Can Joe Woods make his defense work
Joe Woods is in a make-or-break season. His defense was blamed for most of the issues in 2020. Not being able to stop Chad Henne in the playoffs was a huge issue that he and the defense had to deal with during the offseason. Fair or not, Woods was blamed for the defense’s shortcomings in 2020.
We can all agree that the secondary was hit hard with injuries. Especially to Granat Delpit and Greedy Williams. It forced a lot of players into spots they weren’t suited for. Issues with inconsistency on the defensive line also were a factor, causing the Browns to blow up the unit and replace three of the four starters. The linebackers are maybe the most affected in Woods’ defense, with many both claiming that they aren’t suited for the system or that the system doesn’t utilize them well enough and hinders them.
Maybe it’s just that the players weren’t very good in 2020, maybe Woods’ scheme is bad; either way, the Browns gave Woods the tools to make his 4-2-5 defense the best possible version it can be. The defense has got to improve and do better in 2021 if Woods is going to keep his job.
The two big areas he has to find success in are passing yards against and sacks. If those two areas don’t improve, it seems unlikely that Woods would be brought back for a third season. After all, his defense is literally designed to be used against a pass-first attack. If his squad can’t do that for the second year in a row, then he and his scheme could be shown the door.