If you think about it, the fact Joe Haden is a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers is still pretty crazy.
After playing his entire career with the Cleveland Browns, and going against the black-and-gold twice a season, Haden now calls the 412 area code home during the season. For some Steelers fans it is still hard to fathom, and you can count quarterback Ben Roethlisberger into the mix of players who are still happy, and excited, Haden is in black-and-gold...not orange-and-brown.
Roethlisberger talked about it to the SiriusXM NFL Radio hosts when they visited the Steelers during training camp.
Take a listen:
.@steelers QB @_BigBen7 has a lot of confidence in Pittsburgh's secondary heading into the new season – subscribers can catch our full stop from #SteelersCamp on demand! pic.twitter.com/AP2MssQx0v— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) August 6, 2018
The one knock on Haden throughout his career has been his durability. He has played in 16 regular season games just once, and that was his rookie season in 2010. Since then he has failed to log a full 16-game season.
In his first year with the Steelers, he played in just 11 games after suffering a broken leg midway through the season. Now healthy, Haden is ready to help complete the Steelers’ secondary, and Roethlisberger feels he still has a lot left in the proverbial tank.
In fact, in the interview above, Roethlisberger goes as far as saying he not only is happy he doesn’t have to go against Haden any longer, but how the Steelers’ secondary could actually be considered a strength.
Think about that for a second.
Dating back to Bill Cowher, the Steelers have always been a defense which was solid despite their secondary. Fans would talk about the missing piece to the puzzle, and always mention the secondary shortly after.
With the likes of Haden, Artie Burns, Mike Hilton, Cameron Sutton and even Brian Allen, the cornerbacks have gone from a weakness to a potential strength. If they can take the football away more in 2018 than they did last year, it will just solidify this sentiment among the NFL landscape.
In the meantime, at least Roethlisberger won’t have to worry about Haden picking off any of his passes anytime soon outside of practice.