In his second season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, cornerback Joe Haden hasn’t necessarily put up Pro Bowl numbers, but he does have two interceptions on the year along with double-digit passes defensed, and both of those picks were pretty impressive.
Especially so was the last one from Sunday’s victory over the New England Patriots, during which he was able to get one from Tom Brady on a poor pass that he was likely trying to throw into empty space or even out of bounds while under pressure.
The cornerback showed an impressive vertical in getting air over wide receiver Julian Edelman, with tight end Rob Gronkowski also hanging in the back. After the game, he credited Antonio Brown for his advice on how to stay inbounds while making a catch near the sideline. It all worked out well, and looked even better.
“I didn’t know how it looked. When I saw the video, I was like, ‘that was sweet!’”, he told Kevin Gorman of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “After the season, I’ll be able to soak it in. Right now, I’m trying to get another”.
He and the rest of the defense. Haden’s interception was the first by the team since Vince Williams had an interception against Cam Newton back in Week 10, which he returned for a touchdown. That’s four straight games without an interception.
In fact, they have played more games in which they haven’t gotten an interception at all than games in which they have. They have only had three interceptions since the bye week, and Haden has had two of them. The defense has gotten their hands on only seven passes all year.
Well, seven passes of the 20 in total that they’ve gotten their hands on they haven’t dropped.
Haden talked about how it was special to get an interception off of a great like Brady, and added that “Drew Brees is on the list too”, that being the list of quarterbacks he wants to pick a pass off of.
“I’m not trying to throw any shots. That guy’s a great quarterback, but I’m super excited and ready to go”, he said. “He’s super-quick with where he wants to go with it. At the same time, his technique is still the best. He’s very, very aware of his surroundings in the pocket”.
While Haden has made the Pro Bowl a couple of times in the past, he was disappointed in not getting in again this year, but he knows that he could have made a difference. “If I wouldn’t have dropped that pick [in Los Angeles], if I would’ve caught my other picks I’d have four of them, and it would have made it easier to get in”, he said.
Maybe he can stockpile a few more interceptions this season to keep his name fresh heading into 2019.