Defensive coordinator Joe Woods (9.16.21)


On preparing differently for Texans QB Tyrod Taylor than Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes:

“He has been doing it for a long time. He probably does not get enough credit. He is a very good quarterback. I think he creates a lot of problems because of his mobility. He is not as tall as Mahomes, but he is still mobile in the pocket. We definitely have to have a good rush plan to keep him in the pocket and not let him extend plays.”


On if is hard to convince CBs not to let WRs get behind them in certain schemes like last week:

“There is a mixture, and they know that based on calls. We had several calls, but when you play against those guys, you definitely want to keep a lid on the defense, but you do it different ways. When you have opportunities to get tight, that is where you have to cash in and make plays to get off of the field.”


On the defensive pressure on Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes:

“As a unit, we were a little bit off just in terms of our consistency. They did a few things scheme-wise that hurt us based on what I called, and then there were a couple of times where we just did not execute as well as I would like us to execute. It all came down to getting off the field on third down and getting takeaways, and we did not do that.”


On if the Browns defensive scheme was more conservative against the Chiefs than usual:

“No, I would not say that. I think there is a certain way that we would like to play them. Some teams may be a little bit different, but you just want to limit the explosive plays to their playmakers and then you have to pick and choose when you when you to get aggressive and get after them.”


On if the Browns defensive scheme against the Chiefs has to be more conservative than when playing other NFL teams:

“They are explosive. They are different. There are a few teams out there who are like that, but against those guys – I coached against them quite a few times – you just can’t give up explosive plays. You have to make them work the ball down the field, and then when you have opportunities to make plays to pressure those guys, you have to capitalize, and we just did not do that.”


On the Browns defensive scheme and Chiefs TE Travis Kelce having some free releases from the line of scrimmage:

“You can’t cover them all. There are a lot of weapons out there so again, when you gameplan, there are certain calls that take away certain things they do, but there may be some guys who get some one on ones. This is part of the game, but when you have a team that has so many weapons across the board, you just have to be very selective when you choose to double somebody.”


On the Browns defense going up against the Chiefs in Week 1 and the Texans in Week 2 and if the differences in the offenses helps ‘capture the attention of the defense’ to avoid a potential let down:

“There is definitely no let down. This is the NFL so every week is a different challenge. These guys won their first game so they are flying high. They are believing what they are doing. They are a very physical team. They want to run the ball, establish the run and really win the time of possession so schematically when you look at them, it is not as complex in terms of the number of plays and the different type of plays as maybe a KC, but they do a really good job packaging their run game and their pass game together and making it all work.”


On evaluating the Browns LBs in Week 1 and reports that free agent LB Reuben Foster will work out for the team:

“I have no idea on [Foster] (laughter). I am fine at the linebacker position. With us, it is the first game out. We wanted to play better. We wish we could have came away with the win, but we know we will get better each and every week.”


On responding to S Ronnie Harrison, Jr. being ejected and S John Johnson III cramping:

“You just move on. When stuff like that happens, you can’t worry about it. You just have to make the substitution. You are aware of it, but you have to continue to make your calls.”


On where the CB was on Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill’s 75-yard touchdown:

“It was an empty formation so we were in a certain empty adjustment. We had it covered, and we kind of adjusted it during the game so we had everything covered. Mahomes did a great job just staying alive. You saw the throw. He threw it up there, and it just came down. At the end of the day, they made more plays than we made, especially in critical situations.”


On if Johnson was supposed to be on Hill at the end of the TD play, based on the defensive scheme:

“Yes. Yes, within that scheme we were running.”


On hearing the Browns crowd at full capacity for the first time:

“I am looking forward to it. It was pretty good when we were over there in the preseason. I think there was like 40,000 and then we had the [Orange & Brown Practice at FirstEnergy Stadium]. Definitely looking forward to it. I know this is a fanbase just growing up in Pennsylvania that they live and die by what happens on Sundays. We definitely want to make them happy.”


On his conversations with Harrison following the ejection and if Harrison will start again on Sunday:

“Ronnie is fine. We really do not condone that type of behavior. We want to be composed in those situations. When the game is going, things get heated. We just want to make the best decisions. Unfortunately for Ronnie, he got ejected from the game, but I am sure he will learn from that. Our whole defense will learn from that and our whole team will learn from that. Hopefully, it does not happen again.”


On if he has full trust and faith in Harrison returning:



On if he likes what he has seen from S Grant Delpit this week:

“He has been out there going through individuals, but he had really his first live team reps. He is looking good. He is figuring things out. Hopefully, we can get him in the game and get him a few plays.”


On if there is a message to the assistant coaches about not putting their hands on opposing players, particularly following last week’s incident:

“That is just known. That is just part of what we do. We want to do things the way they are supposed to be done. I do not want to comment on anything that happened on their sideline. I was not over there. We do not talk about that. That is just something that we would not do.”


On LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah’s performance against the Chiefs and if Owusu-Koramoah is expected to have an increased role this week:

“We are constantly trying to do that, but at the same time, not give him too much. You always want your players to be able to play fast. That is them understanding their assignments and being able to process that on gameday. We are going to keep adding a little bit to him each week, but at the same time, try to be careful of not doing too much.”


On CB Greg Newsome II’s performance against the Chiefs:

“Greg looked good. He did not get a lot of opportunities to come his way, but the confidence was there. You can see where he was challenging guys on certain plays. Every week, I think that is just going to help build what he is able to do on the football field for us.”


On if Newsome should be OK to play, given the biceps injury:

“Yeah, he will be fine from what I know.”


On DE Jadeveon Clowney’s performance against the Chiefs:

“Everybody, there were moments where they did some really good things and you saw them flash, and there were some moments where maybe we were off a little bit and inconsistent. I can say that about the whole unit. Even us as coaches, that first game out there and the crowd was going crazy, I think the whole operation and how the guys performed will get better. Long story short, he did some good things, but I know he can play better.”


On if Clowney has some ‘extra going’ for Texans week and facing a former team:

“I did not ask. He did not say anything, but I am sure he probably does.”


On if Clowney looks different in a games as opposed to practice:

“No, he looks the same. He is very explosive. Slippery on blocks. Very strong. You saw that show up on Sunday.”


On if it was cool to see DT Malik McDowell register a tackle for loss on the first defensive play, which was his first game in a significant period of time:

“Yeah, the first play since he has played in four years. I am excited for him. He played really well in that first game. You could see just how dominant he can be inside, and he is still learning. I hope he continues to play that way. It just really helps us, especially on the inside of the defense.”


On what did McDowell had to show the team to earn the trust to start and play a significant number of defensive snaps in Week 1:

“I think just his understanding of what we are trying to do defensively, just because he has not played in so long, and then you are trying to see how is physically and how does he respond being in an adverse situation and the pressure of a game. He responded well. I am excited.”


On if he knew anything about McDowell before signing with the Browns:

“It was quite a few years ago. My wife is actually from Michigan. She is a Michigan fan so I always had that Michigan-Michigan State thing going (laughter). I was aware of him as a player when he came out. I know he was one of the top defensive linemen in 2017 when he got drafted. I was aware of him. I lost track of him over the years, but I am glad he is back.”


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