2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Haden ready to make amends for Browns

By TOM WITHERS - AP Sports Writer
    2012-10-12 18:58

BEREA, Ohio (AP) - With a selfish act, Joe Haden damaged more than his reputation.

In getting suspended by the NFL, Haden hurt his teammates, coaches and Browns fans, who have always embraced the likable cornerback.

On Sunday, he can begin making amends.

Back from a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance enhancers, Haden will return to the starting lineup as the winless Browns (0-5) host the Cincinnati Bengals. Haden, who was banned after testing positive for the stimulant Adderall, believes he owes people he let down.

``In a sense, definitely,'' Haden said Friday. ``It's my team. I feel like I should have been out there with them and it's my fault I wasn't. In a way I do feel like I owe them. In the same way I feel like I did my time, so when I'm out there I'm still going to give it my all. I'm not going to try to do anything extra and play outside myself.

``But I think they're going to notice I'm back.''

Haden's return should provide a big boost to the Browns, who have lost 11 straight games dating to last season and must win to avoid setting the franchise record for consecutive losses. Without their top cornerback - and arguably best defensive player - the Browns had to move players around in their secondary and didn't have Haden to shut down the opposition's top receiver.

It started in Week 2 when Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green had 7 catches for 58 yards and one touchdown. Buffalo's Stevie Johnson (7 catches, 61 yards, TD), Baltimore's Anquan Boldin (9 catches, 131 yards) and New York's Victor Cruz (3 TDs) all benefited from Haden being out and had big games.

This week, Haden comes back just in time to match up again with Green, renewing a rivalry that goes back to college.

Although he hasn't played since the Sept. 9 opener against Philadelphia, Haden feels he can mirror Green.

``For sure,'' he said. ``Whatever the coaches want me to do. If they want me to match A.J., that's what I plan on doing.''

Haden, who stayed in shape by working out at a gym he owns during his suspension, said he didn't feel rusty during his first full week of practice. Browns coach Pat Shurmur didn't notice any difference in the Haden who returned from the one who left.

``I see the same old Joe,'' Shurmur said.

That's a relief for the Browns. They need Haden's ability as a coverage corner, tackler and playmaker. His absence had a trickle-down effect throughout the entire defense, which could be missing starting defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin (lower leg) and linebacker Scott Fujita (neck/shoulder) against the Bengals. Cleveland will be without cornerback Dimitri Patterson, who will likely miss a few weeks with a sprained ankle.

Since Haden returned, Shurmur has already detected a difference in Cleveland's defense.

``His presence is felt when you see him out there, when you watch him challenge balls and challenge receivers in practice,'' he said. ``He got his hand on a couple balls and picked one off today. When you add a good player to the lineup, it's obvious just watching him play. The other players around him feel that. You build from there.''

Haden, too, senses the Browns rallying with him back around.

He's seeing more smiles and energy.

``I could tell out there at practice,'' he said. ``I don't know how it was when I wasn't here, but since I'm back, we're up, just amped. We're hyped. You know I like to talk. I like to have fun. I'm smiling, making plays. When we do that, me and (safety) T.J. (Ward) just jump up in the air and hit each other. Honestly, since I haven't been here, just going through every week and taking a loss, I'm coming in here fresh and bringing a spark, like let's get this thing going.

``Let's get it back on the road.''

Haden has always felt the support from his teammates, many of whom stayed in contact with him during his suspension.

As for Browns fans, Haden believes they still have his back. He knows many were disappointed by his actions, but Haden has received ``zero negative feedback'' in the days since being reinstated.

While he was away, Haden, who likes to be seen around the city during the offseason, worried if his suspension would damage his relationship with fans.

``I like to interact with people and I didn't want it to put a damper on everything I've done because it's not like I'm trying to put on an act,'' he said. ``I really enjoy having fun with people, so me not being able to do that kind of hurt me a little bit. But they accepted me back. I see how they feel when I'm not out there playing, they expect me to be out there. But I was mad at myself, so I think that just me being back now everybody embraced it so it's basically over.''

Haden's suspension gave him a new appreciation for what he has. He has vowed not to jeopardize his career again.

Once he's on the field, Haden won't take anything for granted and he hopes the Bengals test him early.

``I'm ready, `` he said. ``I don't feel rushed. I just feel like I just missed a couple games and I'm right back. It wasn't like it was a downfall. I wasn't just in the house eating chips and stuff. I was doing what I needed to do, so I feel I'm right back and ready to play.''

---

NOTES: With WRs Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring) and Jordan Norwood (foot) out, the Browns activated rookie Josh Cooper for Sunday's game. Cooper was a teammate of QB Brandon Weeden at Oklahoma State and hopes the former college buddies can connect in the pros. ``It's unbelievable,'' Cooper said of the chance to play with Weeden. ``It's something you don't really see happen too much with other players. It would be nice to get to do that.'' ... Norwood was placed on injured reserve but is eligible to return to the roster in six weeks. ... Shurmur said the Browns hope to re-sign QB Thad Lewis, who was waived on Thursday to make roster room for Haden.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Terrelle PryorApr 23 08:58a

The Seattle Seahawks acquired QB Terrelle Pryor from the Oakland Raiders Monday, April 21, in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in this year's draft. He will compete with [ More ]

Matt RyanApr 22 10:53p

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith is calling for major improvement on both sides of the line of scrimmage. He fears the team could bottom out for a second [ More ]

EJ ManuelApr 22 08:13p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel (knees) is healthy entering voluntary workouts and feels normal and had no limitations during the Tuesday, April 22 conditioning program. Bills head coach Doug [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 22 07:53p

Updating a previous report, the Baltimore Ravens have officially placed LB Rolando McClain on the reserve-retired list for a second time. The Ravens will retain McClain's rights if he changes his mind again.

Eli ManningApr 22 07:33p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) expects to be 100 percent for the beginning of training camp. Manning has no concerns about learning the Giants' new playbook, instead [ More ]

Ray RiceApr 22 04:43p

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice looks great physically, according to strength and conditioning coach Bob Roguck. 'He's doing some things differently as far as his diet and so forth, [ More ]

David WilsonApr 22 02:43p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) said he is still waiting for a clear MRI to be medically cleared, but is currently ahead of schedule.

Julio JonesApr 22 01:13p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (foot) will be limited during the team's offseason workouts while he recovers from offseason foot surgery. 'Julio is participating with our athletic performance department,' [ More ]

Eli ManningApr 22 01:03p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) said his ankle is progressing but he does not have a timetable for his return to the field. Manning is currently in a walking boot.

Stevie BrownApr 22 12:33p

New York Giants FS Stevie Brown (knee) said he feels like he is ready to go when the Giants hit the field after recovering from a serious knee injury. [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 10:33a

The New York Giants are likely to cut FS Will Hill after his third potential drug suspension.

Josh MorganApr 22 09:52a

Chicago Bears WR Joshua Morgan is likely to compete for the No. 3 or 4 wide receiver role this year, and he'll compete with WRs Domenik Hixon, Eric Weems [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 09:33a

New York Giants FS Will Hill is facing a year-long suspension after reportedly failing another drug test. He will appeal what would be his third drug-related suspension.

Kyle WilliamsApr 21 09:33p

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed WR Kyle Williams Monday, April 21. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Colt AndersonApr 21 07:12p

The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent FS Colt Anderson (Eagles) to an undisclosed deal Monday, April 21.

Jamar TaylorApr 21 06:43p

Miami Dolphins CB Jamar Taylor (groin) is healthy following hernia surgery and began offseason workouts with his teammates Monday, April 21. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said he expects [ More ]

Dustin KellerApr 21 05:42p

Eugene Parker, agent for free-agent TE Dustin Keller (knee), said Keller is ready to participate in offseason workouts when he signs with a team.

Eric FisherApr 21 05:12p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) said there is no timetable for his return following multiple surgeries, but he doesn't think he'll be out for long. 'He's [ More ]

Josh MorganApr 21 04:02p

The Chicago Bears have signed free-agent WR Joshua Morgan (Redskins) to a one-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

A.J. GreenApr 21 03:32p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green said he has added around six pounds this offseason, because he wants to be more physical as a way to beat coverage at the [ More ]

Michael VickApr 21 02:42p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith said he believes he will be the starting quarterback this upcoming season even though the team added QB Michael Vick this offseason. He [ More ]

Navorro BowmanApr 21 02:12p

The San Francisco 49ers plan to place LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) on the Physically Unable to Perform list when training camp begins, because he is not expected to be [ More ]

Eric FisherApr 21 02:02p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) underwent shoulder surgery and had a procedure to fix a sports hernia. He's currently rehabbing in Kansas City.

Tony CarterApr 21 01:22p

The Denver Broncos signed DT Mitch Unrein to his restricted free-agent tender Monday, April 21. CB Tony Carter, SS Duke Ihenacho and LB Brandon M. Marshall all signed their exclusive rights tenders.

Rolando McClainApr 21 01:02p

Baltimore Ravens LB Rolando McClain is retiring from the NFL again Monday, April 21. 'I gotta follow my heart. It ain't football. If football made me complete I would [ More ]

Tony RomoApr 21 12:42p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) will take part in the team's voluntary offseason program beginning Monday, April 21, according to a source. Players are allowed to lift weights, [ More ]

Marcus LattimoreApr 20 09:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) is not expected to be restricted in any way when offseason workouts begin.

Michael EgnewApr 20 08:42p

The Miami Dolphins likely will add at least two more tight ends this offseason that will compete with TE Michael Egnew for a roster spot.

Armon BinnsApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Armon Binns is currently the team's No. 4 receiver, but the Dolphins have had discussions about WR Rishard Matthews replacing Binns at the spot, according to a source.

Tyrone CrawfordApr 20 12:02a

Dallas Cowboys DT Tyrone Crawford (Achilles') is expected to be ready for the team's offseason program, and he is expected to be a key piece to the defense this season.

M. Jones-DrewApr 20 12:02a

If healthy, Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden is expected to be the team's starting tailback with RB Maurice Jones-Drew as his backup.

Brian HartlineApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline (knee) is expected to be ready for the start of mini camp, according to a source. He suffered a torn posterior cruciate ligament in the 2013 regular season finale.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group