Chris Horton, NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month, in a Box of Tape

Chris Horton seems to be a pretty quiet, affable guy. I remember talking to him during training camp, when he was a seventh round draft pick I had never heard of — and wasn’t even sure would make the team. I was new to this gig at that point and constantly surprised by how down to Earth and pleasant the players were being, but even given that, Horton stood out as a grounded dude. So it’s been a little surprising, in a pleasant way, watching him accrue vicious nicknames, accolades (with attendant teasing), and media attention.

Today, Horton was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month — a deserved honor, since he’s got four takeaways in two starts, plus assorted tackles in crucial places. And it wouldn’t be a Chris Horton honor if it weren’t accompanied with some light hazing.

That’s the front of Horton’s locker, marked off with tape. On one side is LaRon Landry; the other is Cornelius Griffin.

I caught up with Landry first, and he laughed. “Ask Griffin,” he said, and wouldn’t offer anything more. So I asked Griffin what the story is with the tape.

“Man, the story is, his clothes, his shoes, all in front of my locker,” he said. “I’m not the MOST organized guy, but I’m decent, you know what I mean? And his shoes are all in front of my locker?” He shook his head.

“And THEN, I come out of the shower, I got media people all over. I’ve been here nine years, y’know? Hold up. He’s a rookie.” Hence the tape. “It’s for him to keep his stuff in, keep the media away.” But not something that he has to stand in, right? “No, no, just to contain his stuff.”

(Griffin was quick to emphasize that Horton is “a good guy — a really good guy,” just so I didn’t get the wrong idea. Which was probably a good move, given how worried some people were after the Randy Thomas incident.)

Byron Westbrook’s locker is also in the vicinity, and he chimed in. “You name a guy Defensive Rookie of the Month, they think they can take over the whole locker room.”

The lines went down yesterday, actually, before the award was announced, and Horton was asked today if anything had changed since the honor. “Nope. It’s ‘Hey rookie, stay inside the white line.’ So, no change.” He smiled, though. It’s probably easier to take this kind of thing when you’re Rookie of the Month.


13 Responses

  1. Congrats! Way to EARN it, the RIGHT WAY!!!

  2. Congratulations to Horton, it’s been pretty impressive to watch him develop into a solid safety over the weeks. I hope he continues to improve. It’s a far cry from what we usually see resulting from draft day and the Redskins.

    Horton seems pretty down to earth for a guy getting all this media attention. I wonder what video games he plays?

  3. ROFLMAO, Matt. Good stuff.

  4. That’s wussup Congrats to C-Hort!!

  5. Uh you have him down as NFC Defensive Rookie of the Month when he received NFL DROTM honors. Not just NFC….NFL!

  6. You are correct, and now so is the post. Thanks for catching that.

  7. Horton should hold onto the Predator nickname. If you’re a receiver getting ready to play the Skins, having Landry and the Predator back there might give you some pause before crossing that middle.

  8. Gohead, Chris the Hitman Horton

  9. What is the Randy Thomas incident?

  10. That was my question. What is the Randy Thomas incident?

  11. It’s linked above off the word “teasing” in greater detail, but essentially, Thomas had told Horton that there was a cash prize for NFC Defensive Player of the Week. This was not true. Then Horton won NFC DPotW; hilarity ensued.

  12. Keep it up, Horton.

  13. I think someone in the front office was really paying attention during the draft and were able to pick up a guy like Chris Horton . Kudos to him for making the most of his oppurtunity and remaining classy and professional.

    Now if we can get that type of production from the rookie receivers….

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