Browns Defensive Back Joe Haden conference call 4-22-10
(Welcome to the Cleveland Browns)- "Thanks I appreciate it."
(On how he is feeling right now)- "I am just trying to soak it all up. It's crazy. Just a dream come true. I feel like this is like a blessing."
(On the tears in his eyes and what was said when he learned he would be selected by the Browns)- "Actually he (Coach Mangini) was just trying to make me smile because he saw the tears coming out of my eyes. It was just joy, tears of joy, just to finally been able to arrive and know that I'm playing for a team and know where I'm going to be because I just knew it was going to happen. I could see it. Before I got drafted you never really knew where you're going to live, what team you're going to, what situation you're going to be in. I loved Cleveland when I was there and I was just happy that they liked me enough to draft me. On the phone they told me ‘You're on TV, so try and smile for us.'"
(On his 40 time at the combine and if he was worried about it hurting him in the draft)- "At first I was. At first I honestly was, but I knew that my back was messed up and I'm just a competitive player so I like to just go out and compete. If I see players doing football stuff, I just go out there and compete. I knew I had another chance to run again at my pro day, which I did and I ran a 4.41 for Cleveland. That's what the coaches had me at in my 40. I knew I had another chance. I was just thinking at the end of the day all the scouts that talked to me said, ‘Joe, your film speaks for itself. I mean if you're were 4.5 covering, you don't look like 4.5 on film at all. You look a whole lot faster.'"
(On if he had a good idea that he was on the Browns radar screen and that had a good chance of coming here)- "Yes, I definitely had a good idea about that when I talked to Coach Holmgren. He definitely was telling me that they were really, really interested in taking me at No. 7. And once he told me that, it just made me have a sigh of relief. Then once I left my visit in Cleveland, I really didn't have contact with anyone from Cleveland so I didn't know if they just stopped liking me or what happened so I just came in here didn't know what was going on."
(On who told him to just smile because you're on TV)- "Oh, Mangini."
(On how he hurt his back before the combine)- "It was working out before the combine. When I got there, it was good, but when I did the bench press at the combine, that's when I re-aggravated it."
(On the pressure in covering a team's number one receiver)- "There's always pressure when you're out there on an island. It's just you versus him. At corner, you have to have a one track mind and a short memory. The one thing that I try to do is I definitely put pressure on myself. I'm my biggest critic. When I'm out there, I know that I have to have a lot of film study and a lot of just knowing what is going on and I have to be really comfortable. That's one thing that makes me a whole lot more comfortable when I'm out there, because I like to study film, I like to know what is going on before it happens."
(On what it means to him to have the full confidence of Tim Tebow)- "Hearing that from Tim, it's definitely a big thing because he is one of the hardest workers that I've ever met in my life. All of the stuff that he talks about as far as work ethic and that he would do anything for the team, he really will. To hear that from Tim, I basically just tried to do the same things as he did. Me and him were on the same workout plan and whenever we practiced, we went 100 miles an hour. Just like Tebow, whenever he practices, he does everything at 100 miles an hour. That's the same thing I did. I noticed that he noticed that because I was trying to lead my DBs and he was trying to lead the whole offense. You recognize people that do the right things and definitely try hard. I was talking to the coaches about it whenever they asked me about him, I just put him as high as he was supposed to be. I don't make up anything because he deserves everything that he can get."
(On being picked by the Browns after early predictions that he would end up here died off)- "It is kind of crazy. A lot of stuff I had heard had me going to the Browns. It wasn't really from scouts or anything at first, so I was like ‘How does everybody know that I'm supposed to be going to Cleveland? How is everybody so sure of that?' It was kind of crazy because I didn't think everybody knew really what they were talking about."
Browns Defensive Back Joe Haden Press Conference 4-23-10
(Opening statement) - "Well, it's my great privilege to be able to introduce to you our number one pick in this year's draft, Joe Haden. We are going to come up and take some pictures and do all that kind of stuff, and then Tommy and I are going to take off. Joe, they are a better group than they appear to be, so they are going to have some fun with you. He is one of the great young men that I've ever had the privilege of studying and meeting. So as far as how we feel about this first pick, I really believe that we hit a home run. There has been a lot of speculation about what our approach to the draft was, what we decided to do and all of that. This young guy was in our sights from awhile ago. We feel very fortunate to have been able to draft him. My hope is that, of course I'm getting up there in years that you will be here a lot longer after I'm gone. Joe Haden, say hello. Come on up."
(On his next major goal after accomplishing being drafted in the NFL) - "Trying to win a championship. I just love winning and I'm just so privileged that they took me with the number seven pick. I'm just so excited. It's just a blessing and a dream come true. The next step is to definitely start winning."
(On his family background) - "Basically, my mom and dad have been together for 20 years and they are still together. I got four little brothers. One of them played at Boston College, he's transferring to the University of Florida or Louisville. I have another younger brother, Jordan Haden, he enrolled early at Florida and he is a strong safety. Jacob Haden, another younger brother, he is special ed, so he doesn't really play sports, but he definitely follows us and he does special Olympics and everything like that. I have another younger brother, Jonathan Haden, he is getting recruited by high schools to play football. I have really good family, a really big family and a real supportive family. We definitely have a whole lot of fun together."
(On facing the receivers in the AFC North) - "It's going to be a challenge, of course, but I'm ready for everything. I'm just so blessed and honored too, because when I was at Florida, I played against Andre Caldwell, Louis Murphy and Percy Harvin every day in practice. So playing versus those dudes definitely got me ready for next level. I feel like playing at Florida versus that kind of talent and Massaquoi, I played versus him last year when he was there (at Georgia). Just being able to play against that type of talent will just transfer over and help the transition a whole lot easier."
(On starting as a freshman at Florida) - "This (Tim) Tebow dude is always involved in everything. When I came to Florida, I was going to be a quarterback. Tebow was there, so I know that wasn't going to happen. Then I went to receiver and then Percy Harvin was there, so I was a backup to him. I just wanted to get on the field. The coaches said I had all the tools to play quarterback or receiver or corner. I had never played corner before. Never played the position, not even in practice, not in high school or not in anywhere. So one day he said, ‘Joe, how about you play corner?' I was like, ‘Alright, I'll try it out.' So I went over to corner and I started doing pretty good. They just threw me in one-on-ones and I had to guard Andre Caldwell my first time and he caught it. I looked pretty bad. The coaches kept teaching me technique and all this other stuff. They were like, ‘You look pretty good. If you keep practicing like this, you will be starting the first game. I would rather start at corner and not really know what is going on than be a backup wide receiver. I just did that and freshman year was tough. Then sophomore year, Coach Bedford came in and he started teaching me more technique, like reading the receivers' alignments and watching more film and stuff like that. That year went good and then my junior year was when I really felt like I started transforming to a real cornerback. I just knew what was going on. I felt a whole lot more comfortable and a lot more confident. So that was how the whole transition went."
(On if he is still learning the cornerback position) - "Definitely. I feel like that's the one thing that's a big plus in my game is that I only have three years of experience. The ceiling is still so high for me as a corner. I just have so much more I can learn and so much more that I want to learn. Coach Henderson, I feel like he is just the perfect coach to teach me. I just love his enthusiasm and how he is out there on the field with us and also doing the stuff with us. (He is) an in your face coach that has a high energy that is going to help me out. He just knows so much. He told me about (Darrelle) Revis. When I came, we were watching film on him just trying to teach me little stuff. I just feel like him being my coach is definitely going to help me out a whole lot."
(On which NFL players he has studied) - "Honestly, I didn't really watch too much NFL football. When I heard about what Revis was doing and how he was just locking down one whole side of the field, you didn't really want to throw it that way at all. I definitely started watching him then and I just love the way he is just in your face every single play, (using his) hands and feet, just mirroring receivers on the line. That's what I want to do."
(On if Coach Mangini talked to him about Darrelle Revis) - "He didn't talk to me about him, Coach Henderson talked to me about him."
(On if he knew anything about the Browns before being drafted) - "I didn't really know too much, but I'm hoping to learn. When I get here, I'm going to read up on some stuff so I'll be able to answer that question a whole lot better."
(On if he is a big LeBron James fan) - "Oh my goodness. I love LeBron. I love LeBron. I was so excited about Cleveland, I was like ‘Now he can't go anywhere because it might break my heart.' I'm trying to figure out a way that I can get in touch with him, text him or something and take him out to eat and make sure he doesn't leave."
(On when he started liking LeBron) - "Every since he was in high school, when I was watching him play. I just love his game and I love his personality. I feel like he has an outgoing personality, he's a people person, just making people laugh on the sidelines and having a good time. I feel like that's what I like to do. Not always too serious, people take stuff too seriously. He's a great player. He's out there balling and having a good time, so that's what I want to do."
(On if he could dunk a basketball as a freshman) - "I could dunk. I could windmill as a matter of fact. I was pretty good at basketball."
(On if he could take LeBron in one on one) - "No, no. I wasn't that good."
(On if he will be getting Cavs season tickets) - "Yes, of course. I just hope that LeBron could hook me up so I won't have to buy them. I'm trying to be courtside like Jay-Z."
(On the impact his father has had on his football career) - "He had a really big impact. He was a professional body builder and a lot of the videos and stuff that they showed me had him oiled up and we would be cracking on him about that. He was definitely real big about keeping me and my brothers in shape and that was one of the main reasons why I was able to play as a freshman. I came in physically ready to play. I was strong enough, fast enough and I had the heart to play. Even though I didn't know the position, I was ready to play because he definitely got me right physically. That was one of the biggest things."
(On if starting as a freshman at Florida gives him the confidence to try and start right away with the Browns)- "Wherever he puts me at, that's what I'm going to do. I'm just going to come in here and work as hard as I can and whatever happens, happens. I just want to get on the field. Just like when I was a freshman in college, whatever I need to do to get on the field, I will do it."
(On if his last 24 hours have been like a whirlwind)- "It definitely has been with a whole lot of media stuff. I still don't believe that I play for the Browns, you know what I'm saying? It's kind of crazy. You go from high school football, having a good time, then you go to Florida and that was a big jump. Then, you are playing with Tebow, Percy and you are all having a good time and you win the national championship. Then, you play for the Browns. It's just like, dang. It's crazy. First round pick, top 10 and then my phone won't stop vibrating in my pocket right now. People just are all texting you and congratulating you. It's just a dream come true."
(On if he was recruited by Urban Meyer as a quarterback)- "Yes, actually as an athlete so quarterback, receiver, DB."
(On his college options coming out of high school)- "Actually, I was going to either go to Ohio State, UVA, Michigan or Florida. Those were my four choices and on all of those teams, I was going to play quarterback. The only team that said, ‘When you come here, you are going to play corner', was Boston College. I was like, ‘I'm not going to play corner.'"
(On if Urban Meyer was lying to him about recruiting him to play quarterback)- "He wasn't lying. I don't know what he was doing. I know he wasn't lying to me, he never lied to me."
(On competing against Tebow to be a quarterback initially)- "Actually, I really didn't want to be a quarterback after a saw what he was doing because I knew I wasn't going to get too much play. When I went to receiver, I was like, ‘I have got a better chance.' I was second string. Quarterback, I was probably third because they had Cam Newton and John Brantley, so I was deep down on the depth chart. When I went over to receiver then it was better, but I don't think he lied."
(On if he would have been a top-10 pick if he wasn't a defensive back)- "Nope. I'm just happy that God blessed me and put me in the right position. He put Tebow there, he put Percy there, he got Coach Meyer to get me there and everything fell in place."
(On if Tebow will prove all of his doubters wrong)- "Of course. I was so happy when he got picked. I didn't get to see it because I was doing other stuff, but when I found out when somebody texted me and I finally looked at my phone and saw that Tebow got picked at 25, I was just so happy. I feel like he's such a great kid that he deserves everything that he gets. A lot of people talk bad about him for no reason. That's one thing that I really like about him is how people talk bad about him and he always just still stays positive and never talks down at anybody. He just prays for people to talk bad about him. It's kind of crazy."
(On if he has contacted Tebow since yesterday)- "Not yet. I haven't had the chance to get in touch with him or I haven't had the chance to get in touch with Coach, I still have got to call him."
(On if he met anyone at the draft yesterday that impacted him)- "I met with Deion Sanders and that was whole lot of fun. Barry Sanders was a whole lot of fun. Who did I meet with? Colonel Sanders (joking), I did go to KFC. It was just everybody, the whole atmosphere was crazy. One of the biggest people that I really loved just hanging out with and talking to was Eric Berry. I just love that dude. He is just so nice and me and him get along real well. That is one of my really good friends."
(On the Browns' interest in Eric Berry)- "Me and him would always mess with each other. I was like, ‘EB, just go first pick so I can go seven. Please just get off the board.' As soon as he got picked, I was happy for him. He is such a good dude, we were just playing around, having a good time."
(On if he deserved to be picked before Eric Berry)- "I didn't know. You just know that it's just me or him. Me and him were just looking like, ‘I don't know.' You didn't really know what was going to happen."
(On if Berry got picked early, he thought he would end up with the Browns)- "Yes. That's what I was figuring."
(On if he knows anyone on the Browns' roster)- "One. D.Q. (D'Qwell Jackson). Actually the corner, Eric Wright, texted me last night to congratulate me and told me that he was going to hang out with me when I got up here. Actually, I got about four texts from players. I'd say their names, but I didn't really know who it was yet."
(On how he knows D'Qwell Jackson)- "Actually, I went to Miami to go hang out with Major Wright and he was down there training. So, that's how I met him."
(On if it is fair for NFL players to be held to a higher standard)- "It is fair, it's definitely fair. We are getting paid so much money, we should definitely be able to control ourselves and make sure that we set a good example for everybody watching us because everybody wants to be where we are at. Since we made it, we should definitely be held a little bit higher."
(On which of his brothers is the best football player)- "My youngest brother. I'm second to him. He's probably going to be the first pick in the draft. Coach Meyer said he was is going to give him a scholarship already, he is crazy. He is a running back and his favorite player is Jahvid Best, so I tried to get him to meet Best down at the draft. He (Jonathan) is definitely the best athlete out of all of us."
(On his personality)- "Outgoing, funny, just like to have a good time. I can't stand being around people that try to bring me down. Humble person. All this stuff is so humbling because I try to sign every autograph. I try to take pictures for everybody. I just feel like I'm blessed because if I was out there and I wanted to get to meet somebody, I would definitely want them to sign my stuff. Just embracing the whole moment and knowing that at any time, it can get taken away from you. So, just don't be too cocky and arrogant about what you got."
(On if he needs to be cocky as a cornerback)- "Oh, I was talking about off the field. On the field, swag has got to be out of control. You definitely have got to know how good you are on the field."
(On if there is a cornerback in the NFL that he follows)- "The only one was Revis when I saw him last year. I never really had too many favorite teams or anything like that. I just had players, I love players. I was always offense, so I always had offensive players. Then, Revis last year, I just looked up to him a whole lot. That's who I met at the draft, it was Revis."