Browns cornerback Joe Haden has gotten the Ravens’ attention heading into Sunday’s game.
Haden told the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Thursday, “These Ravens aren’t the Ravens of old. They’re still really good, a really talented team, a division opponent, but at the same time, our team is a whole different team. It’s a different squad. We still haven’t gotten over the hump, but there’s no reason why we can’t.”
Haden was responding to a question about the Ravens’ 11-game winning streak against the Browns. That streak is a subject that bothers the Browns, and rightfully so. But the part about not being the Ravens of old is something they can use for motivation, if they choose to. Some believe the Ravens (3-4) don't have the personnel to repeat as Super Bowl champs. The Ravens disagree.
“Everybody saw it,” said Ravens right tackle Michael Oher of Haden’s quote. “I trust in the guys upstairs. We’ve got great guys upstairs. If you’re in this organization as a player, you’re a great player. We’re here for a reason. I look for great things for the future of this team, the next nine weeks.”
Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith said he was not offended by Haden’s comments.
“I think it’s safe to say,” Smith said. “It’s not the same team. It’s not the same guys. If we play the way we’re capable of playing, we’ll be okay.
“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how people view you. It’s on us to go out there and play and prove it. Last year we won the Super Bowl and no one picked us to win, going from Week 10 on. It doesn’t matter what people say, whether it’s your opponent, or the media, or whatever. We got to go out there and play ball. Obviously, you don’t want to prove them right.”
Smith said earlier this season that Haden talks plenty of trash during games, but that the two players are friends. They will have something else to discuss Sunday.