Browns DC Joe Woods Has Been Impressed By John Johnson III

On if there are specific benchmarks for knowing the Browns defense has improved:

“We always set our goals on top five in the NFL. We feel like if we are top five, we are going to give ourselves a chance. Obviously, we want to be the best, but we will be able to measure that every week based on the stats of each game.”

On what stats are important to him besides points allowed:

“That is the one – points allowed. I think that is the most important stat because obviously, if the team is not scoring, you are giving yourself a chance to win. We always talk about points allowed. We talk about turnovers and taking the ball away and then all of your situations of getting off of the field, third downs and having success in the red zone. Anything that has to do with getting the ball back for us or getting off of the field.”

On the significance of DVOA:

“I know we get all of that information that week, but I just trust my eyes and what I see on tape and go from there.”

On what S John Johnson III adds to the Browns secondary:

“John is a great leader. We brought in guys who are very professional and who have been leaders on teams that they have been on. That is John in the secondary. If you look at the linebacker position, (LB) Anthony Walker and the D line position (DE) Malik Jackson – I had him in Denver. Those guys have been great additions to our team, and they are doing a great job.”

On if it is a concern that the full first-team defense has not played together much at this point due to injuries, rest and other factors:

“It is not a concern. It is the nature of the NFL. Guys go through injuries. I would love to have all 11 out there, but the thing that has helped us is some of the young guys we want to evaluate, they got a lot of reps, whether it is in practice, whether it was a joint practice or in the games. That has really helped us develop our depth. Hopefully, we get them out there soon, but I know we are talented enough to play good defense.”

On if he is looking at those additional reps for younger Browns players as silver lining for them to get more experience and an opportunity to evaluate them due to other players not being available:

“Yeah, you really want to see what guys work well together. Whether it is the D line or the secondary in terms of communication, how well they execute your techniques and what are their reactions in certain situations, that is where the experience of taking all of those reps really help us determine who the best players are.”

On the status of the ‘big dime’ package:

“We are going to have a dime package. We may have to get to it maybe a little bit later in terms of the whole package, but we are repping it in training camp. We are keeping alive, but once he (S Grant Delpit) gets back, there are some other things I will be able to do.”

On DE Malik McDowell and what he knew about McDowell before joining the team:

“Malik has been great. He is a big man. He has been great for the room. The older guys have taken him in under their wing just trying to help him. He is very powerful. He is a sponge. He has not played in four years so you saw the results in what he did the last game. He was very productive and did some good things, and we look forward to seeing him continue to grow.”

On competition and depth on the Browns DL:

“It does give us some options based on the type of team that we are playing. We have the ability to get really fast and put a bunch on ends on the field, and we have a chance to get really big if there is a team that is really trying to run the ball. Week to week, we will make that decision, and we will have different packages with our front four in terms of who we put out there.”

On if McDowell can give the Browns more options in terms of matching up against other teams due to McDowell’s versatility:

“We definitely see it that way, but you also want to be careful. Just like when you have that new shiny tool and there is a bunch of things you want to do with it, we have to make sure that we do not put too much on him so that way when he is on the field playing, he is playing fast. Again, we will give him some different packages, but we want to make sure that we are always putting our players in a position to have success early.”

On what CB Greg Newsome II has shown with more reps and gaining more confidence:

“It is definitely he is getting more confident. We knew coming in that he was a very smart player, a very competitive player. He had the length and speed we were looking for. I think early on, it was just learning the system and getting comfortable with the system. You can see with each day in practice, with each game and with the matchups when it is a different color jersey that he is getting more confident. We look forward to having him out there. He will have a role for sure. We will figure that out along the way, but I feel like he is going to be a really good player in this league for a long time.”

On comparing LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah’s production in Preseason Week 1 to Preseason Week 2:

“I think everything with JOK is just he is learning. He sees things and he plays fast, but he has to do it the right way. Each week, we put in different gameplans for teams. We do not do a lot, but we try to change just a little bit each week. Sometimes I will send him a little bit more and try to get him some one-on-ones. Sometimes I just want to see if he can cover. Just week to week, it is just different things trying to evaluate all of our guys in terms of man, zone coverage and pressure.”

On if LB Mack Wilson Sr. will play WILL against Kansas City:

“We are still going to figure that out. The thing is you have options so that is the best thing is that you have choices. We will put together gameplans. We have already started to look at it – just a little bit – but we will put together different gameplans based on how we want to play coverage or pressure those guys.”

On how much better the Browns secondary can be this year:

“Last year obviously was tough just because of everything we were going through and not practicing as much as we would like to, but I think with some of the new guys coming in – Greg Newsome earlier – I just think that we have added some guys who have some talent and some coverage skills. It gives me confidence when I can go back in certain situations and be aggressive – maybe calling more pressure, putting them on an island and letting the front get after the quarterback. I like the talent, but they have to do it on Sundays.”

On how much carryover there preparing for the Chiefs in Week 1 after playing them in the Browns’ final game of the 2020 season in the playoffs:

“You always want to go back and look to see what things they did and where they had success against you. You always want to take care of those plays. Every team always changes year to year. There are some things that they add and some things that they take out. I know (Chiefs Head) Coach (Andy) Reid and (Chiefs offensive coordinator) Coach (Eric) Bieniemy – I coached with him for a couple years in Minnesota – they will have some twists for us and some little changeups. I think pretty much they are going to be the same and just try to create matchups. We are going to give them a little bit of something different, too.”

On if he is aware of the Browns defense’s personality now through practice or waiting to determine it:

“Fast. Hopefully, fast and aggressive. We want to be a fast, aggressive team. We want to be able to take away the ball. We really want to dictate the way the game is played. I want to be aggressive with our game planning, aggressive in terms of getting after the quarterback with blitz packages and not really worry about what they are doing – make them worry about what we are doing. That is the hope.”

On what is most exciting about what DE Jadeveon Clowney can do:

“Rush the passer (laughter). He probably does not get enough credit for how effective he is in the run game. He is very hard to block so when it comes to gameplans, I definitely feel like we need to move him some because he is a little bit lighter. When it comes to rushing the passer with the guys we have up front, we can move him around and we can create one-on-one matchups with whoever we want. I am happy to have that in my arsenal. It will be on display at some point.”

On how different the Browns defense could look week to week:

“It can definitely look different. We do not want to get outside of what we do, but we will be able to move the pieces around – like I was saying, creating matchups – but there are different fronts that we are trying to get certain protections where we can create matchups or kind of do what we do without giving it away. It will look differently slightly week to week, but it is all going to be within the concept of our defensive scheme.”

On if LB Jacob Phillips may return this season:

“I do not know. Medically, that just depends on the rehab and how he recovers. I am not sure of that to be honest with you. That is just something really for the medical staff to answer.”

On if Phillips returning this season is not completely off the table:

“I do not know that answer just to be honest.”

On Owusu-Koramoah’s versatility:

“I am very excited, but at the same time, it is what I said earlier, you just have to be careful how much you are doing with him because he is a rookie. I have stuff all over the board, but you really have to look at it at Year 1 and Year 2 because you do not want to do so much with somebody that they are not playing fast. We will be smart about that in terms of how we use him and in terms of not using him too much in our different defensive packages.”

On if Owusu-Koramoah’s ability to do more in the defensive scheme with his versatility can make a big jump in Year 2:

“Naturally, that is how it happens. That way you can expand your packages and put him at different positions. We will definitely grow into that. I just want to be careful I do not do too much with him this year.”

On if last year’s game against the Chiefs is an important tool when scheming things and making the gameplan:

“That is the first thing you look at. You go back and look at a team you play against like, ‘Where did they have success?’ You also look at ‘What did we do right? What did we do wrong?’ In a lot of games, it is not necessarily what they do; it is what you do or what you do not do. There are some things looking back at that game that should be easy corrections for us, but it is a different game. Last year is last year. Different players. We have to prepare for what we think they are going to do based on a breakdown and also give them something a little different to prepare for.”

On the outlook for CB Greedy Williams and S Grant Delpit to play in Week 1:

“I definitely want them to be involved. When you have the ability to put more speed on the field and create the matchups you want to create, that is what those guys give us. Greedy can play either corner position, but he will allow us to create some different matchups inside with other guys. With Grant, he can play all of the safety positions, and he can play the dime position. Coming out of LSU, he showed us coverage skills. There is a lot of flexibility and there are a lot of different things I can do within the package. It is just really getting the guys back healthy.”

On Williams’ and Delpit’s mindsets after battling back from season-ending injuries in 2020:

“They are doing great. I just think we have a really close team. It helps that those guys played at the same college so there is a relationship there. I think their mindsets have been good. I think they are working hard to get back as soon as they can, and they are taking part in our walkthroughs. They are staying engaged in the meetings. They have done a great job, and I think they will be fine once they get back.”

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