When the Steelers needed a play the most on Sunday against the New England Patriots at Heinz Field, Joe Haden came through and then some.
The Steelers were leading 14-10 with 7:51 to play in the game and the Patriots driving. On second-and-goal from the 16-yard line, Tom Brady was under pressure from Stephon Tuitt and threw it up for Julian Edelman. Haden went airborne, defending Edelman and came down with the interception at the four-yard line, managing to stay in bounds to give the Steelers the ball back at a crucial time and serve as a turning point in the game.
While it wasn’t just that play, it was a key one in him being named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week.
“I learned that from AB (Antonio Brown),” said Haden of managing to stay in bounds. “He said let your legs go numb, so soon as I caught it, I felt like I let my legs go numb. I learned it from AB.”
While Haden’s legs might have been numb, the rest of Heinz Field exploded at that moment.
“Joe is a special guy. He has special talents,” said Tomlin. “His approach to it day in and day out. He is a steadying influence for a young secondary. We ask him to do a lot of things beyond A, B, and C. He does it all with a smile. We are glad he is a Pittsburgh Steeler.”
Haden also led the Steelers defense with 12 tackles and added two pass defenses.
“Joe Haden’s the man,” said T.J. Watt. “He’s the man, he practices so hard. I’m so happy for Joe. That’s all we have been talking about on the defensive end, just really finishing plays. We feel like we’ve been close so many times and to be able to come up with some picks was awesome.”