Haden's role changes slightly in 2014

A year ago, wherever Antonio Brown went, Joe Haden went too.

It was Haden’s responsibility in the defense run by Ray Horton to cover the opposing team’s best receiver. That meant following guys like Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green, Brown and Mike Wallace. It was a tall order, but Haden was up to the challenge, earning a Pro Bowl berth after the season.

This season, Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine will change things up and will not ask Haden to shadow one player.

“I’m never a fan of giving an offense a steady diet of the same matchups and same types of coverages,” Pettine said.

He added he’s not a fan of putting one corner on one player because he doesn’t think his defense should give the offense the same look all the time. It’s an interesting philosophy, especially given Haden’s abilities. Would the Browns rather have Haden on Brown, or Brown looking across the line at Buster Skrine or Justin Gilbert? Then again, Brown had success against Haden last season, with a 41-yard touchdown among his 15 receptions.

“Offensive coordinators are pretty good,” Pettine said, “because they gather information throughout the game. If you settle into a constant, they’ll adjust accordingly. Part of being a good defense is mixing things up and trying to stay a step ahead.”