Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods was fired Monday, ending his three-year run in Cleveland and weeks of speculation about his status.
Woods was hired by head coach Kevin Stefanski in 2020 but lagging run defense was a season-long issue for the Browns. Cleveland ended the season Sunday with a 28-14 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers and a 7-10 record.
“We didn’t perform up to our standards on defense,” Stefanski said Monday.
Cleveland ranked 25th in the NFL in run defense and rushing yards per play, giving up 135.2 yards per game and 4.71 yards per carry. The Browns were 15th in total defense (331.5 yards per game).
Woods said last week he lives in Cleveland and plans to stay, even if the Browns let him go.
Prior to this stop in Cleveland, Woods was defensive backs coach for the San Francisco 49ers.
Speculation about where Stefanski might turn to fill the vacancy fixed quickly on Mike Zimmer, who was Stefanski’s boss with the Minnesota Vikings. Zimmer was a defensive coordinator in the NFL for 13 seasons with the Cowboys, Falcons and Bengals before the Vikings named him head coach in 2014. He was fired after the 2021 season.
–Field Level Media