Cleveland Browns defensive back Joe Haden has earned the respect of current and former wide receivers by his play on the field, and that respect came in the form of the No. 6 overall pick in the 2014 Pro Bowl Draft.
Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice and his player captains, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and St. Louis defensive end Robert Quinn, announced the fourth-year defensive back as one of their selections for Sunday's Pro Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Quinn made the introduction by saying, "When you need a dog, you go to the dog pound. Joe Haden's our guy."
After the announcement, the good-natured Haden turned his focus to Team Sanders quarterback Cam Newton when he talked about his plans for the game with NFL Network.
"Roommate back in college, I know his game," Haden said of Newton and their brief time together at Florida. "I know how he gets upset fast. I'm going to have to, hopefully, get into his head and get a couple picks to get the car (MVP Award). I saw the truck back there. That's more incentive to get picks, take them back, do dances, things like that."
He also sent out the following Tweet that showed his excitement to be picked by Team Rice:
"#6th overall pick in probowl draft!! #teamJerry!"
Haden was not the only Brown to be selected by Team Rice, as wide receiver Josh Gordon and offensive lineman Joe Thomas will also play on the Pro Football Hall of Famer's squad.
Gordon, who led the NFL in receiving yards despite playing in only 14 games because of a league-mandated two-game suspension, was a fifth-round selection of Team Rice and the first wide receiver taken in Wednesday's draft.
When Gordon went up on stage to meet with Rice, he laughed and told the Hall of Famer, "It took you long enough."
"For a minute, I thought I was going to have to wait for a Supplemental (Draft)," Gordon said with a smile. "It took a minute, but I think we got it right. Hopefully, I can learn something from (Rice)."
Prior to drafting Gordon, Rice said, "I think it's time to get really, really serious now. We've been just playing around a little bit, but this guy (Gordon), the numbers he was able to put up this year and what he was able to do for the Browns, he's an animal."
WARD, CAMERON ON TEAM SANDERS
Like center Alex Mack, Browns safety T.J. Ward and tight end Jordan Cameron were taken by Team Sanders in the 2014 Pro Bowl Draft Wednesday.
Ward, a late addition to the Pro Bowl roster when Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu was unable to participate due to injury, was able to return to full health in 2013 after injuries shortened each of his last two seasons.
Ward, like Haden, set career highs during the 2013 season, as he registered 129 total tackles, 96 solo stops, 33 assists, and 1.5 sacks for 12 lost yards. He also intercepted two passes, including one he returned for a 44-yard touchdown in a 37-24 win over the Buffalo Bills on Thursday, Oct. 3.
Ward also recovered a fumble, which he returned for a 51-yard touchdown against the Chicago Bears at FirstEnergy Stadium on Dec. 15.
Cameron finished second on the team with 80 receptions, which he turned into 917 yards and seven touchdowns, the second-most receiving scores in a single season ever by a Browns tight end.
SUPER BOWL SNOW DAY?
Super Bowl XLVIII will be the NFL's first attempt at putting the championship game in an outdoor stadium in a cold-weather city, and if this week's weather is any indication, it could be a snowy Super Sunday.
According to Yahoo! Sports, nearly 14 inches of snow fell in the metro New York area between Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Crews were needed to help clear the snow from MetLife Stadium.