The Cleveland Browns have narrowed down thier candidates to be their defensive coordinator, the incumbent Steve Wilks and San Francisco’s Joe Woods.
Cross Wade Phillips off the list. The Browns are down to two candidates for their DC position.
The initial report of Wade Phillips being under consideration to be the next defensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns was exciting. Well, the excitement is gone because Cleveland is down to two candidates. Steve Wilks and Joe Woods.
Everyone is familiar with Steve Wilks. Wilks was the Browns defensive coordinator from last season and before that spent one season in Arizona as their head coach. The Browns defense was awful at times this season, but some of that can be attributed to injuries and suspensions. The other part is scheme. Wilks runs a zone scheme which does not fit with the roster all that well. Whether or not they bring back Wilks could impact pending free agents and the roster status of players down the road.
Joe Woods is San Francisco’s’ defensive backs coach. Woods runs a defense similar to what Wade Phillips runs. (Reminder Phillips runs a 4-3 under scheme, not a 3-4).
Woods served under Phillips in Denver, so that is where the foundation of the scheme could come from.
There is familiarity between Woods and new head coach Kevin Stefanski. Both were in Minnesota from 2006-13. That familiarity could lead to Woods having an advantage over Wilks when it comes down to their next coaching hire. For what it is worth, Woods was a candidate to replace Robert Saleh in San Francisco had he got the head coaching gig in Cleveland per reports.
It appears that it will come down to familiarity with head coach (Joe Woods) versus familiarity with the current roster (Steve Wilks).