Joe Haden hasn't had a chance to show his physical nature yet as he waits for training camp. It is there that he hopes to distinguish himself from Eric Wright and take the starter's position away from him.
In college at Florida, he was considered physical in coverage, nasty in the run game, and a rock solid tackler for a cornerback. Haden was also considered the best man-cover corner in the country.
Eric Wright is considered an excellent cover cornerback. He has a knack for simply making plays. Wright has excellent skills in man coverage and follows receivers step for step. He makes great reads and will pick off an errant pass or break up close plays.
Wright is considered a decent tackler but not physical against the run by any standards.
Or as Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter, Tony Grossi, points out "corners have to play the run in Mangini's defense and Wright had the benefit of being the best of a weak bunch of cornerbacks last year."
This year the game has changed, with the additions of former Eagle's cornerback Sheldon Brown and Haden. Both are physical corners who have reputations for supporting the run.
In Sheldon Brown's case he is a proven entity—while Haden, a rookie, has only three years of college film and the projection of scouts.
So far Haden has looked relatively smooth in drills, with good speed and excellent burst to the ball. Unfortunately for Haden and fellow draftees T.J. Ward and Larry Asante, OTAs and minicamps are performed in shorts and jerseys without any actual hitting.
All three of them were drafted in part because they are big, physical hitters who know how to tackle.
Haden waits anxiously for a chance to display his physicality in preseason games and tackling drills to prove the Browns made the correct decision in making him their first round selection.
Training camp is where Joe Haden will get a chance to distinguish himself as a physical presence and see if he can displace Eric Wright as a starting cornerback for the Cleveland Browns.