Browns hire former 49ers assistant Woods to lead defense

Local Sports

CLEVELAND (AP)New Browns coach Kevin Stefanski has hired former San Francisco 49ers secondary coach Joe Woods as his defensive coordinator.

The addition of Woods to Stefanski’s staff has been rumored for weeks, but Cleveland couldn’t formally interview him until San Francisco’s season ended. After the 49ers were beaten by Kansas City in the Super Bowl on Sunday, Woods met with Stefasnki – the two worked together for eight seasons in Minnesota – and the Browns offered him a contract.

”Absolutely worth the wait,” said Stefanski, the former Vikings offensive coordinator who faced the 49ers and lost in the playoffs. ”It’s good to see when you’re taking a coach from another team it’s good to see that team having success. It was fun to watch those guys. They had an incredible season. Joe’s impact on that defense was very real.”

Woods is bringing 49ers assistant Chris Kiffin with him to coach the Browns defensive line.

Earlier this week, Stefanski named Alex Van Pelt as his offensive coordinator. Stefanski has yet to say who will be calling plays next season.

Woods, who was Denver’s defensive coordinator in 2017-18, replaces Steve Wilks. The former Arizona coach was let go after one season following Freddie Kitchens’ firing.

Woods coached the Niners’ defensive backs last season, and with a huge assist from a relentless pass rush, the group led the NFL in passing defense, allowing just 169.2 yards per game.

In Cleveland, he’ll take over a young defense with promise but some holes.

Star end Myles Garrett was having a strong 2019 season before he was suspended indefinitely for striking Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph with a swung helmet. Garrett will soon meet with Commissioner Roger Goodell and is expected to be re-instated.

Cleveland has solid young cornerbacks in former Pro Bowler Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams, but the team will need to address the safety spot with Damarious Randall eligible for free agency and Morgan Burnett recovering from a torn Achilles tendon.

”It’s good to be back in this role,” Woods said. ”I felt like I learned a lot from my time in Denver. It’s really about managing people, game-planning and how to call a game, so I feel like I’m more prepared now than I was then. When you have pieces in place and with the additions we’ll make in free agency and the draft, I feel like we can really get something accomplished here this next season.”

More AP NFL: and

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Sports Video

More Sports Videos


More Video

Barnesville High School

Beallsville High School

Beaver Local High School

Bellaire High School

Bridgeport High School

Brooke High School

Buckeye Local High School

Buckeye Trail High School

Caldwell High School

Cambridge High School

Cameron High School

Clay-Battelle High School

Conotton Valley High School

East Liverpool High School

Edison High School

Fort Frye High School

Harrison Central High School

Hundred High School

Indian Creek High School

John Marshall High School

Linsly High School

Magnolia High School

Martins Ferry High School

Meadowbrook High School

Monroe Central High School

Morgantown High School

Oak Glen High School

Paden City High School

Parkersburg High School

Parkersburg Catholic High School

Parkersburg South High School

River High School

St. Clairsville High School

Shadyside High School

Shenandoah High School

Steubenville High School

Steubenville Catholic Central High School

Toronto High School

Tyler Consolidated High School

Union Local High School

University High School

Valley High School

Weir High School

Weirton Madonna High School

Wellsville High School

Wheeling Central High School

Wheeling Park High School

Ohio Lottery

Don't Miss

Trending Stories

More Top News

WTRF 7News Twitter