Defensive Coordinator Joe Woods (11.10.22)


On confidence the Browns defense can match the Dolphins’ speed:

“I feel confident because we do have guys who can run. At least with (Dolphins WR) Tyreek (Hill), we have played against him the past couple of years so we are familiar with what he is capable of doing. This is going to be one of those games we are going to have to win some one on ones.”


On if there is a way to replicate Hill’s speed when preparing for the game:

“No. He is unique. I was at Denver when he came into the league in 2016 so I saw him develop as a player. When he first got there, he was more of a specialist and just ran certain routes or certain runs when he was at Kansas City, but I saw him develop into a receiver. He is so fast, and he is so quick. Everybody talks about the vertical speed, but if you throw him something short and you miss the tackle, he might go 70. He is definitely a handful to deal with, but we are familiar with him, and there are a couple of different things we will try to do to slow him down.”


On the key to the Browns defense’s success the past two games:

“I think the guys did a great job preparing. I think they were holding each other accountable for what they were doing on the practice field and on gameday. For me defensively, just trying to come up with a gameplan where I felt like they can go out, play fast and execute. The different gameplans against Baltimore and Cincinnati, they were drastically different, but I think everybody was comfortable with it. I think we played well the last two games, and hopefully, that continues to be the case.”


On Dolphins Head Coach Mike McDaniel not using the running game as much as 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan:

“He does, but I think everybody knows or looks at Miami and thinks about the receivers. (Dolphins RB) Raheem Mostert, I was there in San Francisco when he was the back along with (Dolphins RB) Jeff Wilson (Jr.). I was in the same building with Coach McDaniel. I know he handled the run game so I know he does want to run the ball, but when you have weapons like that, you want to get the ball to them, as well. They do have the ability to have homeruns when they hand the ball off so you just can’t go in and just focus on stopping the pass game. You have to be sound in the run game, as well.”


On if anything stands out about McDaniel from their time together in San Francisco:

“First of all, he is a really great guy. I didn’t go in to there and talk to him a lot, but there were times that I went in there. He is a great guy. Everybody in the building loved him. Very smart. I know Coach Shanahan put a lot of confidence in him to put together the run game, just the way that they met on offense. Now, you are seeing the results of him being with Kyle. I think he was with Kyle at five different teams so you see a lot of the influence of Kyle’s system, but Mike is taking it in his own direction in terms of what he is doing.”


On if he expected McDaniel would climb the NFL ranks to become a head coach:

“You knew it. Just being in that system, those guys when they perform well, they get jobs. I knew it was just a matter of time before he would get one.”


On what makes Hill such an effective offensive weapon in addition to speed:

“It is speed (laughter). Speed and quickness. He can go from Point A to B right now when he puts his foot in the ground. He is a vertical threat, but he is also an underneath threat. They do things in terms of handing him the ball, and he is in the backfield. They know how to use him for sure as a weapon. There are different guys based on what we call they are going to have to try and defend him.”


On if the Browns will have someone mirror and run with Hill on motions or if the Browns will pass Hill off to another player:

“Depends on the call.”


On the Dolphins attacking the middle of the field and if that is how their offense is designed:

“That is the offensive scheme. They do a little bit of everything, but you are right, they really do try to attack the middle of the field. You can see it with their play-action and some of the route concepts they run, and everybody knows it. That has been the system forever, but it is just trying to stop it. It is hard to do.”


On how CB Denzel Ward has looked in practice this week after returning from the concussion and the importance of Ward returning this week:

“It is definitely good to have him back. I feel confident in all of the guys we had back there, but to add that element of speed and somebody who has played against (Dolphins WR) Tyreek (Hill) in the past, it definitely gives you confidence. I think there are certain things that I will be able to do coverage wise knowing that he can go match up at times.”


On Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa:

“I tell you what, just watching tape, he is a good player. I think he really goes through his progressions quickly, he gets rid of the football on time and he is not afraid to throw the ball into tight windows. The thing I see him do for a young guy is throw receivers open, as well. He has been impressive just watching tape. The more I watch, the more impressed I am with what he is doing.”


On the Browns tackling well against the Bengals and confidence it can carry into this week’s game:

“You have to tackle well against these guys. As I mentioned earlier, they have multiple guys whether it is the receivers, backs or tight ends they get the ball to them and they can make guys miss and turn it into a big gain. I think we have improved over the last couple of weeks tackling, but that is going to be very critical to us having success.”


On LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah’s status:

“He is rehabbing. It is just one of those day-to-day things that we will have to check on.”


On if the Browns defense’s approach to the Dolphins’ players and skillsets will be similar to the Bengals last year when Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase was available:

“It is. In the NFL week to week – I will be talking to you next week about the challenges – every week in the NFL is a challenge, and it is slightly different. In terms of it being similar to Cincinnati with a very good quarterback and with elite skill players, they are the same type of team. I just think offensively what they do is different to what Cincinnati does.”


On how much Dolphins WR Jaylen Waddle’s production is related to Waddle’s skillset compared to teams trying to limit Hill:

“You are picking your poison. If you want to send a lot of attention to Tyreek, then now he is one on one. If you try to take away both of the guys, now you have to deal with the tight end and you have to deal with the backs. I think there are a couple of things you have to do, but in order to take away something, you are going to weaken yourself somewhere else. That is just the nature of the game. He is playing at a high level. He is the second-most targeted receiver on their team, but they are set to break records in terms of the receptions and the yardage that those guys are putting up. He has been impressive on tape.”


On if the Browns give the CBs some freedom on how tight they are in coverage based on their speed:

“No, not really. I know what you are saying. There is definite trust with the players in terms of what we do, but technique wise, we want to have a lot of structure, whether it is based on where the receiver is aligned, outside where he is aligned or inside where he is aligned, based on the call that we are making because we want them to do the same things over and over again so there is consistency in our techniques.”


On if the Browns further identified during the self-scout that some formations and calls are best for the unit versus the opponent’s respective formations and calls:

“There is a little bit of that. When you look at the game situationally, you see, ‘This call is not working.’ Then you go back and watch the tape, some of it could be the call in the situation that I chose to call it, and some of it could be the execution of it. There are slight little adjustments that we made. Again, week to week depending on who you are playing, it could be a different type of gameplan.”


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