Report: Joe Woods ‘on track’ to become Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator
The Cleveland Browns are working on filling out Kevin Stefanski’s coaching staff, and Joe Woods appears to be close to becoming the defensive coordinator.
The Cleveland Browns are starting to build Kevin Stefanski’s coaching staff, as it was reported Sunday that Chad O’Shea will be joining the team as wide receivers coach. Cleveland also appears to be close to naming their defensive coordinator, with their eyes on 49ers defensive pass game coordinator Joe Woods.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday that Woods is “on track” to become the Browns defensive coordinator, if the two sides can come to an agreement on a contract. Woods is not under contract with the 49ers after this season, so San Francisco cannot block Woods’ potential move to the Browns.
The Browns and Stefanski were down to either Woods or Steve Wilks for the defensive coordinator position, according to Jim Trotter of NFL Network. However, it was reported Sunday that the Browns informed Wilks they will not be retaining him.
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Woods is in his first season with the 49ers, but spent the previous two seasons as the Denver Broncos defensive coordinator. In 2017, Woods led the third-best unit in total defense, allowing only 290.0 yards per game. However, Woods’ defense ranked 22nd in scoring defense, allowing 23.9 points per game.
In 2018, the Broncos had the 22nd-ranked total defense, allowing 365.1 yards per game. Denver had the 13th-ranked scoring defense, allowing 21.8 points per game.
Woods took over as the Broncos defensive coordinator after Wade Phillips departed to become the Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator. According to Benjamin Allbright, Phillips recommended Woods for the Browns defensive coordinator position.
Woods has been coaching in the NFL since 2004, including eight seasons with the Minnesota Vikings as the defensive backs coach. Woods’ time with the Minnesota Vikings overlapped with Stefanski, who also joined the Vikings in 2006.
With the Browns starting two young cornerbacks in Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams, Woods’ background as a defensive backs coach should help the young corners. Both Ward and Williams struggled in Wilks’ scheme, but should fit better in Woods’ defense.