Browns Part Ways With Defensive Coordinator Joe Woods After 3 Seasons
Joe Woods, the Cleveland Browns’ embattled defensive coordinator, was let go on Monday following the team closing out a 7-10 season and missing the playoffs for the second straight year. The Browns were widely underwhelming, unable to stop the run and riddled with communication errors.
Woods, who was one the first hires of head coach Kevin Stefanski in 2020, was met with consistent criticisms throughout the season. His presumably final press conference saw the 52-year-old express his hopes of speaking to the media again in the future.
Cleveland’s defense was unable to stay afloat when faced with the nearly season-long suspension of quarterback Deshaun Watson and a razor-sharp injuries that included middle linebackers Anthony Walker Jr., Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Jacob Phillips, and Sione Takitaki all sustaining season-ending damages.
Equally concerning were the communication issues that led to a Week 2 loss to the New York Jets and a late Week 17 touchdown pass to a wide-open George Pickens with Cleveland’s defensive backs confused on coverage. Star defensive end Myles Garrett was also playing most of the season with a shoulder injury.
Addressing Woods’ dismissal, Stefanski said he respected both Woods the person and the coach and that the whole organization shared the responsibility for the Browns’ subpar year.
The Browns are now on the hunt for a new defensive coordinator, equipped with the unenviable task of managing an injury-plagued and underperforming defense.