The Browns have 1 scapegoat way bigger than HC Kevin Stefanski

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The Cleveland Browns are off to a shocking start to the 2022 season. And as anyone who’s watched knows, the shock isn’t a positive for fans in northeast Ohio. In fact, things have gotten so bad that fans on social media are noting that head coach Kevin Stefanski could be in the hot seat.

Is it right? Well, all NFL fans know that the head coach is ultimately responsible for a losing program. However, before any firing, modifications are generally made in order to save a job. For the Browns, there’s a major scapegoat in place who could soon lose his job, and it’s not Stefanski.

Browns may have to fire defensive coordinator Joe Woods

Cleveland Browns vs. Atlanta FalconsCleveland Browns vs. Atlanta Falcons
Cleveland Browns vs. Atlanta Falcons

A simple Twitter search for “Joe Woods” comes up with a lot of hate and criticism from Cleveland fans. Sunday is no different, as the Atlanta Falcons managed to literally run all over the Browns defense. Marcus Mariota only completed seven assists, but he still led his team to a 23-20 win.

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The problem was that the Falcons were collectively running over 200 yards when Woods and everyone in the building knew it was coming. This is unacceptable, especially for a team like the Browns with such high expectations.

There is a fair argument to be made that the offense should have scored more than 20 points. They left multiple scores on the pitch with questionable decision-making, and Nick Chubb only carried the ball 19 times. The lack of attack is where fans cling to Stefanski as the man who needs to go.

But the problems go back beyond Sunday. To be specific, Woods put his job at risk in Week 2 when his defense caused an epic meltdown against the New York Jets. His men up front couldn’t generate pressure, and those in the secondary forgot how to communicate as the Jets scored two touchdowns in the final two minutes of the game.

Yes, the players themselves have to step up and do their job. But a lack of communication at the NFL level? It’s inexcusable, and a coach has to answer for it.

Will Woods get fired? So far, the Browns may want to avoid a sense of panic by firing a coach so early in the season. And even if he goes, a member of his current staff will slip in and try to maintain some sense of continuity.

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If they go this route, it’s the first step towards Stefanski losing his job. The property will be looking for a scapegoat, other than themselves, and Woods is the first man. But after him, Stefanski leads the attack. So if this unit isn’t up to snuff, it wouldn’t make much difference by dismissing assistants.

One thing he has in his favor is that the property is going to rate the team based on how well they perform with Deshaun Watson under centre. If he returns and the same problems return on both sides of the ball, a new manager will surely arrive in 2023.

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By Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at