DC Joe Woods (8.25.20)

Defensive Coordinator Joe Woods:

On the disappointment seeing S Grant Delpit go down with an injury in practice yesterday that will likely cost him the season: 

“It was very disappointing. It was kind of a freak deal, just going through catching the football. He was doing good. He was coming on. The one thing you know is he will be able to rehab, come back and help us next year.”


On how to keep players’ confidence and spirits up following multiple injuries: 

“It really is a next man up kind of situation we are in right now. For all the guys, it is really an opportunity for them. I do not think the guys’ [demeanor] is down or they are disappointed. Obviously, you want everybody to be healthy, but you have to move on. The next guy has to step in and we have to evaluate him to see what we have. So far, the guys have adjusted and taken it really well.”


On if DE Olivier Vernon and DE Myles Garrett will stay on one side or rotate: 

“It is something I experienced before. For example, in Denver, with (OLB) Von Miller, (former NFL OLB) DeMarcus Ware, (DE) Bradley Chubb and (LB) Shaq Barrett, all those guys. We want to have the ability to line guys up where we want them. Right now, Myles is at the left side and Olivier is at the right side, but based on some of our calls, we will move them, whether it is something we are doing schematically or it is taking advantage of a matchup. We like that flexibility, and we feel like we have it here.”


On candidates to get more playing time with Delpit out, including S Sheldrick Redwine: 

“We are really evaluating all those guys. Without the offseason, you are coming in and we are really in evaluation mode and have been that way. All the guys you have been looking at from (S Andrew) Sendejo to (S) Karl Joseph, to Redwine, (S) Elijah Benton has done a great job, (S) Jovante Moffatt, all those guys. We are looking at the whole secondary group. Really trying to move them around and see where guys play best.”


On if it was encouraging that the Browns defense had a good day of practice, even with multiple players out due to injuries: 

“Yeah, that is a testament to the guys just coming up and playing hard because they took a lot of reps today. It is an opportunity for those guys, and they see it. We knew going into it what we were dealing with. We had two-minute today, and two-minute can be long because you keep the plays going. It is good to see those guys out there making football plays so we see we have.”


On replacing LB Mack Wilson: 

“It is tough to do. I feel like Mack was coming on. He got the experience last year as a young player so you felt like he was coming into his own a little bit. He really felt more like a veteran on the field to be honest with you. (LB Tae) Davis, he is doing some good things. I was not familiar with him, but he is playing well. (LB) Jacob Phillips, he is playing well. (LB) Solomon (Ajayi) is playing well. All those guys are stepping up so I feel like we have some depth and we will be able to put a good group out there, but it was a little disappointing when he got injured. Hopefully, we get him back soon.”


On if LB B.J. Goodson has the skillset to be on the field for every snap: 

“When they first came in after the first couple of practices, looking at our linebackers – (LB) Sione (Takitaki), B.J. – those guys move really well, natural knee-benders. There are some things within our scheme that we asked them to do, and they all handled it very well. B.J. has become like a natural leader for us, and he is taking control of the huddle. He is getting guys lined up, and he is really doing it the right way. I think that was really a great addition to our team.”


On what he sees from QB Baker Mayfield that is different from what he saw when preparing to play against the Browns last season in San Francisco: 

“Last year in San Fran, we got on a roll. I remember last year when we played this game against Cleveland, it was like a big measuring stick for us to see where we were. We just happened to be on that night and played really well. To be honest with you, sometimes I do not know who is playing quarterback because I am so concerned about what the guys are doing on defense. I know Baker will fit well in (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski’s system. He definitely has the arm talent to make all the throws. All the stuff you guys see is what I see at times.”


On the Browns defense’s current readiness for Week 1 against the Ravens: 

“To be honest with you, we are really worried about the Browns right now in terms of getting our defense called and getting our defense executed. We are towards the end of our installation, and we are really putting a heavy mix on the guys this week so it is more game-like in terms of what we are doing and what we are calling at practice. The main focus right now is on us really, and then we will have to deal with Baltimore coming up here in the next week or two.”


On if losing Delpit impacts the team’s plan to use three Ss at times: 

“Grant was ideal in terms of his versatility. He could play strong, free or he could play the dime. That is kind of what I ran when I was in Denver. We were based on a dime. I still want to be able to run that package, but we are really going have to evaluate where we are with our linebackers and with our secondary in terms of what we can do, but I believe I am going to try to do both.”


On what it was like running practice on Sunday with Stefanski unable to be in the building, as well as missing a several players: 

“It was a good experience for me just to be in front of the team. All I did was just try to echo the message that Kevin always gives to the team, and that is just to work and really take advantage of the opportunity because things like this are going to happen. That is the new norm right now with everything going on. I do not know what his succession plan was. I do not know where I was on add on the list because (offensive line coach Bill) Callahan was out and (special teams coordinator Mike) Priefer was out so I was probably the backup coming off the bench (laughter).”


On S Karl Joseph:

“Karl was a high draft pick. I think the thing for him right now is he has a chip on his shoulder. When you are a first-round draft, you expect to be on that team for probably two contracts. For him, it is really kind of the work ethic and the veteran leadership because he has seen a lot in terms of football. The relationship he has with the other guys has been really good, and he is a very determined young man. He is going to give us everything he has. That is what I really feel like he is bringing to the table right now.”


On how CB Kevin Johnson is doing after being released from the hospital and it being a good sign to see Johnson at the facility:

“He is doing well. He just has to go through with his rehab. I know there are going to be a series of things that he is going to have to do. The most important thing is just getting him healthy, but it was good to see him out there. He is another guy that is a former first-round pick, a chip on his shoulder and he is a competitor just like Karl. Those guys compete their butt off in practice. It is like a game to him. Sometimes you have to tell those guys to kind of slow down. We definitely look forward to getting him back soon.”


# # #