Earlier in the week, it was reported that San Francisco 49ers defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator Joe Woods was a finalist for the defensive coordinator position for the Cleveland Browns. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported early Sunday morning that Woods would be the next Browns defensive coordinator if the two sides can agree on a contract. Woods signed a one-year deal at the beginning of 2019, so his stay was never going to be long with the Niners. An excerpt from the article earlier this week:
I’m not going to pretend to be Adam Schefter, but everything I’ve gathered this season is that Woods is doing a lot of the heavy lifting from a scheme standpoint. San Francisco still ran zone predominantly during the regular season (78% zone). Still, Woods brought over more quarters cover principles, pattern-matching schemes, and checks pre-snap that keep the 49ers defense in a numbers advantage. Simply put, he’d be a significant loss for the 49ers. Rumors are already swirling that run game coordinator Mike McDaniel could join Stefanski as his offensive coordinator. We’ll see if either of these happen.
While Woods will be a significant loss for San Francisco no matter which way you slice it, the benefit of having whoever you replace him with around and able to pick his brain for a year will help. If Robert Saleh were to get the Browns position, rumor had it that Woods would have replaced him as the defensive coordinator for the 49ers. A year from now, the Niners may have to replace both. We’ll see. If Woods is the coordinator, best of luck, and I don’t doubt Kyle Shanahan will have trouble finding a successor.