Defensive coordinator Joe Woods (9.23.21)


On the state of the Browns defense and if the unit is progressing:

“It is progressing. It is the NFL so they are not going to wait for us. We are working hard to get better in areas that we are not playing well right now. That was the emphasis we have had all week. It really comes down to all of us just really playing together as a unit. For us as coaches, just making sure that we are game planning and putting the guys in the positions they need to be in to make plays. We are going through that process. It looks good at times, and at times, we know there are things that we need to fix.”


On if the Browns defense is whether he expected now prior to the season:

“I really could not answer that because with everything going on with the offseason and training camp. We just have two games under our belt. Anywhere I have been there are always things you are looking to clean up. I think the guys understand the scheme. Again, it is just a little bit of inconsistency is what we are doing.”


On issues with third down defense:

“Third down when they had the long [16] play drive was really disappointing. We had five third down opportunities to get off [of the field]. You look at each one of them, if we play a little bit better, we are off of the field, especially the first one and then the other four ones do not happen. It is what happened. It is on tape. You have to fix it.”


On improving the marriage between rush and coverage:

“It is consistency. Sometimes, the rush is there and you look, and the coverage is not there. Sometimes you look and the coverage is there, but the rush is not there. It just seemed like it was a different thing every time when I looked at it. I just watched the whole tape again this morning, and that is exactly what I saw just going through color code and if it is more the rush or more the coverage. When you look at it overall, it is a little bit of everything, including me making a couple of better calls.”


On his mindset when facing a rookie QB and if the typical response is to blitz more often:

“It is in general. There were a few things we were doing that we were a little bit off on so I just wanted to calm it down. They were moving the ball on us early, and I said let me calm it down and pull back because I was doing some things we game planned. Once I felt we were not executing at a high level, I just pulled it down a little bit just to let the guys calm down and play. When [Texans QB Davis Mills] got in, I thought the same thing when we get to the third quarter, we got two three-and-outs that work, but that one drive just kept coming, coming and coming. Overall at times, you want to get after guys who are backups.”


On if the Browns front four produced enough pressure on Sunday, especially if the plan is to not blitz a ton:

“There is going to be a combination of blitz and coverage. I like to mix it, too, whether it is man pressure or zone pressure with displaying zones. I think up front we had pressure, but it just did not marry up. We were off somewhere, and they found it. Again, if we were tight [in coverage], maybe they chipped us and we just could not get home. I think it is just patching it all together, getting it clean, executing our games and executing our pressures or whatever we are trying to do.”


On adjusting to the Texans throwing more on first down than initially anticipated:

“You are always adjusting throughout the game. That is what we do just in between series. You go in based on the gameplan or the breakdown that you look at, and then you start keeping track to see what they are doing and you make adjustments. We were making those adjustments. Again, we just left a couple of plays out there.”


On if he is surprised opponents have not been throwing more at CB Greg Newsome II:

“They threw some passes at him. He had the one penalty and then he came back and made a play on a deep ball, which was nice to see. He is a confident guy. He plays clean technique. I think each game, he is getting better and he is believing in his ability. I am sure somebody is going to come out and try to throw six or seven balls at him, but I think mentally, physically and athletically, he can handle it.”


On S Grant Delpit’s sack-fumble on Sunday and how to get more of those type of plays from the Browns defense:

“It is just mixing it up. It is timely pressure. You do not want to be so predictable that they know what is coming. We try to make everything work together, whether it is the looks of in zone, man or zone pressure. When you can control what they are doing based on a look, that is when those pressures come home. That is what we were able to do on the pressure by Grant and sack the quarterback.”


On how the Browns can improve when playing more mobile QBs:

“Really, it is a problem because the times when you rush four and they have six or seven guys blocking, there are going to be lanes where he can escape. You always want to have in your package the ability to bring five-man pressures, six-man pressures or have somebody spying on him. In order to strengthen yourself in one area, you are going to weaken yourself in another area. It is just playing that game and having that mixture of what you are trying to do.”


On the confidence that the Browns defense will continue to improve with more experience:

“It definitely will because within the game, you see it. There are moments where guys execute, we are making plays and we are doing what we are supposed to do, and then you see the inconsistencies. You are just trying to eliminate those, and now, you are playing at a higher level. We are doing it. You see it. We just need to do it more often and better.”


On Bears QB Justin Fields often having success on broken plays and how Fields having a full week of practice could impact play, including the potential for more designed runs:

“You would anticipate that, but that is part of it. You asked the question earlier about the breakdowns and how things change down and distance wise, you go into it based on what you see and what you think they are going to do, but you know you are going to have to adjust during the game. We will probably see more of that. They are probably trying to get him out on the perimeter a little bit. We are going to have to plaster in coverage because there are going to be times he is going to scramble.”


On CB Denzel Ward’s performance on Sunday and it seeming like Ward was getting a little frustrated after getting pushed off a few times:

“That happens. You never worry about that as a DB. That is part of life. There are things he did really well, and there are probably some plays out there he would want to have back. I watch him move around. I try to king of stand back a little bit and watch the DBs just to see the things that they are doing. I see him, and he looks stronger, he looks bigger, he looks twitchier and he looks faster. I feel like he is wired in. I just think right now, he is probably trying to do too much. He is trying to go out and make a play, and when you play DB, you execute your technique and the plays will come. I have talked to him about that so he just has to settle down and just do his job. He is good enough to make plays when he does that.”


On the gameplan with the Browns LBs after LB Anthony Walker Jr. was placed on injured reserve and LB Sione Takitaki being listed on the injury report:

“Next man up. It is just the life you live. In the NFL, there are going to be injuries week in and week out. They did a great job with the personnel here so I feel good about the guys in our backup positions. They will be able to step in and do what we need them to do to win.”


On what LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah needs to do to get more defensive snaps:

“It is just a process. Some of the stuff, you have to protect him from himself. I said that early on. I see all kind of packages and things I can do, but I do not want to do so much that he plays slow. We are slowly giving him more, and we definitely design things for him, but I just do not want to put a lot on his place.”


On the luxury of having a veteran player like LB Malcolm Smith who can step in and call defensive plays following Walker’s injury:

“It is awesome because he is such a leader. All of the young guys look up to him. You have that veteran presence in the huddle where that exudes confidence for everybody else. It has been great to have him around for sure.”


On if the Browns can use the dime package with three Ss more after Delpit having a good performance on Sunday:

“Oh, it is in. Now you just add him to it. You saw a little bit of that, but we will continue to progress and do more things coverage wise with him in there.”


On how many plays the Browns had the dime package in last week:

“It was probably a little over [one dozen]. We did it in two-minute, as well. It might be 26 or something like that.”


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