Joe Haden demonstrates what it takes to be an NFL cornerback
By Thomas Moore
Nov 6, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden (23) against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. The Browns won 24-3. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Ever wonder what it is like to play cornerback in the National Football League?
In the NFL Network’s latest Fan Pass video, Cleveland Browns’ cornerback Joe Haden shares some of the tricks and techniques he uses to defend a wide receiver, the routes he runs to pick off passes and anticipate quarterback reads:
Haden has been the Browns’ top cornerback since entering the starting lineup midway through his rookie season in 2010. Since then, the two-time Pro Bowler has grown into the best player in the secondary and one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. In 2014, Haden had three interceptions (giving him 16 in his NFL career) and had 20 passes defended.
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Haden is a key part of one of the best secondaries in the league, one that is looking to build on its success from 2014. Last season, the Browns finished:
- ninth in the NFL in points allowed (21.1 per game),
- tied for 10th by allowing opposing offenses to convert on just 38 percent of third-down attempts,
- second in interceptions with 21,
- eighth in pass yards allowed per game at 224.5, and;
- first in the league in allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete just 57.1 percent of their pass attempts.
“We do feel like we’re the best secondary so that’s not something we just try to throw out there. When we come into camp, right now, this is the time when we’re grinding, gel together and everybody just comes along together” Haden said after the team’s first practice of training camp. “With the skill, with the bodies that we have, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be the best secondary, but you have to go out there and perform and you have to be on the same page.
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“Right now, going through camps and meetings, we’re just trying to keep everything really tight and making sure everyone’s paying attention to details, making sure I’m on my stuff to be able to go up to someone and let them know when I feel like they’re not doing as good of a job. We just want to be on top of each other. We want to definitely keep everyone accountable.
“If I’m not doing something right, you can come talk to me. If you feel like other people aren’t doing things right, we just have to keep an open forum and make sure people know it’s all for the best for the team.
“Just because we played good last year doesn’t mean we’re going to come out and play good again this year. We’ve got to build another strong foundation and get these younger guys to try to take our spots. The competition and with this defense that we have, I think we can be special, but we’ve got to prove it on Sundays.”
For his play last season, Haden came in at No. 23 on the NFL Network’s list of the Top 100 players of 2014.
(h/t Dawgs By Nature for tipping us off to the video)
What do you think of the Browns’ secondary heading into the 2015 NFL season?