In three seasons as the Cleveland Browns’ defensive coordinator, Joe Woods failed to lead a unit that finished better than 16th in points allowed.
It led to fans in Ohio calling for his head numerous times during what was a disastrous seven-win 2022 campaign for the team.
One day after their season-ending loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland’s brass has obliged. In the first official move of NFL’s Black Monday, the Browns announced that they have fired Woods after three seasons.
“I’d like to thank Joe for his hard work and dedication in his three seasons as our defensive coordinator. I will always have the utmost respect for Joe, the person, and the coach. Unfortunately, we didn’t perform up to our standards enough this season, and we all share in that responsibility. We all wish Joe and his family the best in the future.”Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski on the firing of Joe Woods
Despite boasting one of the most-talented units in the NFL, Woods was unable to lead Cleveland’s defense to anything more than mediocrity during his tenure with the organization.
The Browns finished this past season ranked 20th in points allowed with the 14th best overall defense in the league. That represented major regression from a 2021 campaign in which Cleveland ranked fifth in total defense.
One of the primary issues here was finding a consistent pass rush behind Myles Garrett. Cleveland finished with a mere 34 sacks in 17 games despite Garrett himself coming up 16 of them. That figure ranked in the bottom 10 of the NFL.
As Joe Woods looks for another job, the search in Cleveland begins to find a better fit for a defense that should be playing at a much higher level than we saw in 2022.