5. What will Joe Woods defense look like?
There was a lot of drama focused on Freddie Kitchens and his confused offense in 2019, and for good reason. It was so bad that it actually took a lot of heat off their defensive coordinator, Steve Wilks, who also had his share of trouble.
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Wilks came over after one dreadful season as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals but he was unable to find success as a defensive coach — even though he had a solid track record with Carolina that earned him the chance to prove himself in Arizona the prior season.
Cleveland ended up struggling mightily on defense, but not all was on Wilks. John Dorsey did him no favors as he traded away former starters refusing to let them serve as depth and by the end of the season, Wilks was working with Porter Gustin, Bryan Cox, Justin Zimmer, and Chad Thomas on the defensive line.
This also doesn’t mean Wilks is absolved of any blame as a change did feel necessary. Now, the Browns will turn to Joe Woods, a long-time assistant who was with the San Francisco 49ers last season and also has ties to the Minnesota Vikings where new head coach Kevin Stefanski comes from.
Woods has served as a defensive coordinator, doing so with the Denver Broncos in 2017 and 2018. Last year, he was the defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator with the 49ers, who had one of the best defenses in the league.
There will be a lot of attention focused on him now as he tries to turn this unit around, making his defensive scheme and play-calling one of the primary storylines of the 2020 season.