Defensive coordinator Joe Woods (11.18.21)


On how long it takes for a coach to get over a loss like last week:

“I think it always sticks in your mind. It was a long plane ride back and a long night where I really did not sleep very well. When you played a game like that and give up so many points, you are just wondering what happened. Do not want it to happen again, but we definitely made some adjustments and talked about things we can do better.”


On how to ensure a game like last week does not happen again:

“Just try to execute. Have a good gameplan, put the guys in position to make plays and just really rely on execution.”


On his reaction to DE Myles Garrett’s postgame comments about in-game adjustments:

“I heard that. I talked to Myles coming off of the field at halftime, and I have seen him since. We have not had that conversation. In the first half of the game, I think the first series we got them to third-an-eight, third-and-seven, third-and-13 so when those things happen, you feel like you are doing good. Then they had the one-play series, and then the next series, we got them to three third downs again – I think third-and-one, third-and-five and third-and-nine – so we were getting them in manageable situations. We just were not able to get off of the field. At halftime, we did not have as much time as we normally have because we had to talk about so many things defensively to try to fix it. There were a couple of things that I said I wanted to do in the second half, I called them the first series and we went three-and-out. I think when you lose that way, everybody is trying to figure out what happen. As coaches and as players, we just have to make sure that we work together, communicate and get things fixed.”


On if he wishes Garrett made the comments to him privately as opposed to in a postgame press conference:

“That stuff does not really bother me. If there is anything that is on your mind and you want to come to talk to me, the guys know I am there. I talked to Myles coming off of the field at halftime when we were walking in together, and he was like, ‘What do you think?’ We had a conversation going in. I will be there. Again, if any player has questions, just come see me.”


On if it was disappointing for Garrett to say after the game that the team did not make any in-game adjustments when they talked about adjustments:

“It is just one of those things. They made a lot of plays on us, especially in the second half. In the first half, we got them to third down, and we were not able to get off the field. In the second half, we only got them to two third downs. It was just really like two different games in terms of what happened. Again, when you get beat like that, everybody is looking for what went wrong.”


On if the Browns defense has to make any lineup changes:

“No. Everything just in terms of guys health, obviously we have to get some guys back and get them healthy, but no we will move forward with the same guys.”


On if DT Tommy Togiai will get more playing time after Togiai made an NFL debut last week:

“Yes. We are going to continue to bring him along. He is a young guy. He is still learning, but he plays with a lot of effort. You can see him running to the ball out there. He will improve in the areas he needs to, but I think he has a bright future with us.”


On if Garrett is back at practice today:



On the Browns defense’s difficulties on third down last week:

“I think the one thing for myself as a coordinator, you feel like you want to put the players in the perfect call. I look at tape and just study, study, study, but in reality, you just try to put them in the best call and rely on them to make plays. For me, I just have to realize that because I feel like I can do a better job just in terms of our third-down menu. Going into it, we had the little mini-bye, and I think the last three games were our best three games in terms of third down – Denver, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. For us to drop off like that, this caught me. I think I can definitely do a better job.”


On why it been so difficult to find an identity on defense, given the team has seemed highly aggressive in some weeks and not as much in others:

“I think our identity is being multiple. Now, just like you said, they do not know what they are going to get. The gameplan because you play against different schemes and there are different matchups so when you are game planning, it is like, ‘Who do we have to take away? What do we have to stop? How we are going to do it?’ It will change slightly week to week. It will not be pressure all of the time. It will not be zone all of the time. I just really believe in the mix.”


On if it is difficult to prepare for Detroit’s passing game, given the Lions’ commitment to the running game:
“To be honest with you, it is kind of like you do not know what is going to happen. When you look at the first eight games in the breakdown, they are definitely different than they were against Pittsburgh. That does not mean that they are going to be the same way against us. You have to have a menu where you feel like you can handle multiple things. If they want to run it a bunch, then we have to have enough calls where we can stop the run. If they want to come out and throw it, we have to be able to do things to stop that, as well. A little more in the package, but we will just have to fill it out as the game progresses.”


On adjustments to the Browns defense with no lineup changes:

“We went back and just looked at everything obviously from that game and then things that we were doing earlier, specifically on third and fourth down. You just go back and look at the things you did well, and you look at when you did not have success, what were the reasons behind it. There are multiple things. I always start with myself as a coordinator. I believe that. ‘How can I fix myself? How can I put the guys in a better position?’ From that standpoint down to what we are calling and down to the players eliminating penalties or executing better, we looked at it all and just made some slight adjustments in terms of what we are going to do coverage wise.”


On why the Browns defense is not forcing more turnovers this season:

“It is just one of those things. It is just weird. Our PBUs are up, but the takeaways are not there. We pride ourself on wanting to turn the ball over and take it away. It just has not happened. Cincinnati, it happened in bunches. We definitely need to get more. That is how you win games. That is how you change games in this league. We definitely have to be better in that area.”


On how the Browns defense gets better at creating takeaways:

“It is just making the plays when they come your way. We had opportunities where some of those PBUs you want them to turn into interceptions. When a guy is rushing and he gets a sack, you really it to be a sack-fumble. We just have to keep pressing it. We chart those things in practice every day. I really talk to the guys about how can we get better taking the ball away.”


On if any part of getting takeaway relates to scheme:

“In general, just over years I have been different schemes, and you want guys to see the ball, but how much zone do you play compared to let’s get tight and rush guys? You may have more PBUs than interceptions when your back is to the ball so that is why I try to mix both so we can see the ball and getting tight coverage and force them to make a tight throw.”


On if the Browns defense is getting enough execution from the players, given the external criticism he has received recently:

“First of all, I put a lot of pressure on myself to make sure that the gameplan is right. I am not saying that I blame myself, but I always look in the mirror first. Whenever I grade the tape, as I am grading the players, I grade myself. No. 1, I always look at myself and what can I do better. From a players’ standpoint, it is the NFL. There are good players on both sides of the ball. The guys are going out there and trying to execute, but you are not going to make every play. As coaches – I have a really good coaching staff – we try to address all of the issues that show up and correct all of the mistakes. We look at ourselves. We self-scout ourself every week, and then we try to run those plays in practice that we have gotten  from teams where we have not had success. Consistency, yes, but it is just hard in this league because there are good players on both sides of the ball.”


On if it is harder to find consistency when playing a multiple defense:

“No because it is all together. Whatever you are doing, you might present a look to a team, but you might run three-deep, you might run quarters and you might run man or zone pressure. It is all within the system. It is not like a 4-3 going to 3-4. It is within the system. We just want to be multiple in what we are doing.”


On how the Lions are using WR KhaDarel Hodge, who is not getting many targets:

“I do not know. They are probably figuring it out. With coach taking over the play-calling duties, they are probably trying to figure out what their best combination of players are, whether it is receivers, tight ends and sometimes they put two backs on the field. I do not know they are doing. I see him out there.”


On Hodge not playing frequently on offense:
“There are a couple of wideouts you can see they are moving them around and playing different positions, especially the last game, but they are using multiple guys.”


On if he feels the unity and togetherness with the Browns defense:
“Absolutely, there is definitely you feel the chemistry and you feel the family and the brotherhood. We came off of three games where we were playing better – Denver, 14 points; Pittsburgh, 15; and Cincinnati, 16 – so everybody was feeling good. Guys were communicating and working well together. It is just one of those games. You hate for it to happen. It was one of those games where we just did not play well.”


On if the issues defending the run at New England were the same against Pittsburgh:

“Some of them. You saw the reverses. We gave up a lot of yards on the reverses. There are teams that are copying, and that is what you do. Everybody, we always say it is a copycat league, and you go back and say what teams had success against you and you put it in. For us, I can’t predict. I like to predict when they are going to run a screen or reverse. You have to rely on guys executing their responsibility and their job, whatever you call. We just were not good.”


On if teams went back and watched tape on what worked against the Browns defense:

“Some of the stuff we stopped, but obviously the reverses, they did a good job scheming us up in terms of how they did it, but everybody does it. Every week, you are watching the game like, ‘Oh man, they copied that from this team,’ or ‘They copied that from that team.’ We try to eliminate those plays, and we work those play into practice every week. Again, we just did not do a good job of stopping it.”


On if he believes Garrett was speaking for himself or other people with the postgame comments:

“I really do not know. I have a great relationship with Myles. He has the respect of all of the players on defense. There is nothing going on in the building or anything of that nature. I talked to him. I talked to him today. Everything is good. Again, just frustrating losing the way we did.”


On the adjustments that need to be better going into this week’s game in run defense:

“Just really execution. Everybody doing their job. We threw multiple things at them. Again, it was more reverses and perimeter runs. They hit us inside a couple of times. It is just everybody doing their job, and it is up to me to put them in the right calls where they can have success based on what people are trying to do.”


On CB Troy Hill’s status:

“He is still recovering. He played hard. Unfortunately, you saw at the end he went down. Hopefully, get him back soon.”


On if LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah was on a pitch count last week after returning from injured reserve:

“It is just more of a pitch count where if he is out there and he is struggling, then we would have taken him off of the field, but we tried to use a little bit of a rotation just to get him through as much of the game as we could. Moving forward this week, thought he was a little bit healthier so we will let him go and see what he can do.”


On DE Malik McDowell:

“Awesome. Great guy. Baby Huey (laughter). Just a real success story. I am really happy for him just because of everything he went through and where he is now. Really, I think he is only going to get better.”


On how much of a challenge the Lions’ use of their RBs presents the Browns LBs:

“They create some matchup issues because those guys are really good receivers. They are good in space just in terms of making guys miss. The tight end has great length. The back is extremely quick, and they use multiple backs. Against Pittsburgh, they went off different guys just in terms of the yardage they had. It is definitely going to be something we are going to have to be aware of just in terms of the matchups, but there are multiple things that we can do if it becomes a problem.”


On if Hill sustained the injury when hitting his head on the ground:

“I do not know. I saw the contact basically on the hip of the receiver, and then he went down and you saw him roll over. I do not know exactly how it happened. I am just happy it was not something serious.”


On who gave McDowell the Baby Huey nickname:

“I had a little bit to do with that (laughter). He said at Michigan State that they called him that, too. He is a dude who can go in the weight room and probably put 500 pounds on the bar with no warm-up and lift it. He just has that strength. Again, he has done a great job, and he has been a great addition to our team.”


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