CLEVELAND — Cleveland Browns Defensive Coordinator Joe Woods was fired from his position Monday after his group underperformed and ended the team’s season short of expectations, an informant close to the team told the Associated Press.
Cleveland’s defense suffered issues from the opener with a 7-10 record, the 17th double-digit loss season since the franchise’s expansion rebirth in 1999, AP Reporter Tom Withers said.
The Browns averaged 331.5 years per game this season, ranking 14th in the league, a spokesperson for the team stated.
The team was 5th in passing defense with 196.2 yards and 25th against the run at 135.2 yards per game, the spokesperson continued.
The Brown’s pass defense collapsed in Week 2 loss to New York Jets who rallied from 13 points down in the final two minutes, Wither reported.
The problem with the defensive team reoccurred in Sunday’s 28-14 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers as quarterback Kenny Picket threw a touchdown pass to a wide-open George Pickens with “Cleveland’s defensive backs confused on coverage,” Wither continued.
“Woods was under fire all season and he sensed his dismissal last week,” Withers wrote.
As Woods left his last news conference, he told press, “I hope I get to talk to you guys again,” sensing his possible termination.
“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,” Browns Head Coach Kevin Stefanski stated in a press release of Woods’ dismissal.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t perform up to our standards enough this season, and we all in share that responsibility. We all wish Joe and his family the best in the future,” Stefanski continued.
Woods is the only coordinator expected to be fired, Withers informed.
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