As most expected, including in our piece just moments before this news broke, the Browns have reportedly fired defensive coordinator Joe Woods after three seasons with the team. The news was first reported by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero:
The team has confirmed Woods’ departure:
Joe Woods has been relieved of his duties as defensive coordinator. pic.twitter.com/m7nMjLGaTT— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) January 9, 2023
Woods’ defenses have been up and down over his three seasons with the team. At the end of 2021, it seemed like the unit was turning the corner but the 2022 season started out poorly as well. Miscommunications, poor run fits and blown coverages plagued the defense all year including a wide-open touchdown in Week 18.
Overall, Cleveland’s defense was middle of the pack in yards given up but teams were able to run the ball all over the Browns most of the season. Football Outsiders has this year’s defense ranked 22nd overall but 29th versus the run.
DE Jadeveon Clowney’s outburst this week pointed to changes on the defensive side of the ball.
Cleveland now looks to remake their defensive staff and systems heading into a vital 2023 season.