Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden said he “can’t wait” to cover Odell Beckham Jr. twice per season after the superstar wide receiver’s trade to the AFC North-rival Cleveland Browns.
On Tuesday, TMZ Sports provided comments about the high-profile matchup from Haden, who spent the first seven years of his NFL career with the Browns.
“I’m happy for Cleveland. That’s a great football city,” Haden said. “They deserve everything. Odell, that’s one of my good friends … he’s gonna bring a lot of flash and flare there.”
When asked about the potential head-to-head clashes with OBJ, the corner replied: “I can’t wait. You gotta go against the best to be the best.”
Haden is coming off a solid second season in Pittsburgh. He tallied 63 total tackles, 12 passed defended, two interceptions and a forced fumble across 15 appearances. Pro Football Focus graded him as the league’s 38th-best corner.
The Steelers have won the AFC North three times in the past five years, but the Browns have emerged as a serious threat for that crown thanks to their rebuilt offense.
Beckham joins a pass-catching group that also features fellow wideouts Jarvis Landry and Antonio Callaway, as well as tight end David Njoku. Add in running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, who will join the unit after serving an eight-game suspension, and there should be no shortage of playmakers at the disposal of franchise quarterback Baker Mayfield in 2019.
It could force Haden into a lot of one-on-one coverage against OBJ, and he’s not shying away from the challenge.