DC Joe Woods (11.27.20)

Defensive coordinator Joe Woods:

On the how the team has responded this week after having multiple defensive players placed on reserve/COVID-19, the uncertainty of the week and changes to the practice schedule:

“That and with Thanksgiving involved, it has been a very interesting week, but I really feel like the guys handled it well. We were able to get in the building on Wednesday, and we did a nice job of just going through our practice session yesterday virtually. It is something that we are dealing with in 2020. I really feel like the guys handled it [well]. It was a little bit hectic, but I think things went well.”

On the Browns’ plan at DE this week and message to players:

“I know you hear it a lot so it is a politically correct answer, but it is really next man up. We were dealing with that same issue the week before with (DE) Myles (Garrett) being out. Now, it is just a different issue. We have flexibility across the defensive line so we will be able to move guys inside and outside whenever we need to. We feel comfortable going into this game.”

On CB Denzel Ward being out this week with a calf injury:

“I definitely feel for Denzel. Any player that suffers an injury and is going to miss time, you feel for them. Denzel was playing at an extremely high level for us to this point this season. Again, it is an opportunity for the next guy to step in. We have the ability to move multiple guys around based on what we are doing coverage wise and based on matchups. Different guys will get opportunities. Denzel I am sure will be cheering for them, but we have to move on.”

On the Browns defense having a virtual practice yesterday and comparing that experience preparing for a game to the virtual offseason program:

“It really felt like, ‘OK, we have been there and done this before.’ That part of it was normal. The guys handled it really well. It is right before a game, but you just have to deal with the circumstances. We do not want to be in the business of making excuses. There are a lot of other teams that are dealing with similar issues across the league. We did the best we could. I feel like the guys are prepared and ready to go.”

On the relief that S Ronnie Harrison Jr.’s knee injury was not severe:

“It is definitely a big relief. I feel like Ronnie is improving every week. The more reps he gets, the more comfortable he gets and the better his play. He has a knack for just turning over the ball or taking away the ball. Just to get him back is definitely a boost to the back end, and it allows us to kind of stay with our original plan.”

On if Harrison may play with a little bit more juice this week when facing the team that traded Harrison to Cleveland prior to the season:

“I have not talked to him about that, but I am sure as a player, you probably feel that way. That is just what common sense tells me, but we have not had those conversations. The biggest thing that I want him to do is make sure that he plays within himself – make the plays you are supposed to make and do not do anything crazy.”

On preparing to face Jaguars QB Mike Glennon, who does not have game film available since 2017:

“We watched that tape. We had to make sure we went back and just watched him. When you look at him, he is an experienced quarterback. He is a tall quarterback. He does a nice job of going through his progressions so we know he is very capable of running their offense. For us defensively, there are some little adjustments here or there in terms of things that we are going to do, but for the most part, we are really worried about us executing our gameplan against them. We feel like it is going to be similar.”

On Glennon saying ‘he has nothing to lose and is going to just let it rip’ and if that impacts the Browns defense’s gameplan:

“No, it is guys do your job. If he lets it rip, then we are doing our job and I feel like we will be in position to make the plays you are supposed to make.”

On DEs Olivier Vernon and Adrian Clayborn and their performance last week and how to get that type of production from those players every week, specifically Vernon:

“That was mentioned to him. It was great that he got the award for being (AFC Defensive) Player of the Week. That is what I told him, once you do it once, we expect to see it again. He has always been capable of doing that. You have seen him flashing at times, whether it is just pressuring the quarterback and just missing a sack. It was good. I am happy for him that he had that type of game. AC also played well. He had a sack and a half. We are capable on the D line. It is just an opportunity for guys to show what they have.”

On how much the Browns will rely on CB Kevin Johnson with Ward out this week and how Johnson has performed following the lacerated liver injury sustained in training camp:

“He has come back and done a nice job. He has been playing primarily in the slot, but he takes reps inside and outside. We have different packages where we can move guys around. We can definitely slide him outside or keep him inside. He will be able to do both for us this Sunday.”

On who would play nickel corner if Johnson plays outside CB, including the potential for CBs Tavierre Thomas and M.J. Stewart Jr.:

“We have a little bit of something for everybody to be honest with you. Going back to the beginning of training camp, I talked to the guys, and I feel like this is a year where everybody has to play. I just felt like that going into it. Not the typical year where a guy goes, he plays 60 plays and you leave him alone. Throughout the season, I think it is a blessing in disguise that we have had to play multiple players. For us at the nickel position, we have things for Tavierre, we have things for M.J. and we have things for Kevin. We feel like we are in good shape.

On the Browns’ plans at S as the estimated injury report from yesterday’s virtual practice listed Sheldrick Redwine and Andrew Sendejo as DNP:

“Yeah, we are looking to get guys back today so we will find out when we get out there on the field probably about the same time you guys find out. Hopefully, those guys get on the field and physically are capable of playing for us this weekend. We have enough and we will be able to rotate guys around if we have to.”

On the Jaguars running game and the Browns defense’s adjustments to limit Eagles RB Miles Sanders last week after a productive first half:

“Going back to the game first, it was good. We got together, and I feel like I have a great defensive coaching staff. We saw what the issues were because we were just trying to feel them out early in the game because they had so much. Once we figured out what they were doing, we kind of made some adjustments, and it worked out for us, especially in the second half. In terms of Jacksonville’s running game, the back (Jaguars RB James Robinson) is dynamic. He has great vision. He really sees the holes clearly. He shows his quickness. Once he gets through the hole, he has a lot of power. He has good balance. He has a lot of power. You see him running people over so he is capable of doing everything. We are definitely going to have our hands full with this guy.”

On keeping DE Myles Garrett involved while out of the building and how Garret is doing:

“Myles to my knowledge is doing fine. Feeling good. He is always involved in our meetings. Just in terms of day-to-day meeting operations and what we are installing, he is hearing all of that stuff. Mentally, he will be ready. It is just getting him back physically on the field and getting him ready to go.”

On how excited he is about Garrett potentially being able to return for the Titans game:

“Very excited. I am just excited as you guys are so it will be nice. Just with everybody else stepping up, you just hope that with bringing him back, you just put him back into the puzzle and then now we have guys playing well at multiple positions across the front.”

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