Is Joe Haden a fit for the Steelers?

By this point, most of you reading this have probably caught wind that former Pro Bowl cornerback, Joe Haden, has been released by the Cleveland Browns and is reportedly signing with the Steelers. “Former” being the keyword here, as Haden was once known as a lock down corner but has seen his play severely decline over the past two seasons.

However, it should be said that Haden was either injured or trying to come back from injury during that time span.

The Florida Gator turned professional is only 28 years young; that seems a bit young for a cornerback to lose a step unless the injuries have really gotten to him.

Whether or not Haden can regain his top form is unknown, but in my opinion, his services are very much worth a phone call. That’s because the Steelers are still stuck with the dilemma of who will be starting cornerback alongside the second-year pro, Artie Burns. Ross Cockrell and new addition Coty Sensabaugh continue to leave much to be desired. Rookie Cameron Sutton looked great in his debut versus the Colts, but it was such a small sample size.

I find it hard to blame the Steelers and staff for feeling like they still need improvement at the corner position.

Enter Joe Haden.

Now I’m not here to tell you Joe Haden is going to be an All-Pro acquisition, let alone a Pro Bowl player again. What I can tell you that Cockrell and Sensabaugh have looked bad in this preseason, and it’s a cause for concern. Pittsburgh is known to want to use more man coverage schemes this upcoming season and Haden has excelled in that area specifically (when healthy) whereas Ross Cockrell looks lost, and Coty Sensabaugh performs average on his best days.

 

Of course there is concern about the decline in Joe’s play on the field. The 28-year-old has had the worst two seasons of his career most recently, but he was also playing last season with a hernia. Mike Mitchell played through two groin pulls his first season in Pittsburgh, and it was not pretty. In fact, some Steelers fans still hate Mitchell to this day because of that season, but I digress.

A groin injury also removed Le’Veon Bell from the AFC Championship game, meaning, a pulled groin or a hernia is going to hinder your play, especially if you’re playing a position that requires constant change of direction and planting your feet. Therefore, the question turns to: is Joe Haden better than the Steelers current options?

Maybe. Maybe not.

But if the decision makers in the front office feel there’s more to Haden than what Cleveland thought, and the move was to purely get out from under his contract, then the cornerback is worth a look, as the Steelers build a Super Bowl contender.

Leave a Reply


Related Articles