(WJW) — The Cleveland Browns have fired defensive coordinator Joe Woods, as reported early Monday by the Fox 8 I-Team.
The move comes less than 24 hours after the Browns on Sunday had a disappointing end to a disappointing season finishing 7-10 with 28-14 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski issued the following statement:
“I’d like to thank Joe for his hard work and dedication in his three seasons as our defensive coordinator. I will always have the utmost respect for Joe, the person, and the coach. Unfortunately, we didn’t perform up to our standards enough this season, and we all share in that responsibility. We all wish Joe and his family the best in the future.”
Woods has been on the hot seat most of the season after his unit underperformed while dealing with injuries. Jadeveon Clowney didn’t play on Sunday, banished for critical comments he made during the week about the organization and coaching staff.
The Browns were among the worst teams in the league against the run, and Pittsburgh’s Najee Harris took advantage on Sunday with 84 yards and a touchdown. There was a communication breakdown in the secondary on Pittsburgh’s first touchdown pass to George Pickens and rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett converted two long third downs during the scoring drive that put the game away.
Defensive end Myles Garrett said he’s optimistic about the future of the organization, but admitted Sunday he’ll be frustrated for the next several weeks as he watches other players live their dreams during the playoffs.
“It’s frustrating to watch, whether they’re friends or former teammates, you still feel it in the back of your head … knowing that you want to be there and you want to be making those plays,” said Garrett, who tied his own team record with 16 sacks this season.
Woods has been with the Browns for three seasons.
Days ago, Woods talked about his future with the team saying he hoped to be back for next season