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Haden pleased with effort

Posted Jan 7, 2013

Cleveland Browns defensive back Joe Haden said the effort of the secondary stood out to him from the 2012 regular season.

During his third NFL season, Cleveland Browns defensive back Joe Haden worked with a mix of rookies and veterans in the secondary.

With veterans Sheldon Brown, Usama Young, Dimitri Patterson, and T.J. Ward all missing time during the year, the Browns relied on first-year players Johnson Bademosi, Trevin Wade and Tashaun Gipson to start multiple games.

When looking at the defensive backs group as a whole, Haden said “our effort” is what stood out to him throughout the season.

“We always fought, and that’s one thing I like about this group,” Haden said. “Everybody, no matter what the score was, no matter where the offense had the ball at, our group, the secondary was just always going to fight and try to get it done.”

In addition to the young defensive backs, the Browns started rookies along the defensive line (Billy Winn, John Hughes), at linebacker (James-Michael Johnson, L.J. Fort) and on offense (running back Trent Richardson, quarterback Brandon Weeden, offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz, and wide receivers Travis Benjamin and Josh Gordon).

Having worked with the young defenders and competed against the first-year offensive players every day in practice, Haden is excited about the future for the Browns.

“The rookies were doing their thing, especially John Hughes and Billy Winn,” Haden said. “They stepped in and did a really good job. On offense, you can’t hide what Weeden, Josh Gordon and Trent did. They stepped in early and did what they had to do.

“We have a really good core group of talent, especially on offense and on defense. As long as we can just keep these guys around, everybody just stick together and add a little bit of people here and there, we’re going to be good. We have a core group that can mess with any other team. We can mess with any team in the league and I’ll put us up against them. As long as we keep building together, we’ll be good.”

With the groundwork laid by the players during the 2012 season, Haden is encouraged to start his offseason preparation. Before returning to Berea for the start of minicamps and organized team activities (OTAs) this spring, Haden plans to let his body recover from the season. Then, he will begin personal workouts for the 2013 season.

“I’m probably going to take a month off, spend some time with my family, my fiancée and just chill,” Haden said. “Then, I’ll start getting my workouts back together. At the beginning, it’s going to be weights. I’ll try to get bulk, get my muscle tone right in my legs, chest and get my body right. When it starts getting close to OTAs, I’ll just try to get my conditioning, get my wind for practice.

“I get with some of my teammates. I get with a lot of players on other teams. Sometimes, they call you to figure out what’s up, and you meet someone in Houston for a week just to work out. It’s fun because you get to work out with these guys and see what their workouts look like. You get to change it up.”