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Joe Woods
Denver Broncos
Position: Defensive coordinator
Personal information
Born: (1970-06-25) June 25, 1970 (age 47)
North Vandergrift, Pennsylvania
Career information
College: Illinois State
Career history
As coach:
Career highlights and awards

Joe Woods (born June 25, 1970) is an American football coach who currently serves as the defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL). He served the 2014 season as defensive backs coach under Dennis Allen for the Oakland Raiders. Woods joined the Broncos before the 2015 season as their defensive backs coach. Woods was promoted to defensive coordinator for the Broncos prior to the 2017 season. A coaching veteran of 24 years, Woods has instructed defensive backs in the NFL during the last 13 seasons with Tampa Bay (2004-05), Minnesota (2006-13), Oakland (2014), and Denver (2015-16).

As the coach of the Broncos' secondary in 2015, Woods led a unit that finished first in the NFL against the pass (199.6 ypg). Featuring a pair of Pro Bowl cornerbacks—Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib—Denver's defensive backfield accounted for 11 interceptions 56 passes defensed, nine forced fumbles and four touchdowns.

The Broncos posted three interceptions against just one passing touchdown allowed during Denver's championship run. On February 7, 2016, Woods was part of the Broncos coaching staff that won Super Bowl 50. In the game, the Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers by a score of 24–10.[1]

Woods coached the Raiders' defensive backs in 2014, working with veteran safety Charles Woodson, who led the team with 160 tackles (105 solo) and four interceptions (35 yds.) in his 17th NFL season. He also tutored D.J. Hayden as the second-year cornerback made considerable progress from his rookie season while starting 8-of-10 games played for Oakland.

Before joining the Raiders, Woods spent eight seasons coaching defensive backs in Minnesota. The Vikings finished among the NFL's top 10 defenses in four of his first five years with the club, capturing back-to-back NFC North Division titles from 2008-09 and making an NFC Championship Game appearance following the 2009 season.

In 2013, Woods was instrumental in the development of first-round cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who appeared in 13 games (6 starts) for the club and set a Vikings rookie record with 23 passes defensed.

Cornerback Antoine Winfield earned all three of his career Pro Bowl selections (2008–10) playing for Woods, recording 14 interceptions and 58 passes defensed in his six years with the Vikings.

Woods was brought to Minnesota in 2006 along with Defensive Coordinator Mike Tomlin, who worked side-by-side with him as a secondary coach in Tampa Bay from 2004-05. In his initial season with the Vikings, Woods helped develop a trio of rookies, including cornerback Cedric Griffin (2nd Round; No. 48 overall), the club's highest-drafted defensive back in 11 years.

During his first two NFL seasons with Tampa Bay, Woods helped coach a talented secondary led by cornerbacks Ronde Barber and Brian Kelly. Barber, an NFL 2000s All-Decade performer, earned first-team All-Pro recognition from the Associated Press following each of his two seasons playing for Woods.

In 2005, the Buccaneers boasted the NFL's top defensive unit (277.8 ypg)—including the league's sixth-ranked pass defense (183.1 ypg)—while finishing 11-5 and capturing the NFC South Division title. Barber set a team single-season record for most tackles (120) by a cornerback and led the club with five interceptions.

Tampa Bay ranked first in the NFL in pass defense (161.2 ypg) in Woods' initial season with the club in 2004 and limited opposing quarterbacks to a 77.2 passer rating. Barber was selected to his second career Pro Bowl after finishing the season as one of just four NFL cornerbacks to record at least three interceptions and three sacks.

Before joining the Bucs, Woods was the defensive backs coach for three seasons (2001–03) at Western Michigan University. He coached the same position with Hofstra University from 1998-2000, helping the school make consecutive trips to the 1-AA playoff quarterfinals.

Woods also served as defensive backs coach at Kent State University (1997) and Grand Valley State University (1994-96) following a stint coaching linebackers during the spring of 1994 at Northwestern State University.

Woods began his coaching career as a defensive backs coach at Muskingum College in 1992 and moved on to become a graduate assistant coach at Eastern Michigan University in 1993.


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