Joe Woods intends to ‘dictate the tempo’ of the defense
Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods plans to use more nickel and dime formations to dictate the tempo of the defense in 2021
Last season, the Cleveland Browns’ defense never looked comfortable. There were talent issues, especially among the linebackers, but most of the issues they faced were beyond their control.
Injury and COVID left their ranks ravaged and it impacted how defensive coordinator Joe Woods could plan the game. While he doesn’t want to use that as an excuse, he recently opened up about how the constant changes to the depth map made it impossible for them to install whatever they were leaning over.
Now that the team is gearing up for 2021, they have an infusion of talent thanks to both free agency and the draft, Woods believes they can fully implement their defense. And his plan is to use a lot more nickel and dime formations, which he says will help them dictate the tempo.
“We’ve already started the process of installing new defensive packages and new cover patterns in the offseason, just to be able to dictate the tempo a little more. ” Woods has opened up about the Browns’ defense according to Anthony Poisal of the team’s official website.
When Woods was hired last season, there was a lot of enthusiasm for his defensive style. While with the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos, he showed a preference for a 4-2-5 defense that often used three safeties and two linebackers.
Cleveland has never really been able to engage in that defense with Grant Delpit tearing his Achilles heel early in camp. They also had issues with Ronnie Harrison and Karl Joseph getting banged throughout the season.
Looking forward to 2021, they have Delpit back and signed John Johnson in free agency. They also added Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah early in the draft, giving them a hybrid linebacker who can play in that role as well as cover, the same way security sometimes works.
Considering how happy the NFL has become with passing passes, this is a great plan to land players who can do the pass work.
Woods has the right idea, now we just have to see if he can get the players to execute this plan.