Joe Haden removed from practice after “heated words” with coach


Bad news tends to come in clusters for the Browns.

Fresh from the revelation by Warren Sapp that former Browns coach Bill Belichick wanted to draft Sapp in 1995 — and Sapp’s proclamation that the team never would have left Cleveland if that had happened — cornerback Joe Haden has been removed from practice after exchanging “heated words” with coach Pat Shurmur.

Per Tony Grossi of, Haden was pulled from the field roughly 30 minutes into practice, because it was believed he was being “too rough” with wideout Travis Benjamin.  Grossi reports that Haden had been warned about pulling jerseys, and that he eventually dragged Benjamin to the ground in a red zone drill.

Then came the exchange with Shurmur, and off went Haden to the showers.

After practice, Shurmur refused to discuss the situation.

“I’m not gonna talk about it,” Shurmur said. “That’s between me and the player.  I have a great deal of respect for Joe.  If you want details, you’re going to have to find it on Twitter.  My only apology is that I used bad language and the fans were here to see it.”

Shurmur, who according to Grossi was “testy” on the topic, spoke generally about the issue of being careful but effective in practice.

“I think it’s important that we practice smart,” Shurmur said. “You have to be able to practice at game speed [without tackling].  I want all of our guys to make it to the horse race.  Everything I do, all my thoughts, revolve around our players and our team.  I told the guys that.”

Haden reportedly is facing a four-game suspension for violation of the league’s policy regarding steroids and related substances, for taking Adderall.  It’s not known when the internal appeal process will be finalized.

59 responses to “Joe Haden removed from practice after “heated words” with coach

  1. In think Cleveland continues to have a team so the other 31 teams will have a model for what not to do.

  2. Practicing without tackling is terrible. Tackling is the most important thing in the game.

    Dick Jauron used to run his camp like that too. His teams were among the softest in the league. Oh yeah, he’s a coach for the Browns.

  3. I have no comment on the Haden situation, but I felt the need to chime in on the utter absurdity of the idea that Warren Sapp could have kept the Browns from leaving Cleveland.

    I’m pretty sure the Browns sold out every game without that loud mouth clown on the roster. Not exactly sure what huge financial windfall would have come from having this windBAG on the team.

  4. Man…. there is just something wrong with the nature of that organization. Seems like its really dysfunctional.

    Maybe the best thing for that new owner would be to clean house, top to bottom.

  5. If you have ever watched Haden or any of the other elite CB play.. they tug, grab, pull anything just to get under the skin of their opponent.. If you know anything about Benjamin.. He’s a toothpick.. Haden probably pulled the twig too hard and he fell.. no biggie.. Shurmer probably saw this and went off.. Coaches do that.. and i’m sure they both will go to the “its an emotional game” card.. this will blow over by the end of the day..

  6. Bottom line, players need to listen to their coaches. If said “don’t do that” you’d best try not to do that. Yeah, it’s pro ball, but the relationship between coaches and players needs to be intact or it all falls apart.

  7. While you never want to see a coach being stood up by a player.. It’s nice to hear that coach Shurmur has some fire. I always thought he was too easy going. This could be good for the team in the long run. I hope Hayden continues to practice “too hard”. It gets coaches fired up. Sure Hayden took the fall but he is an elite corner. honestly those receivers need to be roughed up because in games they have looked soft in the past.

    Whatever happened to the old phrase, practice how you play?

  8. The truth is, Haden showed up a half hour late for practice. Shurmur yelled at him, Haden yelled back.

    You heard it from me first.

  9. I think the “No Tackling” thing has something to do with the new CBA. No more 2 a days, and a cut in practices that invlove tackling.
    On a side note its nice to see any Browns player giving it his all, and practicing like its a real game.

  10. Can’t wait until Haslam cleans house. Sure we’ll be starting over, AGAIN, but who cares? We weren’t going anywhere this year. Shurmur was a TERRIBLE hire. One of Holmgrens’s “good ol’ boys”. Lose Holmgren Heckert Shurmur & finally flush Randy Lerner’s Cleveland Browns down the toilet.

  11. A DB being too rough on the wideout? Having played defense, thereis no such thing as being “too rough”, especially in drills and you are trying to make the team or keep your job.

    Shurmur ought to be ashame he intervened in the first place.

    If he showed up late, then fine him, but don’t yell at the man because he is doing what every great defensive player is trained to do and that is to make plays.

    If he was being a jerk and using “bush-league” tactics, then a case could be made for sending him to the house.

  12. Practice was not in full pads and Haden had been warned. It doesn’t help that Benjamin has been lighting up DBs all through camp including Haden.

  13. Big whoop people.. These types of things occur at ALL training camps. Only difference is the Cleveland “Media” loves to speak to negative occurences and Florio pounces on every negative article written about the Browns to aid his agenda. Make all the comments you want people, it will only make it better when the Browns win the AFC North this year!!

  14. Shurmur is protecting his players from “reckless” players.

    1. The Browns already have enough injuries as it is.

    2. Benjamin just came back from an injury.

    3. CBA states they couldn’t tackle in today’s workout and Shurmur enforcing the rules.

  15. If a player doesn’t like how he’s being talked to he can always go to his union rep. The whole structure breaks down when players not only refuse to do what the coaches tell them, but then also feel free to get in the coaches face. I don’t get to do that at work and they shouldn’t either. A team is not a democracy. It needs strong, clear leadership.

  16. That bunch couldn’t win a horse race either. Maybe that’s it. They think they are in a race instead of playing football.

  17. Maybe The Eagles should rest MV7 for week 1. Give Foles some more reps and Vicks ribs some more rest. Foles will have more reps with the 1s at that point anyway.

  18. I am sure many upset Browns fans have “heated words” for Shurmur too.

    Shurmur cannot be absolved from the 6-10 record of 2011.

  19. If you are practicing all the time in one manor, you’re gonna eventually get used to it and bring it to the regular season games. Tackling is one thing that hurts most teams, being rough and laying yourself out there to make sure you don’t miss any. Shurmur should want to see the rough and tough play in his players. I mean I understand, you want all of your players healthy and ready for the regular season, but you don’t want them going soft either.

  20. This particular story is hardly worth considering as news, given that tensions boil over every day at one camp or another during the preseason. What’s impressive is that Florio manages to include an even less important note about Warren Sapp’s comments. Truly fine work on this one, PFT.

  21. @raiderly although i agree mangini had them on the right track.. when it came time for the coaching change i was all for it. Mangini had absolutely no imagination on offense.. you can’t win with the “ground and pound” style offense he was installing.. (jets fans will find out this year) plus he bought in nothing but old farts that kept breaking down every year.. The browns did the right thing with changing coaches.. i’m just not 100% sold they hired the right one in Shurmer.

  22. We’ll take him in Indy…we need all the corners we can get …i’d give up a 3rd rounder for him

  23. The facts are still there. Most. Hampionships in professional football. #1 Green Bay Packers
    #2 Cleveland Browns

    Look it up.
    Doesn’t matter how long it’s been. An undisputed fact is still an undisputed fact.

  24. @sardonicanthony:

    Cleveland Browns: 4-time World Champions. (1950, 1954, 1955, 1964)

    The rest of your league championships came in the Junior-Varsity AAFC in the 1940’s and were not, are not and never will be eligible for a World Championship.
    (1946, 1947, 1948, 1949)

    The only other championships Cleveland won were division championships.

    There are your undisputable facts. Well, that and the fact that the 2011 UFL Champion Virginia Destroyers have as legit a claim to the 2011 World Championship as the Browns do to the 1946-1949 World Championships.

  25. Glad to see some fire from these guys, this isn’t the browns from the past few years this team will make waves this year! With the Pitts., ratbirds, on the rapid decline the browns will soon be dominating the AFC north for the next decade. To many “poorman’s Larry the cable guys on here” trying to be funny with tired browns jokes, my only guess is they see the up and coming browns as a real threat to take time to go on another teams site, or maybe really bored in mom’s basement. Go Browns!

  26. I shamefully admit that I drink the brown Kool Aid every year. This team has been soft since their return in 99. Under multiple regimes the Browns have shown a lack of fire and intensity. Am I glad that Shumur finally showed some emotion??? Absolutely. Do I understand them wanting to save players from Injury??? Yes. But…is James Harrison/Trou P going to go half speed on Sundays? Hell no. This just in…players make contact in football. Get used to it.

  27. Sapp, use your mouth for what best fits you, stuffing your fat humongous gut full of food, when you use your mouth to generate words, the stuff that comes out is so off the wall that even fairy tales laugh at you, I guess next thing that comes out of your food dump is you’re the Black Jesus, or the world end, but it can’t, because you are here, where do you come up with the make believe that you spew, I guess your exposure of the Saints debacle wasn’t enough, bottom line Sapp, quit lying and making crap up, you have no idea how much people laugh at your fat arse, you’re a frickin idiot, food, its food that your mouth is made for, now go eat and get fatter you hog.

  28. How about we trade Nnamdi for Joe Haden. Joe has heart, and Nnamdi is soft we will even throw in a 6th round pick.

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