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Haden on hand for first practice with Browns
Question of the Day
BEREA, OHIO (AP) - Joe Haden is the newest No. 23 in Cleveland.
The first-round draft pick, taken seventh overall, worked out at cornerback as the Browns went through their second day of camp on a hot Sunday before around 3,000 fans at their practice facility.
“I said, well, you all better give me a number besides 40 because I didn’t really like that number too much,” he said of the number he wore during rookie camp. “We worked it out and I got 23.”
Haden said he didn’t like 40 because it didn’t make him look fast enough.
A big fan of LeBron James, who of course left Cleveland to join the Miami Heat, Haden said he was disappointed that the Cavaliers’ No. 23 had left town.
“I was a little bummed because I definitely wanted to be a season-ticket holder,” he said.
He could sure afford it. The former Florida standout held out until signing a five-year deal on Saturday worth $50 million, with $26 million guaranteed.
“Those are kind of big numbers,” he said. “It did blow my mind at first. It’s just a blessing and an honor to know that I’m getting paid to do what I love. Now I’m just trying to get on the field and make the team welcome me. I definitely felt good when I came into the locker room how everybody was saying, ‘Hey, Big Money! Big Money!’ All this stuff. They’re just embracing me and have a good time.”
Coach Eric Mangini said Haden was capable of handling the pressures that come with joining the league, the big contract and adapting to the game.
“He’s a smart kid, a good person, a hardworking kid,” he said. “That will serve him well.”
At times he was matched up against receiver-kicker returner Josh Cribbs _ perhaps the Browns most popular and best-known player _ but no passes were thrown in their direction.
“I’ve been challenged since I was a rookie coming in here trying to start,” said Wright, a fifth-year pro who started all 16 games a year ago for the Browns while intercepting four passes and totaling 65 tackles. “I stepped up to the plate as a rookie and was able to start early and get some playing time. You know, competition brings the best out of everybody and the cream will rise to the top.”
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