Haden readies for Marshall, Jeffery

Posted Dec 12, 2013

Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden is preparing for a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in Chicago’s Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall.

Cleveland Browns defensive back Joe Haden has been challenged by some of the NFL’s best wide receivers on a weekly basis in 2013, and the fourth-year cornerback has answered the bell every week.

But Haden will have his hands full Sunday when the Chicago Bears come to FirstEnergy Stadium, as two of their receivers, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, have each eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards this season.

“You always look forward to playing really good receivers, and they’re going to put the ball in the air to Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey,” Haden said Wednesday. “I played (Alshon) in college, and he’s always been a tough, challenging receiver. We look forward to the challenge, for sure.”

Haden has surrendered 592 yards and four touchdowns on 54 receptions while shadowing the likes of Detroit’s Calvin Johnson, Cincinnati’s A.J. Green and Baltimore’s Torrey Smith twice, Miami’s Mike Wallace and Buffalo’s Stevie Johnson.

This year, Haden has 18 pass breakups. For his career, Haden has broken up 64 passes in 55 career games, which is tied for the highest per-game average of those players with a minimum of 50 break ups since the 1994 season.

“It’s going to be a good test for the whole secondary, for the whole team,” Haden said. “They have really, really talented receivers, and then, at the running back position too, and tight end with (Martellus) Bennett. They have a lot of weapons, and we’ve got to come and be prepared, definitely come out and be ready to play our best game.”

Despite injuries at the quarterback position, Marshall leads the team with 84 catches, which he has turned into 1,090 yards and nine touchdowns. Jeffery has gained 1,193 yards and scored six touchdowns on 75 receptions.

According to Haden, Marshall and Jeffery are “up there” among the best wide receivers he has faced in terms of their production.

“There’s so many talented receivers in the league,” Haden said. “Both of them dudes can make all of the plays. There’s a lot of talented receivers in the NFL, and they’re in the group of the top guys.”

Haden added that Marshall is a special challenge because of his “size, hands, routes and especially, his physicality.”

“He’s super physical,” Haden said. “He’s super athletic, really good with the ball in his hands as far as YAC (yards after catch) yards. When he catches the ball, he’s not trying to go down. When he catches the ball, he’s trying to score. With the ball in his hands, he’s really good.”

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