Haden hopes to limit Bengals' Green
BEREA, Ohio — As the Cleveland Browns attempt to avoid breaking the record for the longest losing streak in franchise history, the return of cornerback Joe Haden might be exactly what they need.
Haden returned Monday from his four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. He believes his comeback has given the Browns (0-5) renewed energy that could pay off when they host the Cincinnati Bengals (3-2) at 1 p.m. Sunday.
“I could tell out there at practice,” Haden said. “I don't know how it was when I wasn't here, but since I'm back, we're up, just amped. We're hyped.”
All eyes will be on Haden. His matchup with standout wide receiver A.J. Green figures to be a deciding factor in the 79th Battle of Ohio. Haden plans to follow Green in coverage for the majority of the game, if not the entire time.
Last week, Green became the first player in NFL history to eclipse 100 catches, 1,500 receiving yards and 10 touchdown receptions in his first 20 games, according to Elias Sports Bureau. In three games against the Browns, Green has 11 catches for 209 yards and two touchdowns, including a 10-yard score in Week 2, when the Bengals defeated the Browns, sans Haden, 34-27, in Cincinnati.
“You're not going to able to hold A.J. Green to zero catches,” Haden said. “You definitely know he's going to get his sometimes, but I feel I'm going to get mine, also.”
The showdowns between Haden and Green started during their college days. When Haden starred at Florida, he went 2-0 against Green and Georgia. They renewed their rivalry last season in the AFC North with Green and the Bengals prevailing in both meetings.
“He knows what I do, and I know what he does,” Green, the fourth pick in last year's draft, told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “He knows my strength. (It's) just a battle. We are just going to be out there grinding.”
Haden, the seventh pick in 2010, said he hopes the Bengals take shots at him to test whether he's rusty. He spent much of the downtime training at his family's gym in Maryland.
“I wasn't just in the house just eating chips and stuff,” Haden said. “I was doing what I needed to do,”
The Browns also lost 11 in a row in 1974-75. If they lose Sunday, they would set a new franchise record with 12 consecutive defeats.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers’ Polamalu relying on smarts as physical skills decline
- Steelers’ Timmons looks to reverse defense’s struggles
- Steelers notebook: Big Ben sees increase in throwing out of shotgun
- Steelers defense a long way from ‘greatest of all time’
- Steelers remain confident in ground game
- Steelers’ Roethlisberger still hurting after hard hit from Ravens’ Upshaw
- NFL notebook: Cardinals RB Dwyer arrested on assault charges
- Steelers notebook: Former lineman Kemoeatu receives kidney from brother
- Steelers notebook: RT Gilbert not in danger of losing his job
- Big Ben’s struggles emblematic of loss
- Panthers defensive end Hardy placed on exempt list