, chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance.

"The Browns had put in a request to interview him, and then Tennessee interviewed him [for the head coaching job Saturday]," Wooten told the Tennessean. "And they said that they didn’t know that he had any interest in being a head coach. Well, that’s an insult to the man. That is just an insult. … And they of course already interviewed Mularkey on Friday, and they gave the job to Mularkey."

Wooten also told the newspaper that Horton had requested and been granted his release to return to Cleveland, where he had been defensive coordinator in 2013.

Horton’s agent, Brian Levy, also responded, via ESPN’s Adam Schefter: "Ray Horton is under contract to the Tennessee Titans. Ray was extremely appreciative for the opportunity to interview for the head coach job. Comments about Ray’s state of mind or feelings that are made by people other than Ray Horton are inaccurate and unfortunate and untrue."