Cleveland Browns completely overhauled defense heading into 2021
In 2021, the Browns linebackers are going to look significantly different than they did one season ago. The Browns did not bring back leading tackler B.J. Goodson. To replace him, they signed Anthony Walker in free agency. They also used a late-round pick on Tony Fields.
Joe Woods said in an earlier press conference that he plans on playing a lot more dime defense. This is the defensive scheme that he is most comfortable with. The team is also set up better to play this scheme now than they were last season.
In 2020, the Browns faced a number of injuries in their secondary. This forced Woods to play a lot more of base 4-3 and nickel formations than he would have liked to. This meant that more linebackers were on the field more often during the game.
Woods likes to minimize the number of times linebackers are on the field because they can often give the opposing offense mismatches in the passing game. The Browns drafted Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah in the second round, for that reason.
Owusu-Koramoah allows Woods to have a linebacker on the field without sacrificing anything in coverage. His versatility is exactly what Woods covets out of his players. He should see significant playing time immediately in 2021.