DC Joe Woods (9.10.20)

Defensive coordinator Joe Woods:

On the challenges preparing to slow down Ravens QB Lamar Jackson:

“Do you guys have any ideas (laughter)? It is a very different offense. He makes everything go. They are big up front. They are physical. They can knock you off the ball so they can run the ball downhill at you. Then obviously, they can get on the edge. If you do everything right, you still have to tackle. That is the problem. They really limit what you are trying to do defensively because of all the different things they do.”


On what S Ronnie Harrison Jr. can contribute this week and if Harrison helps with versatility following S Grant Delpit’s season-ending injury:

“Right now, it is still a working progress. He has only been here for a couple of days so we are really trying to feel him out just in terms of what he is able to do and how much of our system he can pick up. There is some carryover from Jacksonville, but at the same time, we do some things a little bit differently. We are going to keep evaluating him throughout the next couple of days and try to fit him in where we can.”


On if it helps him that he played Baltimore last year with San Francisco:

“Yeah, it definitely helps because just being on the field, seeing it at field level and feeling the speed of the offense and what they do, that part it helps, but we have a different group of guys and there are some different things that we want to do. You can’t do a whole bunch, but that experience definitely helped me in terms of what to expect.”


On if it helps that the Browns starting DL returns from last year:

“Yeah, it definitely helps. I have been fortunate enough wherever I have been, going back to Minnesota, we had a good defensive line there, Denver, good defensive line and San Francisco. When you are able to pay well against the run and rush the passer with your front four, it makes things easier. The challenge we have this week is a little bit different. We have to try to get them to third down and throw the ball a little more, but it definitely helps having those types of guys.”


On if Ravens QB Lamar Jackson’s speed influenced the defensive acquisitions: 

“For us, it is just, what is the best team we can put together? It is not really about who we are playing because each team, there are different challenges. Week to week in the NFL, it always comes down to matchups and can you win your one on ones. We want to have athletic players, but at the same time, we want football players that have high football IQ and that can play fast on the field. That is really first and foremost what we look for, and hopefully, we do our job right and put together good defense.”


On if he believes that speed is the way to go whenever possible: 



On why speed is the way to go whenever possible: 

“It is dependent on position, too, but I think at your skill positions, you always want guys that can run. Especially offensively now, they are spreading you out a little bit more and some of the college game is starting to come to the NFL. You want guys that can match up with receivers, tight ends in and running backs. I think from the back seven standpoint, you are looking for guys that are good football players but maybe guys that can run a little bit faster.”


On the possibility of going into the season opener without the Browns’ top CBs, including CB Greedy Williams: 

“He is going through his rehab so we have to evaluate that day to day. He has been around everything. He understands what we are doing. We just have to see where he is at going into the weekend. We really have a good group of guys in the backend. It is an opportunity for guys to step up. We have guys back there that can play multiple positions. T Mitch (CB Terrance Mitchell), as they call him, he is really kind of like a crafty veteran – very high football IQ, a very instinctive player. I feel very comfortable with the guys we have and playing on Sunday.”


On his confidence in the Browns LBs this week without LB Mack Wilson: 

“That is another group that they have really played well throughout training camp. Just the additions we made and draft picks, I think we really have a good group of linebackers. I really think it will come down to those guys getting on the field, playing with each other and getting comfortable with each other in terms of communication, but I do feel good where they are at right now. We will see what happens on Sunday.”


On how the Browns are preparing for Jackson with their own personnel this week during practice: 

“You try to get the speed so we use different guys. The one thing with Lamar is he can run it, but he can also throw it. We use really a combination of guys and just mixed them in throughout different plays just to try to give us the best look this week.”


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