Reports: Browns won’t retain DC Wilks, eye 49ers’ Woods

Field Level Media

January 20, 2020 at 5:00 am.

The Cleveland Browns spent a good part of their Sunday shaking up the coaching staff that new head coach Kevin Stefanski inherited, with a couple of assistants reportedly out the door.

Cleveland.com reported the club will not bring back defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, while ESPN reported that offensive line coach James Campen will also be let go.

Wilks had been under consideration to stay after joining the Browns last season under Freddie Kitchens, but multiple outlets have reported that San Francisco 49ers defensive backs/run-game coordinator Joe Woods is the favorite for the job.

ESPN reported later Sunday that Woods is expected to get the job as long as he and the Browns can agree to a contract. The report added that Woods doesn’t want to turn his focus from the 49ers until after their season ends, and they advanced to the Super Bowl by routing the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday night.

Woods, 49, spent eight years with the Minnesota Vikings on the same staff as Stefanski, as both joined Minnesota in 2006.

While Stefanski remained in Minnesota in a variety of roles until this January, Woods spent a year as the Oakland Raiders’ defensive backs coach (2014), four with the Denver Broncos (2015-18) — including as coordinator the final two seasons — and this year with the 49ers.

Multiple outlets have reported Woods signed a one-year contract with San Francisco, allowing him to join any team once the season is over.

The 49ers’ defense has been one of the league’s best, finishing second in total yards and eighth in points. While a coordinator with Denver, Woods’ defenses finished third in yards but 22nd in points in 2017 and then 22nd in yards and 13th in points in 2018.

Wilks, 50, spent 2018 as the Arizona Cardinals’ head coach but was fired after one season. The Browns finished 22nd in yards allowed and 20th in points this year.

The 55-year-old Campen spent 15 seasons in Green Bay in various assistant positions before leaving for Cleveland prior to last season to be the associate head coach/offensive line coach under Kitchens. There was no word on any possible replacement in the ESPN report.