Mike Mitchell Says Joe Haden Fitting In With Steelers’ Culture


There’s always a moment of doubt when a team makes a big free agency splash. Paying an outsider top dollar. Bringing someone into a new system, a new locker room, an entirely different place. But all things considered, Joe Haden seems to be fitting right in with the Pittsburgh Steelers. That’s what Mike Mitchell had to say yesterday appearing on The Jim Rome Show. 

“Joe’s been excellent at joining our culture and being a type of guy we want in our room and on our defense and on our team,” Mitchell told Rome. “Super happy that we got him. I just look forward to continuing to see where we can grow and get to.”

Mitchell also pointed out this is the first time in Haden’s eight year career he’s started off 2-0 and the team is trying to keep the streak alive for him. In Cleveland, Haden began the year 0-2 more often than not, four times in seven seasons.

Losing was the norm. Not anymore.

Though not specifically about Haden’s assimilation into the locker room, Mike Tomlin today praised him for his physical nature and ability to blitz. We’ll break that down more during the week.


“Joe is a football player first,” Tomlin said. “Having competed against him over the course of seven years you see that in his play. He’s always been one that’s always been extremely physical in short-yardage and crack/replaces and stuff, he’s a guy that’s not just a cover guy. He’s a football player. He genuinely enjoys that element of the game.”

Mitchell also confirmed that Haden asked him to wear his #23, though those talks didn’t end up going anywhere. He settled on taking Robert Golden’s number.

“With the utmost respect, he did. We obviously weren’t going to make a big noise about it or discuss any numbers out to the public. But he did. But ultimately, he understands it means a lot to me…he’s totally happy in 21. He’s making a new legacy in 21.”

A new legacy that includes winning. The same legacy that includes being a great locker room presence.

h/t Greg 

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.
  • Jones

    I love watching our D treat each other like family – especially when they celebrate. The Will Gay / Joey Porter celebration where they crawled on their knees near the sideline after a pick a few years ago. Hilarious. Looking forward to more moments like that with Joe.

  • rystorm06

    Joe Haden looks like he’s having fun. I mean he’s already matched his win total from his career with the Browns.

  • Conserv_58

    It’s good to know from a Steelers’ veteran’s perspective what they think of what Haden’s being signed means to them and to Haden.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    on a sidenote they have some great photos of the game on the Steelers site

  • Keith Evans

    i’d love to know what camera/tech they are using to get these images. The amount of detail is insane considering these guys are constantly moving!

  • Nathanael Dory

    Poor Golden..

  • Darth Blount 47

    Joe “Blackjack” Haden. I hope he continues to do 21 proud!

    I can only imagine what it was like to not only be a part of The Factory of Sadness, but also to have to deal with the constant depression, loss of self-esteem/pride, and the losing. All of that losing. And getting totally and completely owned by us.

    I’m so glad Haden seems to be taking this new transition in his life just like Red did (Morgan Freeman) in ‘Shawshank’ and not like Brooks (James Whitmore) ultimately did. Playing for a hated rival has to be tough after spending so much time going after them. But… when your toes hit that glorious soft sand, well… you start to realize how great it is to finally be off of that unforgiving Factory floor.

  • Boots

    Him fitting in was less of a concern than his health for me, but it’s still good to hear it!!

  • Delboka

    hopefully “fitting in” is not measured by missing tackles and not wrapping up with arms.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Haden didn’t offer up enough coins to wrestle away that #23 from Mitchell lol! Joe seemed like a great team guy all those years with Cleveland so i thought he’d fit right in with the Steelers. Good to hear there’s good chemistry so far.