Keith Butler On Joe Haden: ‘I Like What I See’

Keith Butler has gotten a lot of new toys in the offseason. Drafting T.J. Watt in the first round and picking up Joe Haden and J.J. Wilcox during the same week. Haden has been the headliner given his resume and price tag. And Butler seems to be happy with what he’s seen in his newest cornerback.

“I like what I’ve seen out there on the field,” Butler told reporters via Steelers.com. “He appears to be healthy to me.”

Health, Butler said, is the driving reason behind why the Cleveland Browns released him.

“I talked to some friends of mine who I’ve coached with here before, who have coached him over there. They were still well impressed with him. They told me he had been hurt last year and that had been the problem. It was more health and money with him than it was anything.”

You could surmise Butler was talking about former Browns’ defensive coordinator Ray Horton, who was with the team last year and had a stint in 2013 in the same position. And Kirby Wilson, named the running backs coach last season.

There were several reports last year that Haden dealt with dual groin injuries that sapped him of his speed and hindered performance. He wound up playing only 13 games and saw action in just five in 2015.

For what it’s worth, Haden confirmed he was fully healthy and apparently showed off that speed, keeping up with Darrius Heyward-Bey during one practice rep.

Heyward-Bey is still regarded as the fastest receiver on the team so that clearly is a positive sign.

Butler compared the falling out in Cleveland similar to what happened in Pittsburgh with LaMarr Woodley.

“Ya’ll remember LaMarr Woodley. LaMarr Woodley was a great player for us. He was an All-Pro player for us. What happens when you have an All-Pro player, you pay him like an All-Pro player. He’s got soft tissue issues or can’t produce or can’t be on the field to play, you can’t afford to keep him. I think that was the case with Joe.”

The Steelers can only hope Haden’s career doesn’t end like Woodley’s. If Haden does turn things around, the Steelers got a steal.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    I think he is going to play very well. Having a CB that jumps routes is crucial!

  • NinjaMountie

    Please Lawd! Please! Just let us hit on this decision! Please! Please! Let this be our one time!

  • Steve Johnson

    I hope he can turn things around, I just don’t see Colbert and Tomlin doing so within the draft. Although Artie Burns, Sean Davis and Javon Hargrave looks to be future stars, I’m still less than optimistic the F/O can do it through the draft. Good luck Joe, hope you can stay healthy.

  • StolenUpVotes

    I’m cautious, but all this coach speak makes it hard for me to not get excited. How awesome will it be to see a healthy Haden on one side and ever growing Burns on the other?

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    is he our 1st defensive player to appear on sports science?

  • Conserv_58

    Haden will make this defensive backfield exponentially better by his example. It would be fool’s folly to think otherwise. Artie, Sean, Mike Mitchell and the rest of the DB’s will be inspired and highly motivated to work along side a pro bowl level CB. To achieve greatness one must play with greatness.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    can’t wait to see this team in midseason form barring injuries of course

  • You are less optimistic about the draft? You must not realize Colbert is among the best at hitting on his draft classes. Man some of you guys need to widen your view and look at some other teams once in while.

  • I’m surprised nobody has flipped their wig about Haden’s past few years being compared to Woodley’s last few years here.

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    I understand your pessimism. For years Steelers have fielded teams that downright suck. For heavens sake they have not won a Super Bowl in what seems like ages. I don’t understand why they are the envy of only about 95% of the league. Tomlin’s win percentage hovers around a dismal 60% so you are right Colbert really sucks by giving him absolutely 0 talent to work with. Maybe I’ll move to Cleveland and route for that storied franchise.

  • NinjaMountie

    It’s real life football being played on real life TV. Best part, it’s interesting because one of our competitors for a bye will lose today.

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    I think someone said it on an earlier post…if #21 is 85%-90% of his former self that would be tre-f**king-mendous

  • The Raiders aren’t playing tonight.

  • Big White

    Butler. Boooo

  • Roger Wesley

    i agree and didn’t foster already say something like that. That they are excited over there (on the defense) because haden has a great energy and work ethic

  • NinjaMountie

    lol….is there a way they can both lose?

  • NinjaMountie

    Ohhh…Brady has lost it. He’s done….it’s over for him.

  • SteelCity

    Please do not confuse him with facts!

  • Im surprised they isnt a live blog for the game. They usually have one.

  • johnhoien

    👍 glad we have him, heard he is a great guy too ~ BONUS !

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    I hope he’s not correct about the Woodley analogy. He was never good with Pittsburgh or anywhere else after the soft tissue injuries started.

  • Alex Kozora

    His point was to explain why Haden got released. Owed a lot of money, wasn’t healthy, team forced to make a move.

  • AndyR34

    Facts are not one of Steve’s core competencies. They too often get in the way of his narrative.

  • The Sun is Pro-Black

    Imagine what could’ve been if woodley stayed the course smh

  • MC

    Another SB I reckon.

  • NinjaMountie

    me too

  • NinjaMountie

    In all seriousness, Brady does appear rusty. He’s missed some throws. Still, and it makes me sad to say, he’s still playing better than most. sigh

  • The Sun is Pro-Black

    Losing him and worilds set this defense back about 3 years.

  • MC

    Worilds was a lil under appreciated I felt, in hindsight I would of killed for another Worilds over Jarvis.

  • Shane Mitchell

    Shoot, Joe Haden is a top flight CB not just in the AFC North, Top flight CB of the NFL.

    It ain’t all about coverage too many of you all dont understand thats only half the game, you can generally count on one hand how many tackles this man misses in a season, he is a football player, not an athlete trying to play football, a football player, top flight CB of the NFL. Healthy, you couldnt pick a better CB to add to this team than Haden, name one and I will tell you why you are wrong.

  • Xclewsive

    Exactly!

  • MC

    His work ethic, demeanour and will to win (hence why he joined Pit over more money) are some other qualities on top of the ones you listed that have me real excited about the signing.

  • Delboka

    This KC vs Pats game is rigged. The refs are winning this game for NE.

  • The Sun is Pro-Black

    Yup

  • The Sun is Pro-Black

    Exactly, his tackling alone makes this defense so much better already. I still can’t believe we got him.

  • I wonder if the Pats fans are getting their torches, pitchforks and preparing to storm the clubhouse. How many do you think are crying the sky is falling? Are they screaming to fire the entire staff?

    The Chiefs putting the rest of the league on notice…

  • Michael Mosgrove

    PATS LOST. chiefs scorched them on big plays. though the chiefs were sloppy. 15 penalties for 140 yards.

  • Mike Lloyd

    How bout now?

  • Zarbor

    I’m not that concerned about Haden but I’m very concerned about Butler

  • The Sun is Pro-Black

    That felt good.

  • nutty32

    Bunch of injuries for both teams to boot. Ayers might be playing sooner than later after all…

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    we may have our eyes o the pats but we might wanna stop a take a look around to see who got their eyes on us (kc,raiders)

  • Kick

    The only reason Woodley washed out is because he was a fat tub who didn’t take care of his body. You have to work at it to make it long term.

  • The Sun is Pro-Black

    Doh!

  • ND_Steel

    But we all know the rest of the Woodley story, so I agree with St_Joe.

  • Steve

    The last CB we got from the Browns turned out to be a dud, sure hope Haden is not that way, but we will find out rather quickly. Everyone was so up when Ladarius Green was brought in. He was a high caliber and costly TE. Joe is a costly CB, sure hope we get better milage than Green.

  • will

    That IS mid season form.

  • Doug McFee

    You didn’t really write that garbage, did You? Tell us your Browns fan room mate did!

  • psteelers

    This is all the breakdown I need to hear. This guy knows what he’s talking about. For all those on the fence regarding the Haden signing.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    if he turns into a new woodley, he will be flayed and eaten alive.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Last cb we got from the Browns was never in the pro bowl….

  • Steve

    Pro Bowl – Anyone can be in the Pro Bowl these days. Don’t take much.

  • Steve Johnson

    I’m very well aware of what Colbert has done, and although I do watch the draft every year, I’m not concerned about the other 31 Teams in the NFL, only the Steelers. And for the record, I know Colbert has done an exceptional job Rds. 1-2 since he took over back in 2000. However, he has missed too often in the middle Rds. of the draft, especially when selecting CB’s. He has also done fairly well selecting UDFA’s. I haven’t been optimistic as of late, but like I said, I like the previous draft in 2016.

  • If you look league wide you’ll see just as many misses in the mid to late rounds. But as you say you are not concerned about the 31 other teams. As for the those other teams, I’m sure about 25 or more of them would love to have Colbert’s draft successes. The only problem about not caring about the other teams is you lose your frame of reference and then you don’t realize you are asking for the impossible. We are not going to draft 7 pro bowlers every year.

    A more realistic expectation for a draft class is to get 2 or 3 starters who can consistently play above the line while one of them becomes a dominant player. Maybe a few depth guys that can contribute on special teams units. Anything more than that is money in the bank. Colbert has done this just about every year he has been here.