Defensive Coordinator Joe Woods (10.6.22)


On if last week was harder than expected with DE Myles Garrett not being available last week:

“I thought we had guys who were ready or capable of stepping up with Myles being out, but with the attention that Myles gets, it makes things a little different.”


On if his role as defensive play caller changes significantly when a player like Garrett is unavailable:

“I try not to let it be that way just because I want our scheme to be our scheme. There are just different things offenses will do when he is out there.”


On Garrett returning to practice this week:

“It was definitely good to see him out there. Everybody was excited. For me, I am just happy he is healthy and that there was not something serious with the accident.”


On if Garrett could play this week:

“I think so.”


On DE Jadeveon Clowney’s status as day to day:

“He is day to day. We will see what happens. He is moving around a little bit. I hope he makes it, but we will see.”


On if Clowney will practice today:

“I will find out in a little bit.”


On takeaways from last year’s Chargers game:

“That the game is never over. That was a very tough game just because the first half, I thought we played really well. Then we gave up that big explosive. Just had something in, and it didn’t work out. Then the second half, it was wild. It was a wild game. I don’t want it to be that way. I hope it is not that way, but you have to play for 60 minutes.”


On how the Chargers have adjusted when Chargers WR Keenan Allen has been unavailable:

“I think they are being creative with how they are moving their receivers around. I think they are trying to get production from other receivers in different ways. I coached against him when I was at Denver. and he is definitely a big playmaker for them and definitely moves the chains. You can see they are trying to do things to cover up for that.”


On the Falcons’ 42-yard pass completion and the technique issue that led to it:

“It was really our base defense. It was play-action. What happens when you run the ball that many times and you are thinking, ‘Run, run, run,’ you are thinking the same thing is going to happen, but you have to read your keys and execute your responsibilities. We were not clean on that play, and that is how we got hit.”


On the Browns defense not performing as well in the fourth quarter compared to the other quarters:

“It is tough. For us – I do the same thing, and I know I say the same thing to you guys every week – I always go after the game and we do the evaluation, address our goals and talk about what we did well and areas we need to improve. It is going to happen every game – it is the NFL – there is going to be problems. For us, with that game, like we made adjustments at halftime and we got off the field I think 12 plays in the first three series with a turnover so you are feeling great about the adjustments you made. Then we got in the fourth quarter, and it is just like when the Jets they came out and they said, ‘We are just chipping everybody all the time.’ These guys just said, ‘Hey, we are going to run the ball.’ I don’t know if our adjustments made them do that, but they just said, ‘Hey, we are going to run it, run it, run it,’ and they had success and moved the ball down the field. I don’t know what it is – maybe a little bit of everything. This a long answer. It is probably a little bit of everything, but we are just going to continue to address what we are trying to do defensively and do it cleanly.”


On how important Garrett and Clowney are in run defense:

“Very important. Those guys are very good run players. A lot of times we talk about Myles, we talk about the pass rush, but it is so big, strong, physical and powerful that they really help us in terms of setting edges and being disruptive. Not having those guys is different, but I know the other guys are capable.”


On why the Browns defense was unable to stop the Falcons on the drive with 10 consecutive running plays:

“I am still trying to figure that out – I am just kidding. Going into the gameplan with having a bunch of younger guys play and some guys a little bit banged up, I really wanted to reduce the menu a little bit. If everybody was healthy, I probably would have called some more things, but I just really wanted the guys to play fast and execute. During that drive, it was like one thing after another, whether you are getting bumped out of your gap or whether you do not turn the ball back. Situationally, there is like one or two calls I wish I could have had back. When they are running the ball and running the ball, you get to a certain situation and you are thinking they are going to pass it, and they keep running it. We had to adjust during that series, but we just weren’t clean.”


On how to help ensure communication is strong on the field when selecting two-play calls on defense:

“That is normal for us. I have reduced some of those calls just because of the issues we were having so we do not have as many double calls or checks based on whatever it may be. It is up to them. We do it verbally. We do it with hand signals. Again, there is always a sender and there is a receiver, but you have to acknowledge that you got the information. We work on that. We have crowd noise in practice. I feel like the guys have done a good job the last couple of weeks.”


On if CB Greedy Williams will be able to play this week:

“We will see. I think it is good to see him out there on the field. He was fired up. I told everybody he has fresh legs. He was running around. I think in his situation, you want to ease him back in. It is different going out there in practice, you can kind of control your tempo, your speed, but when you are in a game situation, you are going full go. I think we are going to ease him back in, and then medically, we will make a decision when we bring him back.”


On if the Browns defense was in a dime package a lot in the second half:

“No, we were in base. It was based on the personnel they brought on the field, but we were really in base. We had our nickel, our big nickel. It was a little bit of zone. We had some pressures. Again, it seemed like where we were not right, they found it that whole drive. Looking at it, the guys saw it. I saw what I can do better. We just have to clean it up. People can run against you and you can’t stop them, yeah, that is tough.”


On if there is a concern that having lighter, faster LBs could result in opponents being able to take advantage of that with ‘smash-mouth football:

“I am not, just because I feel like we have some calls that can put us in position if teams choose to run the ball. Again, there are some things that I didn’t carry last week. In terms of people trying to have those types of drives against us, I hope it does not happen again, I think we have enough calls to deal with it and I think with the players, we can handle it.”


On Chargers QB Justin Herbert:

“He is a really good quarterback. He has the size. He has the arm strength. He sees the field well. They are the No. 1 passing offense, and it is because of him and the players they have. I know he has the injury, but he is still moving around in the pocket. You still see the bootlegs and things of that nature. He looks normal. If he was going to run it and try to get an extra 5 yards, he is going to slide this time, but he looks like the same guy.”


On preparing the Browns secondary to face Herbert:

“This league is about matchups in my opinion. Last week, it was the tight end and the receiver. This week, it is the quarterback and their skill players they have. I just have confidence in the guys we have. I just feel like if we  go out, we execute and we play our techniques, we can cover anybody in the league.”


On allowing no points in the third quarter compared to the points surrendered in the fourth quarter and if a potential lapse in focus late in the game could be a factor:

“No. You always have the fatigue part that plays in, especially when you go on long drives. I just really think it comes down to execution, and it comes down to us from a coaching standpoint just making sure we are making the proper adjustments and calling the right plays. I don’t think it is lack of focus. It is just being more detailed in terms of our execution.”


On having continuity on defense this year but giving up big plays or drives late in games:

“I think the other parts of the game… Like I said, this last game, we came out and made adjustments, and we went three-and-out the first three series, turned the ball over and gave it back to our offense. Other games, I think we came out and played well. It is just finishing. We make some adjustments, but it is the same coverages that we run and the same pressures that we run. I think it just comes down to us executing better towards the end of the game, and again, for me as a coach, just making sure I am putting them in the right calls.”


On playing in close games on defense this year and last season, including the 2021 Chargers game:

“It is one of those things where you just you want to win games by two or three touchdowns, but it doesn’t happen in the NFL. All of our games came down to literally the last play of the game or the last series of the game. You just have to have the mental toughness to understand that is how the games are going to go. Going back to last year, it was first half, we got up, felt pretty confident and gave up the one explosive, and then in the second half, it was like the same plays, but we couldn’t stop them. It is guys just wiring into the details and just trying to execute their job – their job only – and just putting them in the right calls from my standpoint.”


On Chargers RB Austin Ekeler:

“He is a very good back. He is a good back as a runner, and he is a good back coming out of the backfield as a receiver. Right now, I think he is there leading receiver in terms of catches by about nine receptions. He is definitely a challenge, and we are going to have to be ready for him, whoever is going to cover him.”


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