The Steelers come to Cleveland on a two-game winning streak after last Sunday’s 37-27 come-from-behind victory over the Detroit Lions. In the victory, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed 29 of 45 attempts for 367 yards and four touchdowns without an interception.
According to Haden, what makes Roethlisberger so dangerous is his ability to escape pressure and extend plays while on the run.
“He makes it a whole lot harder because you think you have the first route covered and then, it’s a completely different scramble,” Haden said. “When they’re scrambling, that’s not a route. You’ve just got to run around and chase people. He makes it difficult.
“He has a lot of control over their offense right now. He’s making a lot of checks, doing the plays that he wants to do. They’re throwing the ball a lot. He likes it. They have really good receivers. They have talented guys out there that can make plays and are smaller, quicker, and he can get it to them.”
Wide receiver Antonio Brown is one of those “smaller, quicker” targets that Haden will be charged with stopping.
Despite standing only 5-foot-10 and weighing 186 pounds, Brown has turned a league-high 74 receptions into 952 yards and five touchdowns, second-most on the team.
“He does stuff differently,” Haden said. “I’ve been going against a lot of bigger guys, but with him, he’s really quick. He runs the best routes out of the people that we’ve gone against. He’s got really good hands, and when Roethlisberger makes so much time, a lot of things aren’t even certain routes that he runs.
“It’s just when the first thing’s covered, Roethlisberger scrambles and (Brown) just takes off down the field. You’ve got to make sure you just stay locked in and plastered to your receivers.”
And although the Steelers bring a talented set of skill players to Cleveland, Haden said he feels it is more important to turn their focus internally rather than to the challenges Pittsburgh presents.
“It really doesn’t matter who we play,” Haden said. “We’ve got to go out there and win. Everybody’s got to step up, do their jobs. We’ve got the team. We’ve got the plays, but we’ve got to be able to make plays. The face of the other team doesn’t matter. It’s about us.
“Anytime you line up and it’s a game, I just feel like no matter who you play, no matter when you play them, it’s a game that you should win. It doesn’t matter how you order it or schedule it or anything like that. During the week, you need to come in and prepare, and go out there Sunday and do your thing.”