Woods spent last year as the San Francisco 49ers secondary coach. During their run to the Super Bowl — which they lost to the Chiefs — the 49ers defense held opponents to 169.2 passing yards per game, ranking first in the NFL. It was also the lowest total since 2009 (New York Jets, 153.7).
“It’s good to be back in this role,” Woods said. “I felt like I learned a lot from my time in Denver. It’s really about managing people, game-planning and how to call a game, so I feel like I’m more prepared now than I was then. When you have pieces in place and with the additions we’ll make in free agency and the draft, I feel like we can really get something accomplished here this next season.”
Kevin Stefanski: Joe Woods ‘Worth the Wait’
Woods is the latest hire for new head coach Kevin Stefanski, who was brought over from the Minnesota Vikings to replace Freddie Kitchens.
“You could definitely see they had some pieces in place, some talented players that I’ve evaluated over the years,” Woods told the Browns official site. “I was definitely excited to have an opportunity to be a coach here.
“Just from tradition, pride and the fanbase, I know they’re craving for a winner and I know we’re very close. I feel like if we can get it done, the whole city will erupt. I look forward to that challenge.”
Woods and Stefanski previously spent time together in Minnesota. The team had to wait until the Super Bowl was over to make the hire official.
“Absolutely worth the wait,” Stefanski said. “It’s good to see when you’re taking a coach from another team it’s good to see that team having success. It was fun to watch those guys. They had an incredible season. Joe’s impact on that defense was very real.
“I’m going to spend a lot of time with the offense but it doesn’t mean I won’t spend time with the defense. To be able to have somebody in there that I trust, that I know is a good coach is huge. Just sitting with him this past day and talking football, it just aligns with the vision with the type of defense we want to play. I think we’ve got a really good defensive coordinator.”
Joe Woods Keeping 4-3 Scheme With Browns
Woods assured that the Browns are planning to run a 4-3 scheme, with pass-rushers Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon staying at defensive end.
“I think you want to make sure that you’re putting the guys that you have in the right position to make plays,” Woods said. “I know the personnel here is tailored toward a 4-3 scheme, which I’m very comfortable with. We’ll stay with the 4-3 system here and focus on putting the guys in the right positions to make plays.”
Garrett is currently serving an indefinite suspension, but is not expected to miss games next season.
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