Defensive Coordinator Joe Woods (12.1.22)


On what led to improvements in run defense last week:

“I think we had a good plan. Throughout the week, we repped different type of runs we thought we were going to get. I felt the guys were confident. I think we really played hard. Our gap security and integrity was better, and I think we tackled well.”


On if there is some frustration that the Browns defense has had some good performances this season like last week but has not been consistent throughout the year:

“You wonder that. Really with each game, it could be two or three plays that make the difference. Whether you go back to Buffalo or any game, if you make two or three plays at any point during the game, it is different. We made some mistakes. We made some similar mistakes we made in other games, but we just found a way to overcome it.”


On Texans RB Dameon Pierce:

“He is good. He is a good back. I haven’t seen him, but just watching tape, I have a lot of respect for how he plays. He is a physical back. He is downhill. He has quickness. I think he is second in the NFL in broken tackles, fourth in yards after contact and ninth in rush yards per game. He is a handful, and you are going to need multiple guys to tackle him.”


On DE Myles Garrett’s performance last week despite dealing with pain late in the game:

“He is our leader on defense. Whatever it took, he is going to find a way to help us get a win. I talked to him after the game and said, ‘How are you doing?’ [He said,] ‘Not good, but I will be alright.’ He is our leader. It was great to see him make those plays at the end.”


On Garrett being used to being held often and not getting calls, including last week:

“Just used to it. It is just going to happen. They are not all going to get called. That is just the nature of the game, and he knows that.”


On LBs Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Sione Takitaki and other Browns players taking on larger roles and making plays:

“For sure, that is what we want to see. We have some talented young players, and they are getting better every week. You can feel them getting closer and coming together. When you see those guys make those plays and you see them celebrate, you just see that our youth is developing and getting better.”


On if there is a boost in energy with QB Deshaun Watson returning from suspension this week:

“I don’t know. We are so focused on what we do. Obviously, he is back, and he has been on the practice field. I couldn’t answer that for the players. I am excited he is back for him, but we have to go out and handle our business.”


On strengths of Takitaki playing MIKE:

“Sione is a take-charge type of guy. Our middle linebacker is the quarterback of the defense. Just to have him standing in front of the huddle and be the center piece of our defense is good. I think it gives guys confidence,  and I think with his ability to play the run and his athletic ability to get in zone the matchups and do the things we need to do, I think it has been a benefit for us. I think you guys all see his playmaking ability.”


On transitioning Takitaki to MIKE from SAM and why Takitaki primarily played SAM after playing MIKE in college:

“I am not sure. Just based on the guys we had at the position and what we asked our weakside linebacker to do, he was the perfect fit for that. As you can see, he is capable of playing multiple positions, and it is a benefit for us.”


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