Joe Haden Says Steelers’ Defense Can Be ‘Special’

In non-Martavis Bryant news, the Pittsburgh Steelers won yesterday. That’s something that’s been forgotten about the last two weeks. The victory in thanks to a dominate second half defense that held the Cincinnati Bengals to 12 net yards. Although he’s only been with the team for a short time, Joe Haden believes what the Steelers’ defense is doing is special.

Special is the term he used speaking to reporters yesterday.

“I think we can be special,” Haden said via Steelers.com’s Mike Prisuta. “We have the players at every position. As long as we just keep wanting it, keep wanting to be hungry for it and never getting satisfied, and I don’t feel like we have that in this room.”

Haden notched his first interception as a Steeler yesterday. And as I noted in my Stats Of the Weird, it’s the first time in nearly three years Haden intercepted a pass in a game where his team won. And the Steelers sit at 5-2, three games over .500, something that happened only once in his entire career with the Cleveland Browns.

It was a secondary that shut down, not just slowed down, but shut down, A.J. Green, holding him to three nondescript catches. With Green out of the picture, the Bengals’ offense had no one else to turn to, they went into a shell. Sean Davis had his best game in the NFL while Mike Hilton continues to be a steady, physical presence and Mike Mitchell patrols things over the top.

A big change between halves, perhaps we’ll delve into this more in a future post, was communication. The Bengals picked up 14 points on the Steelers early on but according to most in that locker room, it was a product of the Steelers beating themselves. Several, including Haden, said communication was poor and once that got cleaned up by halftime, Pittsburgh was back to their dominant selves.

On the day, they dropped Andy Dalton four times and picked him off another two. Things got so bad that Dalton threw the football away on a 4th and 3, one of the most comical plays of the season and a clear sign of frustration. The Steelers’ defense had broken the Bengals will.

That’s pretty special. Like the way this defense can be.

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.

  • JNick

    That Mike Hilton hit was such a thing of beauty..

  • CountryClub

    It’s too bad Hilton isn’t signed past this year. They’ll probably end up losing him (I hope not).

  • Matt Manzo

    I think he sees how good he can be on this team. I bet he stays and they sign him to a modest deal!

  • Matt Manzo

    Man, that was a fun game! There were so many plays that made me excited for the Depot breakdowns!
    I feel happy for Haden and I’m excited to see how open he is with the media. Every week he’s giving us little nuggets from inside the mind of an NFL player!
    I kept wishing that Tuitt was in there, though! He probably woulda had Dalton crying! And a few more turnovers.
    And as good of a game as Davis had, it took him a few drives to get it going. I thought his timing was off on a couple plays. I’m looking for him to stack games like this!

  • The Tony

    I am going to guess that Mike Hilton signs 1 year 3 million prove you can do it again contract

  • Dave Robesh

    Is he technically a “1st year” player? Would be an exclusive rights free agent after this year and next then a RFA after his 3rd season?

    Edit: OverTheCap has him as 1 Accrued Season. So change that to ERFA after this year (his second) and an RFA after next?

  • CP72

    Think he’s an ERFA next year. One more year on the cheap.

  • Cullen James Riley

    If there is one thing I know about the Steelers organization, we keep the players we want to keep. They’ll get a deal done.

  • Grant Humphrey

    Right they aren’t like the Pittsburgh Pirates where they let guys go all the time. The Steelers keep players around

  • Alex Kozora

    Right, Steelers will have him under control.

  • Alan Tman

    What’s funny is this is the same defense, and they have played the same way all year. The offense has just given them a lead in the last two games. This defense is built to play with a lead, and not to take on 30 rushing attempts.

  • nutty32

    Agree with this 100%, but the D (& Boswell) has to given some extra credit this year for giving the O a lot of breathing space to build those leads. We shutting fools down by-n-large when the game is a neutral!

  • nutty32

    He’d be a fool to leave unless he gets absolutely blown away by an offer and chances are slim to none that happens. He’s still a small, slow kid at the end of the day.

  • Larry Kraus

    I think it says everything we need to know about this team when an exbrown acts more like a steeler than the big 4 act.

  • ryan72384

    Having Haden back there this year just makes you feel kind of secure. Knowing that his side of the field is in good hands. And Mike Hilton looks like our best blitzing DB in years not named Troy.

  • pittfan

    I agree with Ryan below. Having a high talent/character level guy like Haden back there will do wonders for our secondary.
    12 yards in a half is Steel Curtain type numbers

  • FATCAT716

    What are you talking about smh

  • FATCAT716

    Davis put a solid game together last week as well.. Hope he is coming into his own

  • Darth Blount 47

    Oh, yeah! I said before the game: “Control Green, and you control the Bungles.”

    Without him, they are very ordinary on Offense. But the performance the Offense had against their D, really was a great thing and portends very well for the future, as we begin to play teams whose D is really very average or BELOW average (See: New England).

    I think just having Joe Haden on this team got right into the head of Cincy and Green. It was beautiful!

  • Taylor Williams

    Gay was a decent blitzer back in his younger days, but never as fast as Hilton.

  • Taylor Williams

    I wouldn’t say he’s slow, but average.

  • MC

    Mike Hilton is becoming my favourite DB. Love having Haden out there, what a pickup!

  • Chad Weiss

    He’s an unrestricted free agent next year? Are you sure? I thought Steelers owned his rights

  • Jaybird

    Davis looked like a different person out there the past two games. He looks WAY more physical and aggressive. Maybe it’s starting to click for him and the game might be slowing down. Whatever it is , he’s looking good.

  • Jason McDonald

    He is a ERFA . We can keep him for cheap for one more year .

  • Mister Wirez

    Steelers 30 minute warriors!

    Bengals Game: SECOND HALF – Steelers defense held Bengals to 12 net yards.

    Cheifs Game: FIRST HALF – KC had 6 net yards, 8 passing & -2 on the ground.

    If they can go a full 60 like this, they’ll be unbeatable!

  • John Phillips

    They could if Harrison was in there.

  • Milton Farfara

    I think Hilton becomes an ERFA after the season and based on what they did with Villy the Steelers will probably sign him to a decent contract.

  • Milton Farfara

    With the signings, and draft picks th last couple of years our D is finally solid at all 3 levels with players able to make splash plays every play. Finally we are back to having a solid dominant D that will be a league leader and fun to watch for a few years. It seems to be a Steeler’s trend that when the offense is powerful the D is being rebuilt and vice versa. We’re sing a rebuilt powerful D as the offense is ready to start rebuilding ( looking for the next QB after Ben and starting to aget a bit along the line) can’t forget uncertainty at RB after this year as well.

  • FATCAT716

    I think the defense has been healthy & having so much talent is allowing him to settle in to his role & become comfortable with everyone around him

  • dany

    My guess? He’s in the ben sucks now camp bryant is selfish bell is selfish even if he’s beasting and AB is a diva

    gotta find something to complain about in life right?

  • FATCAT716

    Yea I guess your right

  • razaard2

    Browns d is more stout than it looks (ask Tennessee). The Vikings, jaguars and bears were n 1, 2 and 3 defenses in the league per PFF until at least last week (their ranking is stupid bc Steelers were 19, but still). Bengals, Ravens and chiefs D’s are no scrubs either. I’m starting to think the offense will only look better and better from now on.
    If Haden and the D can keep performing the level they have…. This team will be very very hard to beat

    Opposing offenses will get tougher but at this point I don’t doubt they will rise up to the challenges