Defensive coordinator Joe Woods (10.14.21)

On Cardinals QB Kyler Murray:

“I have seen him before just in my time in San Francisco so I know what type of player he is. It does not make things better, but at least you know what you are dealing with.”


On what the Browns are ‘dealing with’ in Murray:

“A guy who is an exceptional athlete. I do not know how fast he is, but he is fast. A lot of people see him with their offense running the ball at times making big plays like that, but he can throw the ball. That is the thing that is a little bit different about him. Just my perception of him is he has the arm strength and he can make all of the throws. You see it on tape. They do a little bit of everything.”


On how Murray sees down the field:

“He moves. He gets back and there times you see him thread the needle from the pocket, but a lot of times, he will slide a little bit in the pocket just to open up some windows. He can do it all. He is very dangerous.”


On the key to defending Murray:

“Try to keep him in the pocket. It really is a combination of really executing your pass rush games to try to keep him in the pocket, but at the same time, you have to bring pressure. To ask four guys to try to bottle him up and keep him in the pocket is a tall task. It has to be a combination of what we do with our front, what we do from a pressure standpoint and then mixing up our coverages.”


On what makes the Cardinals offense a tough matchup:

“Right now, you go back to the (former NFL and UCLA Head Coach) Chip Kelly era, like everything is fast throwing the ball, and it is a difficult offense to defend in terms of executing your responsibilities with all of the different type of run. You put those two things together, it makes it extremely difficult. We are working as hard as we can in practice just to try to simulate that, but you can’t replicate the game speed.”


On the uniqueness of the Cardinals offense:

“They are unique because I think you see more of the college aspect. Like if you look at Baltimore, those guys are a little more unique than other teams, and when you have the quarterback who can run the offense, that is what really makes it dangerous.”


On what happened on the two long TDs the Chargers scored last week:

“That is what I was asking myself when it happened (laughter). Seriously, we did some different things. We made some additions to our package. We did some things different from an operations standpoint. If you are off just a little bit on gameday, that is what happens. We were off a little bit. I look back at the gameplan because you are always pushing that threshold of what is enough and what is too much so we really worked on it this week just in terms of having a tight menu to make sure we can execute.”


On if where the breakdown was during those two long TD plays:

“Technique. It was a technique of how we were going to play it off of what they did. That is what happens when you do some things, like you want to take advantage of what you see on tape so you are repping a certain defense versus a couple different routes and then you call a defense on gameday, and it is something different. That always happens, but we were just a little bit off in terms of execution.”


On battling the speed of Murray and Cardinals WR Rondale Moore:

“That is a lot of speed. Really, it is like playing basketball on grass. You are going to have to defend width of the field. They spread you out just in terms of what they do. It is going to be our ability to make tackles out in space, sometimes one on one. I believe in our guys. We have speed, too. That is really what it is going to come down to.”


On if the Browns expect to have all of the CBs back this week:

“Hopefully, yes.”


On if Murray taking deeper drops makes Murray more dangerous:

“There are certain quarterbacks that do that. (Chiefs QB Patrick) Mahomes does the same thing. If you feel pressure because they believe in their arm strength so let’s back up, buy time and still make the throw. You see him do that at times. He is dangerous. He is hard to deal with. We will put together a good plan.”


On if LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah was drafted in mind to help shut down mobile QBs:

“Yes (laughter). In our system, we really like athletic linebackers. The more that offenses change, they spread you out and try to create matchups, defensively you want to try and create the matchups we want. Now, we have a guy like JOK and (S) Grant Delpit, you can put more speed on the field and you feel like now you are putting those advantages in terms of the matchups on your side.”


On if it is unrealistic to say ‘you can’t use a spy in the NFL’:

“No, you can. You can. I think you have to be careful in terms of what type of quarterback you spy and what they are trying to do, but you can still spy.”


On if Owusu-Koramoah and Delpit are caught up enough to use them how envisioned:

“Definitely. That is what I was saying operation-wise and what we did, we kind of made a big jump last week in terms of what we had on our gameplan. It really is just moving forward like completely with our dime package so we are definitely heading in that direction. We will continue to do that for the rest of the season.”


On if everything went smoothly with S John Johnson III wearing the green dot:

“Yeah, it was. It was tough. You have to give credit to the Chargers. They did a great job. Simply, they made more plays than we did. For him to call it, get down, get back out and they are on the ball, he did a great job during the week, and in the game, he handled it very well. It should be easier moving forward.”


On if Johnson will continue wearing the green dot:

“Right now, we are going to keep evaluating it and see where guys are. Right now, we will probably keep the dot on him.”


On the defensive pass interference call on CB A.J. Green:

“I am a DB coach. I never worry about it because there is a lot of contact. There are penalties they do not call where I see we are holding, and there are penalties their offense pushes off they do not call and sometimes they call it, but I never concern myself with those penalties.”


On if Green had a good game last week:

“He did. I think people remember what happened at the end of the game because there was the penalty and then we had the coverage where he got beat inside, but he had I think three pass breakups before that. He was doing a good job.”


On if the Browns defense can be physical at the line of scrimmage with the Cardinals offense ‘to try to beat up a team’ with smaller players like Murray, Moore and Cardinals RB Chase Edmonds:

“You have to try to catch them first, you know what I mean (laughter)? I think we are just going to play our brand of football. Sometimes it is zone and keeping our eyes on the quarterback and getting breaks, and playing physically that way sometimes is just man coverage, just trying to stay as tight as possible. We will play our brand of football, but with those guys, they try to put them in positions where you can’t touch them. We just have to get as many people to the ball as we can.”


On the challenges learning during pregame that DE Jadeveon Clowney would be unavailable:

“It happens. That is why as a coach you can’t let things surprise you like ‘Oh my god, what are we going to do?’ We addressed it, looked at our gameplan, made the adjustment we needed to make, talked to the people we needed to talk to and just went out and played the game.”


On if he feels good about Clowney’s availability this week:

“I do.”


On if Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins is one of the best players in football:

“Yes, there is no doubt. It has been a couple of years since I have seen him, but he is a guy we all know has great hands, he separates the tops of routes and he is just a crafty guy who has been able to do it for a long time. We have definitely talked to the DBs just in terms of how we feel we should play him. Even saying that, it is easy to say, harder to do.”


On Hopkins’ ability to catch 50/50 balls:

“If there is anything around him, he is catching it – one hands, two hands. He just has that big catch radius, and he rarely drops any passes thrown to him.”


On Hopkins’ Hail Mary catch last season:

“Hopefully, we do not get to that (laughter).”


On the balance of trying to get off the ball quickly and get to Murray while not allowing Murray the ability to evade that and buy more time:

“You have to have a plan. It depends on what we are calling up front, but you are either running your pass rush games to try to direct him one way to somebody trying to run him down or if it more of a straight rush, it is just the plan of how you are going to play your inside players and your ends. Who is going to control the pocket? Is it more of a level rush or are you trying to set an edge and bring somebody from the other side? There are multiple things we do, and we are going to need all of them.”


On if the officials are allowing more hand fighting across the NFL this season:

“I think it depends on the crew that you get. We are always aware of what certain crews like to call. We want to play physically and we want to put our hands on people, but at the same time, we want to do it where we are legal. That is just part of the game. All of the DBs I coach, I was like do not even bring it up. Sometimes you are going to get us and sometimes you are going to get them, but we just want to make sure we are executing our techniques.”


On if it is hard to coach guys to push an opponent into the end zone:

“Yes, but it was the best thing to do for the situation. It is really something that we talk about. You do not want to talk about it. We practice it. Unfortunately, we had to use it that game, but the guys executed.”


On if it is legal to carry a player into an end zone when he has given up forward momentum:

“That is on the refs to make that call. They did a good job executing.”


On when the Browns practice those types of situations like pushing an opponent into the end zone:

“We just have situational periods that we do it where we try to address the last play with the victory situations and other situations. I do not do it every week, but I just make sure I cover it once every four weeks.”


On when his teams started practicing those types of situations:

“It was recent. Towards the end of my time in Denver, we started talking about that situation. Again, it is something you hope does not come up, but it did.”


On DE Myles Garrett battling through soreness:

“Every player has those little bumps and bruises they have to deal with. I think seeing the leader of our defense trying to push through it just helps motivate the guys. When they feel that way, ‘I see Myles doing it. I need to step up and I need to do it.’ We do not want to encourage guys who are truly injured to go out there – that is a decision that they have to make – but I think Myles going out on the field and fighting through those things is big for us and what we are trying to do defensively.”


On the Chargers going for it four times on fourth down and if that type of aggressive play calling will continue to become more of a trend in the NFL:

“With all of the analytics, I think all of these situations are talked about more. I know as a coaching staff we meet on them at the end of the week, and you talk through those type of situations and situations that you see that happen throughout the league every week. He was aggressive – the one where they were backed up. We just struggled, whether we hurt ourselves or we just did not execute. The one where it was backed up and they converted, that was huge because it could have changed the game, and we would have been up 30-something to 13. Credit to him (Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley), but we just have to be better in those situations.”


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