One of the biggest and most important changes that the Cleveland Browns made this offseason was to move on from DC Joe Woods and hire Jim Schwartz. In fact, Schwartz’s hire is one of just three things noted that the team needed this offseason to get back to the playoffs in 2023.
Woods’ defenses were significantly lacking. While the defensive tackle position left something to be desired, the Browns couldn’t stop the run, were often out of position in pass coverage and were wildly inconsistent throughout the seasons.
After a three-year period of struggles with Cleveland’s defense, which included some highly talented players, Woods was interviewed by the New Orleans Saints for the coordinator position. Shockingly, he is once again a defensive coordinator in the NFL as his friend and former colleague Dennis Allen has hired him:
The New Orleans #Saints are expected to name Joe Woods their defensive coordinator, per sources. Woods, the Cleveland Browns DC from 2020-22, reunites with Dennis Allen from their Oakland Raiders days.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) February 6, 2023
According to another report, there is an important detail. Much like Alex Van Pelt is the Browns offensive coordinator but Kevin Stefanski calls plays, Allen will be in charge of the defense in New Orleans:
The Saints will run Dennis Allen’s scheme. Allen will call the plays and ultimately be responsible for the defense. Joe Woods will be Allen’s top assistant and will likely help out with the defensive backs, which has been his position of expertise over the years— Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) February 6, 2023
Woods’ hiring by New Orleans has now been made official:
Woods’ role will be to reinforce Allen’s system, not run the one that was putrid in Cleveland. While he will be the coordinator in name, his duties will be far less than those usually in that position or the ones he had with the Browns.