AFC Notes: Browns, Ravens, Texans

     

Browns

49ers DB coach Joe Woods has been a little tied up with San Francisco’s run to the Super Bowl and has not officially interviewed with the Browns for new HC Kevin Stefanski‘s open position at defensive coordinator. But Woods is expected to have the first crack at the job if he wants it. 

“We talked,” Woods said via Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot“Obviously I have a relationship with Kevin. I worked with him in Minnesota for eight years. But nothing’s going to be decided until after the Super Bowl. Obviously I feel like I have a good opportunity there but we’ll see what happens.”

Woods thinks highly of Stefanski, as both started their coaching careers around the same time and were colleagues together for eight years with the Vikings. 

“With Kevin, I’ve had a relationship with him, coaching on the same staff,” he said. “So if that were to happen, I feel it would be very easy, a seamless transition. There’s a trust factor there. He knows my work ethic. He saw me in the building for eight years, so he knows what I’m all about, so I don’t think there would be a problem there.”

Woods also added he hasn’t had any contract discussions with the 49ers despite reports they would make a big push to keep him. He does not need permission to interview since his contract is up following the Super Bowl. 

“I’ve had absolutely zero contract talks with anybody,” he said. “I’ve just been showing up to work doing my job and I’m just concerned with getting through the season, finishing the Super Bowl and then from there just make decisions. But I have not spoken to anyone about contracts at all.”

  • NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero reports that the Browns are hiring Jeff Howard as their new defensive backs’ coach and passing game coordinator. 
  • Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com writes that it is still unclear who will have play-calling duties between Browns’ new HC Kevin Stefanski or recently hired OC Alex Van Pelt.
  • Cabot mentions that Van Pelt was Aaron Rodgers quarterbacks’ coach with the Packers from 2014-2017 and was also the Bills’ offensive coordinator in 2009.

Ravens

It’s easy to forget with the splash Ravens WR Marquise Brown made in his rookie year, but the speedy receiver nicknamed “Hollywood” played his entire first season at less than 100 percent. Brown was limited by a Lisfranc injury from the conclusion of his college career throughout 2019 and still finished with 46 catches for 584 yards and seven touchdowns. With a full offseason to get healthy and work toward his own high expectations, Baltimore is high on Brown’s potential in 2020

“Even though he was hurt with his foot, he still felt like he should be Julio (Jones) already,” Ravens QB Lamar Jackson said via ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. “I told him, ‘Bro, you’re good. Your foot not already 100 and you’re making plays.’ This year, he’s going to be dangerous.”

Texans

Texans HC Bill O’Brien did not want to elaborate about QB Deshaun Watson‘s future contract but said they’d like to keep Watson in Houston “for his career.”

“I really don’t want to talk about those things publicly,” O’Brien said, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “I can tell you publicly, though, that we obviously want the Deshaun Watson here for a long, long time. We want him to be a Houston Texan for his career.

Wilson reports that the Texans have yet to open contract negotiations with Texans LT Laremy Tunsil, while O’Brien said that they want to keep the tackle “for a long time.” 

“Look, we want Laremy here,” O’Brien said. “Laremy knows that. I think, relative to contracts and all those different things, it really wouldn’t be fair for me to comment on any of those things  I just think we got to keep those things in-house, but I can unequivocally state to you that we want Laremy here for a long time.”

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