Browns Down To Steve Wilks, Joe Woods For Defensive Coordinator

New Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski is considering keeping Steve Wilks in his role as defensive coordinator while also considering former Broncos DC Joe Woods. The Browns are down to Wilks and Woods for the job, Jim Trotter of NFL.com tweets.

This news comes a day after Wade Phillips and ex-Vikings DC George Edwards were believed to be in the mix. But Stefanski looks to have since narrowed the field. He and Woods worked together for eight years in Minnesota, with Woods coaching the Vikings’ defensive backs from 2006-13 — Stefanski’s first eight years with the franchise.

Wilks has spent one season as Browns DC, coming over after a one-and-done tenure as Cardinals head coach. Woods, who replaced Phillips in Denver as Broncos DC in 2017, is currently serving as the 49ers’ pass-game coordinator and secondary coach.

Freddie Kitchens brought Wilks over from Arizona. The Browns improved from 30th to 22nd defensively from Gregg Williams but dropped from 18th to 23rd in defensive DVOA. Wilks, 50, also oversaw the Panthers’ defense in 2017, being promoted after a five-year run as Carolina’s secondary coach.

Woods received the same promotion in Denver, with the Broncos opting to let Phillips walk in 2017 to elevate Woods. While Woods’ two Broncos defenses were solid, the 49ers’ rise from 23rd to second in pass-defense DVOA has obviously been key to the NFC No. 1 seed’s success. The 49ers’ Richard Sherman-led secondary has become a much better unit compared to last season, when Sherman did not play at a Pro Bowl level. Woods also oversaw the Broncos’ dominant No-Fly Zone secondary that helped the team to a championship in 2015, working under Phillips. Woods, 49, has a chance to collect a second Super Bowl ring and may ride that momentum into another DC job.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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7 comments on “Browns Down To Steve Wilks, Joe Woods For Defensive Coordinator

  1. afsooner02

    Which ever coach can that can teach the players not to rip off helmets of the opponent and try to kill them with it should work out well.

    • sufferfortribe

      They need one who can teach that most basic defensive fundamental — how to tackle.

    • sufferfortribe

      I agree. The longer it takes to reach this decision, the better chance it’s him.
      Just waiting on his postseason to finish up.

  2. crosseyedlemon

    The Browns seem to be putting good people in place but it will probably all go to waste if they fumble when choosing a GM.

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