Joe Woods Named Broncos DC: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 17, 2017

Denver Broncos defensive backs coach Joe Woods, left, gestures while speaking to cornerback Kayvon Webster during the team's NFL football training camp session early Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Denver Broncos announced the promotion of defensive backs coach Joe Woods to defensive coordinator Tuesday. 

Woods, 46, spent the last two seasons coaching the secondary under Gary Kubiak. New head coach Vance Joseph originally recommended Woods to Kubiak for the secondary job. 

"When I came here, one of my very close friends in this business—[Joseph]—told me, 'You go get this guy.' I didn't know Joe," Kubiak said last month, per Andrew Mason of the Broncos' official website. "Boy, was he right. He's been special."

The Broncos hired Joseph earlier this month after Kubiak was forced to retire due to health concerns. He spent the 2016 season as the defensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins after previously working with defensive backs with the San Francisco 49ers, Houston Texans and Cincinnati Bengals.

Woods is the second major hire on Joseph's coaching staff, joining offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. McCoy rejoined the Broncos following a four-year stint as the San Diego Chargers' head coach; he was previously the Broncos' offensive coordinator from 2009 to 2012.

Retaining Woods will only serve to help a secondary that has ranked among the NFL's best over the last few seasons. Football Outsiders' metrics ranked Denver's secondary by far the best in football each of the last two years. The Broncos led the league in passing yards allowed, touchdown passes against and quarterback rating.

Aqib Talib and Chris Harris were named to their third straight Pro Bowl as teammates and both earned first-team All-Pro honors for the first time in 2016. 

"It's a special secondary with Talib and Chris and those guys, even the safeties, with Stewart and T.J.," Joseph said Thursday. "It's rare that you have four guys of a Pro Bowl level in one secondary. That's rare, and they're all fully-engaged guys."

The Broncos' pass defense was so dominant that it masked some struggles against the run. Denver ranked 28th in rushing yards allowed and was 21st in Football Outsiders' metrics. That downtick against the ground game combined with another below-average offensive season to hold the Broncos out of the playoffs a year after capturing the Lombardi Trophy.

We've seen that Woods can coach up an elite secondary. Whether that translates to the front seven, however, will determine if this is a successful hire. 

Follow Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) on Twitter.

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