Joe Woods, fire safety coordinator for the Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns fired defensive coordinator Joe Woods Monday morning after back-to-back losses, a league source told ESPN.

The Browns finished with a 7-10 record, crowned by Sunday’s 28-14 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Woods has served as Cleveland’s defensive coordinator under head coach Kevin Stefanski since 2020.

In Woods’ first season, the Browns advanced into the postseason for the first time since 2002 and then won their first playoff game in 26 years.

But slow starts hampered the Browns’ defense for the past two seasons. At one point in mid-October that season, Cleveland ranked 31st in defensive efficiency.

A holey running defense plagued the Browns in particular. Cleveland was second to bottom in the league on defense Total Rush EPA (-23.11).

Cleveland’s defense, particularly covering pass, improved significantly in the second half of the season as the Browns ranked 20th in defensive efficiency. But it wasn’t enough to save Wood’s job or keep Cleveland in the playoff hunt.

Before coming to Cleveland, Woods coached defensive backs for the San Francisco 49ers, including during their run to Super Bowl LIV. He was previously the defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos in 2017 and 2018.

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