Haden Key in Steelers Victory

Steelers corner helped shut down Julio Jones

Jeff Hathhorn
October 07, 2018 - 7:28 pm

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 the Fan) – Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said there were “a myriad of variables” as to why he went to Joe Haden following Julio Jones around Heinz Field Sunday.  No matter the reason, it worked, as Jones was limited to five catches for a long of 18 yards and no touchdowns.

“When you are getting people paid 16 million dollars a year to be a wide receiver, he’s obviously pretty good,” Haden said.  “It’s just a mental game of him knowing that I’m going to be in his face trying to make sure he doesn’t catch it.  It’s just a battle.”

Haden said it’s the fourth time he’s done this against Jones, the NFL’s leading receiver heading into the game, two times while he was in college at Florida.  The second-year Steeler said it helped with film study knowing who he would cover and added he didn’t do it by himself.

“It wasn’t just me, it was the defense as a whole,” Haden said.  “The line, the safeties leaning over sometimes to prevent him from going over the top, just hitting the quarterback, makes him throw the ball a little off target,” Haden said.  “That helps so much in the back end as those dudes did a really good job of getting after the quarterback.”

“It’s less about Joe and Julio and more about the ramifications of the trickledown of other people, and so we know that Joe is game for the challenge and Joe did a heck of a job today,” Tomlin said.  “But we got comfortable with what it did with others in terms of their assignments, and I think that is critical.” 

“Joe deserves a lot of credit obviously for minimizing him, a significant guy like that, but I think other guys deserve credit because it is an adjustment for them in terms of their normal travel and so forth when they are matching up.”

Steelers finished with six sacks and 11 quarterback hurries against Atlanta’s Matt Ryan.

“This is a game we needed, for sure,” Haden said.  “We know how talented we are.  Everyone was on the same page the whole time.”