Joe Woods had to wait until after Super Bowl weekend to make his promotion official.
The Cleveland Browns have hired the San Francisco 49ers defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator to become the team’s next defensive coordinator.
According to cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot, an official announcement should be “soon.”
Now that the #SBLIV is over, the #Browns are definitely hiring #49ers assistant Joe Woods as their defensive coordinator, a league source tells clevelanddotcom. Should be official soon https://t.co/PkDFmXll9r
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) February 3, 2020
In order to fully grasp the quality of this hire, here are five things to know about the Browns’ next defensive coordinator.
1. Woods Is A Super Bowl Champion
Woods coached the defensive backs for the Broncos from 2015 to 2016, where he won a Super Bowl.
In his first season, the Broncos finished first in the NFL against the pass, allowing a league-best 199.6 yards-per-game.
The stats also included 11 interceptions, 56 passes defended, nine forced fumbles, and four touchdowns.
In 2016, the secondary held opponents to the fewest yards per game (185.8) and passing touchdowns (13) in the league.
When Wade Phillips left Denver, the team promoted Woods to a defensive coordinator.
In 2017, Woods led the defense to the third-best total defense, allowing 290.0 yards per game, which also featured the fifth-best run defense.
The top five ratings were a massive improvement from their 28th ranked rush defense in 2016.
2. Illinois State Alum
Ohio is not that far away from Illinois, which is where Woods went to college.
Woods was a four-time letter winner as a cornerback and safety during his collegiate career at Illinois State University.
In 1991, Woods was the team’s captain and finished the first-team All-Gateway Conference during his final season.
He graduated in 1992 with a degree in criminal justice.
3. Woods Coached Charles Woodson’s Best Tackling Season
Woods’ resume just keeps getting better and better when you really dive in.
Charles Woodson was 38 years old when he played for the Oakland Raiders in 2018.
In his lone season at Oakland, Woods coached Woodson to his best tackling year.
Woodson finished 2018 with 113 combined tackles (led the team) and four interceptions.
4. 49ers Wanted To Keep Woods
When Woods’ name swirled as the likely candidate for the DC position, San Francisco tried to keep Woods in town.
49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, who was considered for the head coaching position before the Browns hired Kevin Stefanski, said losing Woods would “hurt.”
As Kevin Stefanski sets his initial staff in Cleveland, source said the 49ers are making a late push to keep DB coach/passing game coordinator Joe Woods, who was with the Vikings from 2006-13. Woods has been the favorite to land as the Browns’ DC.
— Ben Goessling (@GoesslingStrib) January 23, 2020
5. Minnesota Chemistry
Stefanski worked with Woods for eight seasons when the two were with the Minnesota Vikings.
He told Mary Kay Cabot before the Super Bowl that he believes it would be a “seamless transition” for him to be the team’s defensive coordinator.
“With Kevin, I’ve had a relationship with him, coaching on the same staff,’’ said Woods. “So if that were to happen, I feel it would be very easy, a seamless transition. There’s a trust factor there. He knows my work ethic. He saw me in the bldg. for 8 years, so he knows what I’m all about, so I don’t think there would be a problem there.’’
He looks to be the best person for the job. The Browns coaching staff keeps getting better.