Defensive coordinator Joe Woods (6.1.22)

On if DT Perrion Winfrey is as excited when talking to the coaches as when speaking with media:

“Yes. He is a very passionate player. He plays very hard. With his size and his athletic ability, his attitude and his approach to the game, he is exactly what we were looking for. He still has to grow up a little bit. He has to learn our system, but we are very pleased with getting him in the draft.”


On what Winfrey brings to the Browns defense:

“He has extreme length – 35-inch-plus arms. Three hundred pounds. He gets off the ball. He is very explosive. We want to have more of an attacking front. We want guys who get off the ball and dent the line of scrimmage, and that is exactly what he did in college.”


On what CB Martin Emerson Jr.’s length offers:

“He is a big guy. When we got here for the rookie minicamp, I was just looking over at linebackers, safeties and looking at him, and I was like, ‘Man, this guy is big.’ He is another guy who he is about 6-2, 33-inch arms. The type of technique that we ask our guys to play, he is tailormade for that just in terms of the press techniques and being able to match up against bigger receivers. Again, he is learning the techniques we use and learning our system so there is going to be a little growth period for him, but we are very excited to have him.”


On DE Jadeveon Clowney returning and playing opposite of DE Myles Garrett, along with younger Browns DL members:

“It means a lot. I do not know if you call them Batman and Robin or Batman and Batman, but just to have that counterpart opposite of Myles, when you go against offenses, they are going to have to respect both defensive ends so all of the attention does not go to Myles. Coming back in the second season, I know Jadeveon is going to have a full understanding of our defense and what we are going to ask him to do. We also like to move those guys around so I know he is very comfortable. I saw him briefly when he came back and signed his contract, but we are all excited to have him back in the building.”


On if he was as confident as others that Clowney would return to the Browns, given the sense of ‘quiet confidence’ with the team that it would occur:

“I do not know if I would say that. I was a little bit nervous. It is just a part of free agency. We felt like he had a good experience here. We tried to get him the previous two years. I think there was a comfort level with (defensive line) Coach (Chris) Kiffin as defensive line coach and comfort level with (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski as a head coach and myself as defensive coordinator. Throughout the process, I felt like if things were even that he would come back. Thankfully, it worked out in our favor.”


On CB Greg Newsome II’s willingness and ability to play slot CB:

“It is very important. He did it for us toward the end of last season. He has the size and the intelligence in terms of diagnosing plays – run and pass plays – to do that. All of the corners we bring in, we try to cross-train them to see if they are capable of doing those things, and he proved that he could. It is a natural move for us to have him play inside. We will get into some packages where we maybe we are playing with two nickels so we put as much speed on the field. It is good having the ability to do that for you.”


On if CB Greedy Williams will primarily work on the outside:

“I just feel like we have three or four good corners who can go play for us right now. Greg can play inside so that moves Greedy outside so he is really the third outside corner, but when he stepped in last year, he proved he can play at a high level, as well.”


On the Browns interior DL and having younger players at the position:

“That is part of the process. I feel like right now as a defense, we are kind of in that stage where we are developing young talent. (DT) Jordan Elliott played for us. He is a 300-pounder. He is moving around really well. I think the lights are starting to come on for him. Signing (DT) Tavon Bryan, I remember evaluating him when I was at Denver, and I know he was our No. 1 defensive lineman coming out. He is the same type of guy, as I mentioned earlier with Perrion, who attacks the line of scrimmage and he is athletic for his size. With that combination and then you have (DT) Tommy Togiai and you have (DT) Sheldon Day – I spoke about Perrion earlier – I think between those five guys, I feel like we will have a good rotation inside”


On confidence level with LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah’s entering Year 2:

“I definitely feel more confident this year. You want guys to go out on the field and execute and have a playbook that is thick in terms of defenses, but if you run so much defense that guys do not execute, it is not worth doing. Last year, we were at that point with JOK, but we also had (former Browns and free agent DE) Takk McKinley, Clowney and (former Browns and free agent DE) Malik McDowell. We had a bunch of new guys so I did not want to put a bunch on those guys so we gradually increased the defense as we went through the season. At this point, I feel like we can do more so I installed more defense this offseason. I told the guys that. We are going to put more on their plate. We will see what they can handle once we get through mandatory minicamp and there will be a few additional things that if they can handle it I will add during training camp.”


On DT Ndamukong Suh remaining a free agent:

“I read that once in an article when it was late at night so I called Kiff, ‘Did you read this?’ You never know. I think with AB (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry), I think he and his whole staff do a great job in terms of adding players to our defense. Along the lines of based on the development of the guys we have, if they feel like adding him and that he would be a good fit, we would all be for it.”


On Garrett’s areas for improvement:

“Myles is very talented. For him, I think it is more about consistency, looking back at some of the plays last year that he left out there. For me, that is what I talk to Myles about is just really perfecting the defense, not missing any opportunities and playing as hard as you can possibly play on every snap because when Myles does that, he is unblock-able in my opinion.”


On the Browns can still run three-S sets with the current personnel: 

“Yes. Right now, our three safeties (Ss) John Johnson (III), Grant Delpit and Ronnie Harrison (Jr.) so we have the ability to get those three guys on the field at the same time like we did last year, and we are still developing the young guys – (S) Richard LeCounte (II) back there. We have the ability to create those matchups based on our gameplan.”


On if he liked the way the three-S packages worked last year:

“Yes, there were some things because I tried to mirror our packages what we did in nickel and what we did in dime, but going back and looking at our self-scout, I probably would do certain things in dime that I will not do in nickel just based on the time spent that we have to teach those guys.”


On how having players with unique size and skillsets like Delpit, Owusu-Koramoah and Emerson can be used to the defense’s advantage:

“It definitely helps us. I think the NFL is about creating matchups, and I feel like for me defensively, I always feel like I want to create the matchups, and I want to dictate how the game is going to be played. If there is a bigger tight end, you have Grant Delpit and you have Ronnie Harrison. We also have big corners if we want to match up so if we want to put Greg Newsome down there or Emerson comes along. We can put different people on the field in different positions based on the matchups that we want to create.”


On LB Anthony Walker Jr. taking reps at OLB with Owusu-Koramoah at MIKE and if that could occur during the season:

“Yes, there is flexibility at that position. Anthony and (LB) Jacob (Phillips) can play MIKE, and they can also play the WILL linebacker positions. We can do some things there, as well.”


On Williams’ performance last season while battling injuries and what drafting Emerson means for Williams:

“Greedy, last year he fought through that injury, and I thought he showed toughness and play-making ability. We had some premium matchups against some really good receivers, and he made some plays down the field. I saw him improve throughout his time in the offseason, training camp and seen him get better, but he proved that he can go out and make plays against elite receivers. With Martin Emerson, it is just a matter of how fast he develops. With young guys, it depends. You get them out there in the bright lights and it is real, how do they react? It will be a growth process for him, and we will just take it week by week and see where he is.”


On Williams will still have a role in the Browns defense with the new players added:

“Yeah, he is definitely going to have a role. When you have a bunch of good players, you find a way to get as many of them on the field as you can.”


On how Clowney returning helps development for younger players:

“Absolutely. In terms of bring back a veteran guy, the young guys see a veteran guy out there who they know and who they have watched on TV and they see him play at a high level. For them, it is an opportunity to learn the tricks of the trade. What does Myles do? What does Jadeveon do? I know those guys are big-eyed, but it definitely helps in the development of the young guys. To me, it helps buy them time. They do not have to go out there and feel like they have to play 40-50 plays. We can slowly get those guys and integrate those guys throughout the season and give them as much as we feel like they can handle.”


On what about Clowney and Garrett allows them to complement each other so well:

“When you look across and you see another guy that was the first overall pick, I think that is like unsaid competition. I think for those guys, it helps them compete. Who is going to get the most sacks? Who is going to make the most TFLs? I think it is just kind of the unsaid thing that happens between those two guys in terms of the competition. Again, as I said earlier, it helps me defensively because the offense can’t key on one guy in there.”


On early impressions of DE Chase Winovich as a pass rusher:

“It is hard [to evaluate]. We are not really going all out in terms of our team periods. He is a very smart guy, and we feel like he is a versatile player. We may be able to play him as a defensive end. When we get to our sub-packages, we may be able to move him around as our Joker. Time will tell once we get more into it, but I really feel like he is a versatile player who is going to play well for us.”


On DE Alex Wright:

“Just the size and the athletic ability. He is a big defensive end. I think he is about 275 pounds right now, but you can see the growth potential in his body. You can still see he can develop his lower body and his upper body. I think you guys will see him in two years, and he might be 295 pounds and look like a monster. We are excited about him. I think for him, it is maybe a little eye-opening. It is kind of like, ‘This is not UAB. It is the NFL.’ He has some things he has to work on, but the potential is definitely there.”



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