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Does Joe Haden's Early Exit from Browns' Practice Prove He Has Maturity Issues?

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 24:  Joe Haden #23 of the Cleveland Browns reacts on the field during the closing moments of the Browns 2014 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Zach KruseSenior Analyst IAugust 23, 2012

The assumptions surrounding cornerback Joe Haden's dismissal from the last day of Cleveland Browns training camp have been easy to make. 

Most have gone straight to "Haden needs to be a better leader" or "He's an immature brat" or "Oh great. Another distraction in Browns camp."

Yet if this "spat" is anything, it's simply frustration on the last day of a long, hard camp spilling over. Nothing more, nothing less. 

According to ESPN, Browns coach Pat Shurmur kicked Haden out of Wednesday's practice after just an hour, obviously displeased with the 23-year-old cornerback getting tangled up with rookie receiver Travis Benjamin during a passing drill in the back of the end zone. 

After a prior warning for physical play, Shurmur gave Haden the boot. 

Haden did return to practice, and the two talked through the issue, but Shurmur wasn't in a discussing mood following practice. 

I'm not going to talk about it. That's between me and the player. I have a great deal of respect for Joe. If you want details, you're going to have to find it on Twitter. My only apology is that I used bad language and the fans were here to see it. Joe's a great competitor, and I appreciate what he does and who he is, and that's the last you'll hear me talk about it.

And just like that, the Haden-Shurmur jawing match was over. Buried. Dead.

NFL training camps are long—spanning 21 practices—and physically demanding, even after the new CBA helped trim down time on the field for the players. There are fights and tussles almost every day in NFL camps as emotions escalate. 

Haden has also had a looming drug suspension on his radar, a case that the NFL has yet to rule on. He could face a four-game ban to begin 2012 after testing positive for Adderrall during the offseason.

Mike Neal of the Green Bay Packers and Tyler Sash of the New York Giants were both docked four games to start 2012 after testing positive for the substance, which is banned under the NFL's drug policy. 

Everything likely just boiled over Wednesday. 

Browns linebacker D'Qwell Jackson told ESPN (previously linked) as much after practice. 

Both guys, I think they both realize after they settled down it was a little bit overboard. But things happen and words were said, and once we get in the locker room it'll be over with. It was a play where two guys were competing for the ball and one guy fell. We are trying to keep guys healthy, and it starts with keeping guys up. ... It's Day 21, and guys have not gotten a lot of sleep, and it's the dog days of camp.

Maturity on either side likely has little to do with Haden getting the boot. 

Shurmur simply wanted to limit physicality during practice to keep his team as healthy as possible, especially after several injuries have crippled the Browns' defense this preseason. Haden gave up a score in a 7-on-7 drill and was obviously frustrated. 

This isn't a maturity issue. It's a football issue. This story should get buried soon enough. 

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