Throughout the NFL’s offseason, voluntary, workouts, there isn’t much news. Players come into the team facility, can workout and meet with position coaches, and that is about it. Every now and then, the team will throw the media a proverbial bone and allow them to speak with a player during these workouts.
Who was the lucky recipient of such an honor? Cornerback Joe Haden.
Haden spoke with the media bout a number of things, one of them being how he feels under new defensive backs coach Tom Bradley, the team may be more inclined to play utilize man-to-man coverage in the back half of the secondary.
Joe Haden thinks the Steelers could play more man-to-man in secondary under new assistant Tom Bradley: "With the players we have in the room, man to man is a thing we can do. We might do a little more of that."— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) April 19, 2018
Might this be a comment which says a lot about Carnell Lake, the team’s former secondary coach? Only Haden knows for sure.
Speaking of the defensive secondary, a lot has been made about Sean Davis possibly moving to the free safety position next year. While Haden doesn’t know for sure if this will happen or not, he certainly thinks Davis is more than capable of such a switch.
Some highlights from Joe Haden availability: He thinks Sean Davis can play free safety, but he hasn't been told that's what will happen yet. Also said with Mike Hilton and Cam Sutton already on roster he believes they have plenty of good DBs for nickel and dime.— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) April 19, 2018
The defensive back room is loaded with talent, and this isn’t counting any rookies the team will add in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft.
When the Steelers signed Haden after his release from the Cleveland Browns, the biggest question mark on him was if he could stay healthy. While Haden did suffer a broken leg midway through the season, he was able to take a week off before having a full offseason to workout and prepare for the upcoming season.
Steelers CB @joehaden23 just met with the media and said he took only one week off before beginning training for the 2018 season. Said injuries prevented him from doing that the previous two years.— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) April 19, 2018
So, what have the Steelers been doing in Phase 1 of the offseason workout program? One of the items on the team’s To-Do list was watch the loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Divisional Round.
Joe Haden said team has been watching tape of the Jacksonville playoff loss during Phase 1 of offseason program: "It's figuring out how we can communicate a little better and figure out what things went wrong."— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) April 19, 2018
While it had to be difficult to watch, it is worth noting there are some pieces on that defense which aren’t on the team anymore. Mike Mitchell is currently unemployed, and William Gay is now a member of the New York Giants. While it is worthwhile to re-live the dreadful defensive performance vs. Blake Bortles and company, it should be taken at face value.
Every team has a new identity, a new core, every year, and it seems the Steelers could be on the verge of greatness starting where they left off in 2017 — from the ground up.