Browns fire defensive coordinator Joe Woods, want to interview Brian Flores for job
Kevin Stefanski's time with the Cleveland Browns started very well. He was NFL Coach of the Year after his first season.
The two seasons after that have resulted in two losing seasons. There was some speculation that Stefanski was on the hot seat.
Stefanski seems to be safe for another season considering he was the voice of the Browns' first big move of the offseason, which was firing defensive coordinator Joe Woods. The team announced that move with a statement from Stefanski.
Joe Woods has been relieved of his duties as defensive coordinator. pic.twitter.com/m7nMjLGaTT
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) January 9, 2023
Once coordinators start to get fired, there's only one more move to make if things don't turn around.
The Browns have a notable name atop their candidate list for the job: Former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores. Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFL claiming racial discrimination in its hiring process for coaches and executives. Flores was the Pittsburgh Steelers' linebackers coach this past season and the Browns have requested an interview with him, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Stefanski went 11-5 his first season, then 8-9 and 7-10. The 2022 season was a mess for the Browns. It was a miserable season, with the controversy over new quarterback Deshaun Watson hanging over everything. Watson was suspended for 11 games and the Browns went 4-7. When Watson returned, he was rusty and the Browns didn't get much better. They lost 28-14 to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the finale.
The defense was not very good with Woods running it. They were 20th in points allowed and 14th in yards allowed. Something had to happen after another disappointing season, and Woods was the first big move in response to the 10 losses.
The Browns will hope that having Watson for a full offseason and new defensive leadership will lead to a turnaround next season. If it doesn't, the next big coaching move probably won't be with a coordinator.