When a team is losing, everything is up for interpretation and change. The Cleveland Browns are 6-9 going into their last two games of the season with many wondering about the future of HC Kevin Stefanski, DC Joe Woods and ST coordinator Mike Priefer.
Those questions have extended all the way up to Paul DePodesta and Andrew Berry in their roles.
Woods has been under the most fire all season as his defense has made huge mistakes that have cost games and has rarely stopped a rushing attack. We covered four names that could replace him yesterday.
CB Greg Newsome II went through some role adjustment in his second year after having a very good rookie season as the team’s 2021 first-round pick. The Browns traded slot cornerback Troy Hill during the 2022 NFL draft and then drafted CB Martin Emerson Jr. in the third round of the same draft.
Those two decisions moved Newsome primarily inside to cover the slot this year. While the second-year pro noted the challenge of playing both inside and out, he doesn’t seem pleased, overall, with how he was used.
“You said it is difficult, especially going from outside to inside – I like playing outside, too – it is definitely a role that I would like to have, but more so I feel like I would like to have more on a one-matchup basis instead of just having me be inside the whole time,” the cornerback said. “That is something that we are kind of going to work through.”
The final part of Newsome’s statement is interesting given that the team has played 15 games and only has two remaining. Earlier in his time with the media, he noted that any talk about coaches’ jobs was “above my paygrade” and “I allow the higher-ups make those decisions.”
Most top-level cornerbacks want a chance to match up and take away specific receivers when needed. Woods has mostly had players playing their spots no matter where receivers are lined up which, seemingly, bothers Newsome who has played more snaps at slot (349) than outside (280) this season according to Pro Football Focus.
While it is unlikely that the “higher-ups” will ask, it seems Newsome is ready for a change whether it be replacing Woods or, at a minimum, having more flexibility in the corner’s role. We could find out if Woods is the change in two weeks or less.