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Hearing from the Browns - Week 12

Posted Nov 20, 2013

Browns Head Coach Rob Chudzinski and cornerback Joe Haden talk about Sunday's game against the Steelers.


Photo Gallery: Top 10 Classic Steelers at Browns  * Eye on the Opponent 

Steelers Browns Rivalry: The First Win  

Head Coach Rob Chudzinski

Is this a big game for both teams, or is it just another week?
Certainly the way the division is right now and the three teams with the same record, it’s an important game. As I mentioned, they’re all important, highlighted just a little bit more when they’re in the division.

Re: The Steelers no-huddle:
Obviously they did that and it was very successful against the Lions. I know that [Ben] Roethlisberger has done that before in his career and they’ve mixed it in. It’s something we definitely have to be prepared for.

Is it much more difficult to run that offense on the road than it is at home?
No, I don’t think so. Obviously he’s in charge, calling the plays, doing all the things and he’s been very successful at doing that during the course of his career everywhere they’ve played.

I think the numbers reflect this, but do you feel it’s harder to run the ball now in the NFL? Do teams struggle to run the ball more?
I think if you’re comparing it to years ago, probably so. The players are just so big and so strong. I think the number of players you get in the box – there are ways to stop the run or slow it down enough. It seems like everybody is geared, at least in this division, to do that. So, you have to be able to do both, and at the end of the day, the teams that can do both well are the ones that have the most success.

Re: Play of Jason Campbell:
Jason has come in and started three games for us. He played, I thought, very well in the first two games that we had, and then this game not as well. I know he’s the first one to talk about it. He’s disappointed about that and we just have to get him back. He’ll bounce back. I’m anxious to see him do that, and I’m expecting him to do that. I know he’s excited about this opportunity to get back into it.

With Ray Horton as your defensive coordinator, how many similarities are there to the Steelers’ defense?
It’s very similar. I know the scheme has stood the test of time. Both Ray and Dick [LeBeau] are outstanding coaches, but each one of them has their own little wrinkles and personality in how they put the defense together and how they call it. It’ll be interesting, and that will be certainly something in the game that will be fun to watch.  

Antonio Brown is not very big. Is that unusual to see a guy of that stature having the type of numbers he’s putting up?
I can think of a number of guys who weren’t always the biggest guys who were able to be very productive in this league, and I’ve been fortunate to coach some of them. He’s an outstanding player. He can run routes, he’s very versatile and he’ll run after the catch. He’s explosive and catches the ball so well. All of those things are really what receivers need to have, and he has them.

You haven’t been afraid to use Joe Haden against the top receivers and he’s done a very good job. Can you talk about his development and how effective he is at what he does?
He’s been playing at a real high level. I’m very pleased with Joe and some of the plays that he’s made, and our defense is feeding off of it. Going back to the time that we started in April, he’s been a guy who’s come to work every day excited about getting better and focusing on technique and being consistent. He’s been able to do that this year, and he’s having an outstanding year.

Are teams tending to shy away from Haden, or are they still going right at him?
I think a little bit of both. He still gets some opportunities. Obviously, he had a couple in this last game. I think that more and more people are seeing the kind of player that he is.


Cornerback Joe Haden

Re: Facing Antonio Brown this weekend:

He’s a really good talent. He is fast, quick and he has really good hands. He runs really good routes. He is different than other receivers I’ve gone up against, because he is a lot smaller and a lot quicker. That’s one thing he does really well, just being really quick and running really good routes.

What makes him different from an A.J. Green or other receivers? And what kind of challenge does that present for you?
He runs different routes than A.J. does. A.J. is more of a big-post, fade or a double move. Antonio runs those routes also but he’s really good with slants, reverses, drag routes and comebacks. His routes are really crisp.

Ike Taylor always talks about accepting the challenge of defending a team’s best receiver. Do you feel the same way?
Of course. I think it brings out the best in players. When you want to be the best, you need to go up against the best. I definitely love going up against players like Torrey Smith, A.J. and Antonio. Going up against good receivers brings out the best in both positions.

What’s it like playing for Coach Ray Horton?
It’s really cool playing under him. He’s a really good coach. He knows exactly what he’s talking about. He is very realistic in what he asks his players to do. He likes our input. He likes to hear what defenses we like to call. If we don’t feel comfortable with it, he pulls it out. He is a player’s coach, and we like that a whole lot.

Does he talk about what he did in Pittsburgh?
No. You wouldn’t even know he coached there if you didn’t know his history.

Re: Preparing for Pittsburgh’s no-huddle offense:
Today is our first day of practice. Right now, we are just going over the basics of it, first-and-10s. We haven’t really got into the no-huddle.

Do you feel you are in the upper echelon of the top cornerbacks in the league?
I am striving for it. I am just going to keep focus and go in every week. At the end of the season I will sit back and look at what went on. Right now, since I am in it, I am just trying to keep it going. I feel like I am having a really good season. I’ve had no time to really sit back and look at what is going on. I just want to keep going each week, in and out, keep making strides and do my job to the best of my ability. I will be able to sit back at the end of the season, but right now I think we are doing a really good job. I have to keep on the straight and narrow and keep trying to get better each week.

Have you followed the opponent’s top receiver around just this year or in the past?
It’s mostly been the past two seasons. Last year, I started doing it, but this year, they had me against their number-one in Week 1. That’s my guy.

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