Cleveland Browns Hire Joe Woods as Defensive Coordinator

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In the wake of Super Bowl LIV, the Cleveland Browns are making steps to finalize their 2020 coaching staff. Cleveland has announced the hire of former San Francisco 49ers defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator, Joe Woods, to be their next defensive coordinator.

Joe Woods the Next Browns Defensive Coordinator

The hire comes after Cleveland parted ways with Steve Wilks, last year’s failed experiment at defensive coordinator. Much of the John Dorsey regime is now gone, and the Browns are ushering in the Andrew Berry/Kevin Stefanski staff.

Joe Woods has a promising resume. He coached the league’s No. 1 passing defense in San Francisco last season. The 49ers dominant pass rush played a big role, but Woods did a lot with an average secondary.

He also served as defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos in the 2017-2018 season. They finished fourth in total defense that season, thanks in large part to the work of their secondary.

Woods will be in charge of a Cleveland defense that has some promising pieces. Defensive end Myles Garrettlinebackers Joe Schobert and Mack Wilson and defensive backs Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams all project as solid, longtime starters for the Browns.

Cleveland featured the NFL’s third-worst rushing defense last season by yardage. They were also bottom-half in takeaways, coming away with 20. To be fair, both Williams and Ward missed games due to injury, Garrett missed the last six games of the season due to suspension and the team as a whole played uninspired football under ex head coach Freddie Kitchens. However, the defense, like the offense, will have to improve in 2020. They need to be more aggressive yet more disciplined, and they need to force more takeaways.

Joe Woods has been the secondary coach on two different No. 1 ranked passing defenses. He’s a smart hire by Cleveland, and will look to improve on a talented but underachieving defense starting in 2020.

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