Joe Haden goes to bat for Johnny Manziel, the Browns


If you were outside near a media tent Tuesday in Arizona, at any time of the day, there's a solid chance you saw Joe Haden.

The Browns cornerback was a mainstay on Radio Row, happily discussing the news of him being named a Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics. Read our full story about why right here.

During the media tour, Haden addressed several noteworthy topics from Johnny Manziel to the state of the Cleveland Browns.

Haden reiterated the same stance he took during his exit interview after the season: Give Manziel a chance.

In December, Haden brought up how he had been suspended four games in 2012 for Adderall and how he lacked maturity during his rookie season in 2010. As time progressed, so did Haden's work ethic and level of play. Haden said when Manziel missed a treatment for being late at the end of the season, he went up and apologized personally to all of his teammates.

Haden said Browns players know that Manziel cares.

"I think [Manziel is] a young quarterback, a young rookie, and I think he still has a little bit of growing up to do," Haden told Tiki Barber on CBS Radio. "But that's everybody. I think the one thing (about) the quarterback position is … you got to be first one in, last one out. You got to know everything. You really legitimately have to be a coach on the field.

"I think he's realized it now, but it's completely different from college. Just the accountability and how much time it takes to understand the offense and get the grasp. You got to know what you're doing. You got to know what everybody's doing. You got to know the checks and (be) able to get your line right and (be) able to get your receivers on the hot routes and everything."

Later, Haden stopped by the Scott Van Pelt Show on ESPN Radio and addressed the steps forward the Browns made under Mike Pettine. Cleveland's played meaningful December football for the first time in Haden's five-year career.  The Browns' defense, Haden said, has all the right ingredients to keep growing.

"We were playing really well, we were playing good football," Haden said about starting 7-4. "I think injuries really, really hurt us. It's always next man up, but when you lose your Pro Bowl, All-Pro center, Alex Mack, it kind of kills your run game a little bit. That doesn't really help your quarterback out.

"But I just think at the end of the day, coach (Mike) Pettine is a really good coach. We're finally going to be in the same system again next year. So we don't have to learn a whole new system…[we're] just going to keep making a name for ourselves and stay established."

Other small tidbits

  • Haden said he watches film of Darrelle Revis more than any other cornerback in the league, calling him "The Technician" for how well he uses different techniques.
  • Haden is picking Seattle in the Super Bowl. "I just love the way they play defense with Kam Chancellor – he's playing like one of the best safeties ever right now."
  • Our friends from Dawgs By Nature also caught up with Haden, and asked him why he's not as much as a trash-talker as a guy like Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman.
  • "My thing is film speaks for itself," Haden said. "As long as I'm getting recognition for the people that really matter – the general manager, the owner, the coaches, and my peers – as long as they recognize what I'm doing on the field, I feel like that's all that really matters."
  • Haden called Phil Taylor the toughest Browns player on the roster.
  • Related article: Phil Taylor wants to retire as a Cleveland Brown.
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