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Haden Q&A: Browns must learn to close

8/13/2014

BEREA, Ohio -- Since the Cleveland Browns drafted him seventh overall in 2010, cornerback Joe Haden has played for four head coaches and four defensive coordinators. While his 64 combined interceptions and pass breakups are the most in the NFL since 2010, Haden has also been part of 46 losses, including 22 by a touchdown or less, and just 18 wins.

In May, Haden signed a five-year contract extension worth $68 million, including $45 million guaranteed. He is committed to Cleveland, and the Browns are committed to him.

Here are five questions, and five answers, with one of the best corners in the NFL.

Q: Mike Pettine is the fourth head coach you've played for since you entered the NFL. What are your impressions of him?

A: I like his attitude. He's not a first-year head coach. It seems like he's been doing this a long time. He's very comfortable, and he knows how to control the room and control the players. He talks to us. It's an open, open, open door policy. You can just talk to him, and he really wants to win here. He wants to try to change the whole atmosphere of the Browns and how we're portrayed, and I think he's done a really good job of saying, 'Why not us?' and just changing it up. He's on exactly what I'm on. We're on the same page.

Q: How hard has it been playing here and never winning more than five games in a season?

A: It's tough. It's tough. Especially when you're not losing by a lot. We have the talent. Ever since I've been here, we haven't really won too many games at all, but it's always we're losing by three, we're losing by one, we're losing by seven. We have to figure out a way to close out games at the end.

Q: The headliner here at camp is the battle between Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel to be the starting quarterback. Do you sense the Manziel aura?

A: I mean, how could you not? It's on TV 24/7. The Browns are on TV all the time, but once you're on the football field, you're on the field. Manziel is a really, really good kid. I've gotten to hang out with him a lot more these past two weeks. He's just a normal kid having a good time. It gets blown up a lot from the media, but inside, on the field, in the locker room, it's business as usual.

Q: Last year against Jacksonville, you gave up the game-winning touchdown with 40 seconds to play. How much has that play against Cecil Shorts stuck with you?

A: It was terrible. It was terrible, because my thing is, it is so hard to win games in this league and then I feel like I'm always working my hardest and I never want to feel like it's my fault why we lost. I never want the play at the end of the game to be on me. Just being the competitor and the player I am, I really took that personally because I felt like I let the team down and how much work that we do and how hard it is to get a win. I feel like if we put ourselves in a position for me versus a receiver, end of the game, game on the line, I take myself in that every time. And I would like our team to take me in that position every time, so when I gave up the touchdown, I felt like I didn't do my part.

Q: What do you make of the emphasis officials will make this season to crack down on illegal contact?

A: I'm going in and play my game normal and keep doing what I have to do and if they come to me and start throwing flags -- I mean usually the referees come and talk to you before, if you do something, they're like, 'Hey watch your hands.' If you're blatantly holding they're going to throw the flags, but a lot of it, [is] if you use your feet. I don't think I hold very much anyway. So hopefully just try to keep your hands off of them and use your feet a lot better. It is what it is. You have to adapt.