Joe Haden Says New DC Gregg Williams Brings Browns New Energy, Toughness

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistApril 18, 2017

ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 18: Joe Haden #23 of the Cleveland Browns warms up before the start of NFL game action against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on December 18, 2016 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns tabbed Gregg Williams as their new defensive coordinator after Ray Horton was fired in January, and the 58-year-old is looking to overhaul the unit's identity as preparations for the 2017 season get underway. 

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, cornerback Joe Haden acknowledged Williams has made it clear he wants to make the Browns a tougher team. 

"It's a shock, but that’s what we need," he said, per 92.3 The Fan's Daryl Ruiter. “We need somebody that’s going to switch it up, change it up, tell us something, cuss us out, scream at us, let us know that we’re sorry right now and we’ve got to be better."

Haden also said when he spoke to Williams, the new defensive boss told him he expected him to play hurt. 

"When I first got here and I met him, I went up to his office and we talked for a while, just about my toughness, and about the biggest thing he told me was, 'If you didn’t play through your injury, I would tell them to get you out of here.'"

That could be a tough ask for Haden, who has appeared in 18 of a possible 32 games over the past two seasons because of injuries. But it illustrates the mindset Williams brings to the table. 

As far as on-field production is concerned, the Browns are coming off a poor season. Under the leadership of Horton in 2016, the Browns ranked 30th in scoring (28.3 points per game allowed), 21st in passing defense (249.8 yards per game) and 31st in rushing defense (142.7 yards per game). 

By comparison, Williams' Rams ranked 23rd, 10th and 16th, respectively, in those same categories a season ago. 

 

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