Joe Woods

NFL rumors: 49ers hiring Tony Oden as their new defensive backs coach

NFL rumors: 49ers hiring Tony Oden as their new defensive backs coach

The 49ers reportedly will hire Tony Oden to replace Joe Woods as the team’s new defensive backs coach.

Oden, 46, will step into Kyle Shanahan’s coaching staff to take over the vacant position, the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported on Monday morning.

Woods last week was hired as Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator after serving one season as the 49ers defensive backs coach/passing game coordinator.

[RELATEDShanahan, Lynch already begin shifting focus to 2020]

Robert Saleh, the 49ers’ defensive coordinator, previously worked on the same staff as Oden with the Houston Texans (2005). Oden has been a position coach every season in the NFL since 2011, working the staffs of the New Orleans Saints, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins.

Oden will work closely with 49ers safeties coach Daniel Bullocks.

Browns name former 49ers assistant Joe Woods as defensive coordinator

Browns name former 49ers assistant Joe Woods as defensive coordinator

Joe Woods on Friday officially left the 49ers coaching staff to accept the position of defensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns.

The Browns announced the hiring of Woods, who served on Kyle Shanahan’s staff last season as defensive backs coach/passing game coordinator.

The 49ers pass defense ranked first in the NFL, holding opponents to 169.2 yards per game. It was the lowest total allowed by an NFL team since 2009, when the New York Jets allowed just 153.7 yards passing per game.

Woods signed a one-year contract with the 49ers last year to replace Jeff Hafley, who became co-defensive coordinator at Ohio State. Woods was free to join the Browns after the Super Bowl. Woods described his reasoning to not sign the typical two-year contract as a decision to bet on himself.

"Absolutely worth the wait," Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said in a statement. "It's good to see when you're taking a coach from another team it's good to see that team having success. It was fun to watch those guys. They had an incredible season. Joe's impact on that defense was very real.

"I'm going to spend a lot of time with the offense but it doesn't mean I won't spend time with the defense. To be able to have somebody in there that I trust, that I know is a good coach is huge. Just sitting with him this past day and talking football, it just aligns with the vision with the type of defense we want to play. I think we've got a really good defensive coordinator."

Woods came to the 49ers after four seasons with the Denver Broncos. He was the defensive backs coach on the Broncos team that won Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. He was promoted to defensive coordinator for the 2017 and ’18 seasons under then-coach Vance Joseph.

Now, he joins a Cleveland staff under Stefanski, who was hired this offseason over 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

[RELATEDReport: 49ers' Kiffin joining Browns; Whitecotton replaces him]

"You could definitely see they had some pieces in place, some talented players that I've evaluated over the years," Woods said in a statement. "I was definitely excited to have an opportunity to be a coach here.

"Just from tradition, pride and the fanbase, I know they're craving for a winner and I know we're very close. I feel like if we can get it done, the whole city will erupt. I look forward to that challenge."

49ers assistant Joe Woods' gamble pays off as Browns' coordinator job looms

49ers assistant Joe Woods' gamble pays off as Browns' coordinator job looms

MIAMI, Fla. -- The 49ers could lose a key, behind-the-scenes piece of their top-ranked pass defense after Super Bowl LIV.

Joe Woods, 49, who serves as defensive backs coach/passing game coordinator, is reportedly the top candidate to become the Cleveland Browns’ defensive coordinator under first-year coach Kevin Stefanski.

The 49ers reportedly are trying to retain Woods, but it will not be easy. Woods clearly had his eye on a coordinator job in 2020 when he signed a one-year contract to replace Jeff Hafley last year.

“I just think at this point in my career, after being a coordinator in Denver, I felt as a position coach, I feel like I’ve been around the league long enough, I felt my reputation was good enough, that if I signed a one-year deal and it didn’t work out, I’d be able to find employment," Woods said Wednesday.

"I was basically betting on myself.”

Woods contract expires after the 49ers face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday.

General manager John Lynch said everyone is focused on Sunday’s game, not what the future holds for Woods or anyone else.

“Joe is an excellent football coach, so if some opportunities come his way, they come his way,” Lynch said. “But Joe is fully focused on this task.”

Woods said he has not engaged in any contract talks with any team.

“I’ve been showing up to work, doing my job and I’m just concerned with getting through the season and finishing the Super Bowl and from there, making decisions,” he said.

[RELATED: Coleman looks good, seems ready for 49ers' Super Bowl role]

Woods worked as the Denver Broncos' defensive coordinator in 2017 and 2018 under coach Vance Joseph. He said this season with the 49ers has helped him grow through increasing his knowledge of the cover-3 defense that the Seattle Seahawks popularized.

Woods said he has learned a lot from safeties coach Daniel Bullocks and defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

“Robert Saleh is an unbelievable coordinator,” Woods said. “I think without any question, he’s going to be a great head coach. It’s a shame he didn’t get one this year. But I’m telling you, I’ve been around people. He will be a great head.”

Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers Super Bowl coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (8 p.m. Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. Thursday, 9:30 p.m. Friday, and 3 p.m. Saturday).

Also tune in at 1 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday for a two-hour special of "49ers Pregame Live" with Laura Britt, Donte Whitner, Jeff Garcia, Ian Williams, Kelli Johnson, Greg Papa and Grant Liffmann. That same crew will have all the postgame reaction on "49ers Postgame Live," starting immediately after the game.