Joe Haden Says There’s Less Pressure To Play In Pittsburgh Than Cleveland

You’d think for someone like Joe Haden, coming over from hapless Cleveland to a Super Bowl contender, his stress level would hit DEFCON levels. But he says it’s the opposite.

Speaking on 93.7 The Fan with Joe Starkey and Chris Mueller, Haden said coming to Pittsburgh has in a way, been a relief.

“Coming here and going into the locker room and just seeing the level of talent we have all over the place,” Haden said. “Going into games literally being favored and not everything has to go in our favor for us to win. We just gotta play the type of ball we need to play, don’t hurt ourselves, and we can win every single game. So with that confidence and knowing who you’re coming into the games with, I feel way less stressful playing with the Steelers.”

The Steelers are two games over .500, something that happened to Haden only once in his entire Browns’ career. At any point. That was back in 2014 when for a brief moment, at 6-3, they seemed like contenders. But they lost six of their final seven and bumbled their way to a 7-9 finish. That was as good as it got for him.

Pittsburgh, obviously, is a totally different story. They’ve been favored in every game but one this year, last week’s win over Kansas City, something that was headline news in Cleveland (this year too).

There’s less pressure. But clearly, more stability, an obvious point Haden referenced as a difference between the two cities. The Browns have gone through more head coaches and quarterbacks than fans can remember. In Pittsburgh, there’s only a few. You know the stats. Three head coaches since the merger. Ben Roethlisberger since 2004. Sports Illustrated named the Steelers as the best franchise in their upcoming book.

Haden has looked healthy and played well throughout the season, the veteran not caving to the ups-and-downs the way Artie Burns has. He’s gotten good practice too, literally, facing off daily against Antonio Brown.

“The one thing is his conditoning is amazing,” Haden said of AB. “He has the speed, he has the quickness. He isn’t the biggest dude but he’s strong and runs really good routes. The one thing he has with Big Ben is the scramble drill. Once that first initial route breaks down, AB is the best I’ve ever covered of helping the quarterback scramble and get open, creating the next route.”

Iron sharpening iron, something that’s not just reserved for Burns. It’s paid off during the season. According to our charting, Haden has been targeted just six times this season and only twice since Week Four. Only two of those targets have been completed.

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.
  • Jaybird

    Great article Alex. Pretty amazing
    Haden has only been targeted 6 times and let up two completions. Dare I say “shut down corner”? Great pick up, and Hilton is a great find. It’s so weird seeing the Steelers have a good secondary!

  • SilverSteel

    The Steelers have a great secondary. It sounds too good to be true. It has been many years since I have thought that. That alone gives us a real chance this year.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Truly a Godsend! Liked him ever since the Florida days!

  • DangZone

    I had been wondering why we never hear his name called during the games, I guess that explains why.

  • Jaybird

    The steelers have a real shot for #7 this year. We just have to stay healthy and get the offense going.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Man this team so needed Haden. Great add!

  • Alex Kozora

    Thanks Jaybird!

  • charles

    Haden has had Greens’ # in the past according to Cincinnati sites. Let’s hope Haden continues that with game changer….

  • walter

    Is he on a 1 year contract?

  • MintDragon

    3yr. contract

  • 6 ring circus

    No doubt Joe has been a great addition to the team, but, I still watch the games waiting for the big back-breaking pass play that has a way of deflating a team. Your are what your stats say you are and according to them, the secondary is playing pretty well. That, too, can be attributed to the much improved play of the front 7. All I’m saying is I’m not crowning the secondary yet. We still have yet to play against top tier QB talent and I don’t know when that is with Luck and Rodgers sidelined. Maybe Stafford will be a test. Lastly, I think Burns may be the weak link. Those couple of times this last game when the receiver was all alone on his side of the field scare me. If Burns can start playing a little more consistency, I think the defense can shut down any team and the road to the Superbowl will surely go through Pittsburgh.

  • Bradys_Dad

    I only wish we would have been able to have him join the black & gold a few years earlier. Very nice addition and a super solid character guy. In essence, a Steeler.


  • Dan

    I agree, they haven’t really played any good passing teams, and Artie has been in a bit of a sophomore slump, though no teams have really taken advantage yet. The run D needs to improve, we’ll see what adjustments are made in the future.

  • T3xassteelers

    6 times?! thats it??? Why is PFF so down on him I wonder

  • nutty32

    He’s one cool MFer. Always hear soothing cool jazz or Barry White music in the background whenever he’s mentioned.

  • Rotten Sircus

    I’m glad we got Joe Haden ..dude hits people, covers & has no off the field BS …& we got him on a discount !!! This has to be OUR YEAR 7 here we come !!!

  • Jaybird

    No one is throwing at him . I think part of it is that some teams are trying to run a lot at us and the other part is that I think teams still think it’s easier to throw at Burns. But whatever the reason , I think Haden is quietly putting together a solid season.

  • walter


  • T3xassteelers

    Only backed that up today 😉