Injuries to veterans and a league-mandated suspension for third-year professional
In the first game of the year, a 17-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Haden registered one of the team’s four interceptions, but with him out of the lineup from Weeks 2 through 5, veteran safety
With 73 tackles, second-year cornerback
During the season, cornerback
For the second time in three seasons, Haden finished with at least a share of the team lead in interceptions. He picked off three passes, one in the season-opener and the second in the team’s first win of the season against Cincinnati on Oct. 14. Haden was one of three Browns to intercept a pass in the team’s 20-14 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns Stadium on Nov. 25.
Despite missing four games due to a league-mandated suspension, and another in Dallas due to injury, Haden finished the year with 51 total tackles, 40 solo stops and three interceptions, which he returned for a team-best 64 yards. Haden also broke up 10 passes and forced a fumble.
Of the Browns’ 17 interceptions, the defensive backfield had 11 of them. Haden, Brown and Young all tied for the team lead with three interceptions each, while safeties T.J. Ward and
What to Watch For:
How the defensive backs handle a switch to back to a 3-4 under the direction of new defensive coordinator Ray Horton.
Haden set a career high with six interceptions during his rookie season in 2010. During that year, Haden started seven games and played in all 16 in a 3-4 defense under coordinator Rob Ryan.
Ward started all 16 games for the Browns in 2010, and led the team with 105 total tackles. He also collected his first two interceptions, defended 10 passes and forced one fumble in Ryan’s 3-4 defense.
In his career, Ward, a 5-foot-10, 200-pound safety, has registered 211 total tackles, 157 solo stops and two sacks, as well as three interceptions, 17 passes defended, five forced fumbles and 54 assists.
“What I see in T.J. is a player that’s dynamic in the run game, a player that’s going to get better because he’s a smart player that will hit,” Horton said. “He’s one of those, I’ll keep going back to it, little men that will hit and that’s what he is. He’s a smaller man. He’s not a big man, but he’ll hit you.
“I’m excited to have T.J., to be able to coach him and grow with him and understand what he does best. He’ll tell me what he does best by the way he practices, how he plays and again, it’s limitless what we can do with players that can run and hit.”