DC Joe Woods (12.17.20)

Defensive coordinator Joe Woods:

On if the Browns have to scout the 2019 Browns film with NY Giants tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens stepping in as play caller on Sunday night and how it changes his preparations for the week:

“I really do not think it changes how I prepare. They have a formula. They have been on a nice little winning streak and playing well. I think they have a formula offensively. I think they are going to stay with that. I will probably go back and just take a peak just to see what is there. I think with what they are doing, they have had a lot of success and I think it will stay pretty much the same.”

On how uncertainty of whether NY Giants QBs Daniel Jones or Colt McCoy will start and how that impacts his preparations this week:

“We are aware of that because it was part of our breakdown anyway. We just went back last night and just watched some games. We watched some games with Colt McCoy in there, just feeling like he may be the guy, but we are prepared either way with the slight difference with either quarterback.”

On the challenge NY Giants TE Evan Engram presents:

“A big challenge. I remember we saw him when I was in Denver, and he had a big day against us. He is a very athletic tight end. He is very strong, good hands, good run after the catch and tough to tackle. He is definitely somebody who we are going to have to deal with. We have a plan so hopefully, it works.”

On if the Browns defense will be more motivated as Kitchens knowing strengths and weaknesses of the team:

“To be honest with you, I do not know how the guys will feel about it because I do not know what type of relationship they had with him when he was here. I think the main focus is going to play your best football game. If there is something that he does based on what he feels is their strength or weakness, that is a choice that he will make. Just watching them offensively, I feel like they have a good formula. You go back and watch some of the games in terms of how they run so I feel like that is the way they are going to go about running their offense.”

On the Browns defense giving up 40 points last week and how he moves forward from it:

“It was disappointing to be honest with you because we felt good about the gameplan and I felt comfortable calling it. Even throughout the game, when you go back and watch it, we were just off a little bit at the wrong time. To me, there are a lot of things in between, but it really comes down to getting off of the field on third down. I watched a couple of plays with the players, and just told them, ‘If we make this play, they do not score.’ We can easily put ourselves in better situations, but you have to give credit to them. They made the plays and they played a great game, but we have to execute better.”

On if he talks to the Browns defense on where the team needs to get better to take the next step:

“My whole message and I believed this over the years is that you have to focus on doing your job, make the plays you are supposed to make and play fast and physical. If you do that and you concentrate on that, then you will put yourselves in the right position in terms of executing within our defense. Now, if they make a great play, they make a great play. I just think when we played them, we were not always executing. It was different guys at times. I always look at myself. I wish I could have a couple of calls back, but you would probably say that every week. I just feel like we did not play as well as we could have played.”

On CB Denzel Ward potentially returning this week and the boost it could provide to the Browns defense:

“It would definitely give us a boost. He has been a big playmaker for us this year. He has played really well. For me, it is ‘Alright, we have another guy back. Let’s keep rolling.’ It is kind of one of those things you can’t really worry about. Having him there just gives us a little bit more comfort in terms of what we are doing and what we can run coverage wise so definitely looking forward to seeing him in action.”

On if Ward was playing at a Pro Bowl level prior to his injury:

“I do not get a chance to watch other guys. I just know he is making a lot of plays, and he is making a lot of plays on the football and he can get some turnovers. I feel like he is playing really well for us. Maybe it is a Pro Bowl level. I just want him to continue to do those things he was doing.”

On how much Ravens QB Lamar Jackson created confusion for the Browns defense on the TD pass to Ravens WR Marquise Brown in the fourth quarter:

“Each week, you are preparing to play teams and again, it comes down to matchups. When you are game planning, you want to do things that you feel like work to your advantage. That was a call that we put in, and we played it very poorly. It has to go back to coaching. We have to do a better job of preparing those guys and making sure they are in the right positions. We did not align correctly. We should have not bumped into each other. We did not execute the pressure correctly. I take full responsibility for that because that was a critical, game-changing play. We have to be better with our preparation during the week with everything we are doing.”

On if there is an opportunity to learn and teach from following last week’s game:

“There definitely is. That was part of the process when we get together and met in the Zoom. Just going back and just showing the plays, it is things that are very easily correctable. When you look at them as a player you are like, ‘Man’. After a game, you think it is a whole bunch of stuff, and when you actually go back and watch what it actually was, it is things that we can easily fix. Playing on Monday night and the magnitude of the game, we just got a little bit out of whack. We have to stay and play within ourselves and just execute what we are trying to do.”

On what he would do differently on the final drive of the game:

“I really would not say that I would do anything different. There were some good things we called. Again, you have to give them credit. We had guys and we had them dancing in the pocket, running around and we just could not get him down. In terms of what we called, I felt comfortable with it. It is just I feel like we can do a better job of just executing, and that comes from coaches and players.”

On if S Tedric Thompson is ready to contribute on defense if S Andrew Sendejo is out or if the duties will fall upon S Karl Joseph and S Sheldrick Redwine:

“We are still going through that process. We have a couple of days of practice left, but I feel very comfortable with Karl and Sheldrick because they both played this year and we are trying to get Tedric up to speed, just like we were trying to get (S) Ronnie (Harrison Jr.) when we got Ronnie. We will see where he is at the end of the week, but I assume that he is going to be up and be part of our plan.”

On if he evaluated NY Giants S Jabrill Peppers when entering the NFL:

“It was a while ago. I just know he was very talented when he came out. He was kind of a diverse player, a guy that I feel like he can play safety and he can play nine. He has some versatility to his game. That is what I remember of him, but I have not really watched him the last couple of years.”

On if it looked like DE Myles Garrett had his wind back on Monday and if there was a sign of relief after discovering Garret’s elbow was fine:

“It was tough, but a lot of the guys were winded. When you are chasing a guy around that long and again our inability to get off the field and need to take more reps, a lot of guys were winded, including Myles. When he went down, I really did not know what was wrong. They came and told me, and next thing I know, he was back on the field. You really do not have time to think and process all of that stuff, but I am glad he came back and I am glad it was not something serious.”

On what he preaches to the defense when facing a ‘conservative offense’ like the NY Giants that controls the clock and looks for the opposing defense to make mistakes:

“We have played offenses like that this year. It just comes down to us executing. When you are watching the game tape, people see it and they do a nice job with their blocking schemes up front and working their combos up to the second level. It is really going to take our guys just really understanding that is going to happen and executing their jobs, staying in their gaps and taking on the blocks correctly. We understand what style of play they want to play, and that is the type of game it is going to be. We are going to have to show up and be at our best.”

On Vernon’s strong performance in recent weeks and Vernon facing his former team:

“The one game when Myles was out and he had the three sack performance, it is just good to see him have success. I know everything that he went through last year with the injuries, he really did not feel like himself. He wanted to come back and prove what type of player he was. As of late, he is really showing up just in terms of production, the pressure and the sacks on the quarterback. We just need him to continue to play that way. In terms of him playing in New York before, I have not talked to him about it. I know it has been a while. He does not say much, but if he is thinking about it, he probably will not say anything.”

# # #