The leader of Cleveland's secondary was in good spirits following Friday's walk-through.
Browns Pro Bowl defensive back Joe Haden, who has been back to his usual self after an injury-ridden 2015 season, conducted his last interview of the week with ClevelandBrowns.com as he looked ahead to Sunday's showdown with the Patriots.
CB.com: What's your first season in the NFL as a dad been like?
Haden: It's crazy. It's an unbelievable feeling. I'm super, super excited. Every day after practice, I go home and see my son, play with him, feed him. It's unbelievable knowing me and my wife created that. Being able to have him there, it just puts a lot of stuff in perspective, a lot of the stresses I have at work. Just being able to go back home and see him, it really puts everything in perspective.
CB.com: You getting enough sleep?
Haden: Actually I'm doing really well. My wife is doing a great job. We've got a night nanny, which comes through in the clutch for us. That gives us a little time together.
CB.com: What's encouraged you about the defense's performance thus far?
Haden: Just our will. Everybody on the defense, there's nobody talking back, there's no energy vampires, there's nobody that doesn't think we can be a great defense. We still have everybody coming in and working just as hard and trying to build something great here. We know we're not that far off. Just having that positive vibe, that positive energy that we're getting better and we'll be able to turn this thing around.
CB.com: Personally, how vindicating has it been to be back on the field after such a tough 2015 season?
Haden: It's super exciting. I'm just super blessed and thankful that God allowed me to come back out here and start playing at a high level again. Injuries are something I wasn't really used to. I never had surgery before in my life. Going through that and going through the concussions was very, very tough. Being able to come back and kind of back into the mode is something special and I'm super blessed about it.
CB.com: As a captain of the team, how important is it for you to be on the field performing?
Haden: I don't like being on the sidelines. Being that I was voted by my peers as a captain, that's something I don't take for granted, don't take lightly. Being out there with them, showing them through my work that I'm in it with them, I'm all about practice, I'm all about winning, I'm all about us getting better. Whatever they need from me, I'm going to be able to give it to them and being out there to show them is better than me being able to just be on the sidelines talking.
CB.com: What have you thought of some of the new guys in the secondary like Jamar Taylor and Derrick Kindred?
Haden: Just their grit, their grind, being able to be coached, even for me to be able to say stuff to them and them not take it the wrong way. Being in a league where you're playing with a bunch of grown men professionals, some people take criticism a little bit differently. Being able to talk to these guys and let them know what they could be doing better, what I see and them doing the same thing for me. If they see me off a little bit, they let me know what's up. Just being able to take coaching and being in an atmosphere of everyone trying to get each other better instead of taking it as a putdown.
CB.com: How badly does this team need a win right now?
Haden: Big time. Especially for a lot of the younger guys. For me, I know the grind we're going through and I know the work we're putting in is getting us better and we're trying. It's not an effort thing, but you've got to have results at the end of the day. You see the wins start coming and that's when you get everyone really, really believing in it. I don't feel like anyone's fallen off board. I feel like everybody still believes everything we're doing every day is helping us to get a win, but it's about that time to start showing it in the win-loss column.
CB.com: Why is everyone so locked in?
Haden: The coaching staff, their message. The leaders on the team and our message and I've never been around a group of guys that just wanted to be great at football. There's no ulterior motives. I've been on a couple of teams before where it hasn't been like that. It hasn't been everybody all in on one accord just to get better. In the league, people are making money and it gets a little fishy. With this team, we haven't been winning but we've got a bunch of dudes that come in every single day ready to grind, ready to work, ready to take coaching and they put it out there on the practice field. You see emotion, you see people that really care about and want to win.
CB.com: What kind of challenge do the Patriots present?
Haden: Just going against Tom Brady, he's one of the greatest quarterbacks, you've just got to be ready for everything. I think it's more about us being on our cues, us winning our one-on-one matchups. At the end of the day, we're going to be covering (Rob Gronkowski), we're going to be covering (Martellus) Bennett, (Kevin) Hogan, (Julian) Edelman. Our corners, we're going to hold up, our linebackers are going to have to hold up and safeties. At the end of the day in the NFL, it comes to your great players making great plays and beating the man across from you. We've got to win those matchups and control the line. It's just going to be a bunch of individual matchups but it's always good going against one of the best.
CB.com: Is there any extra motivation for the team with all of the external attention being directed toward Brady and his return?
Haden: Not really. We haven't won a game yet. We're 0-4. There's not too much motivation we need.