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Browns DB Joe Haden: Baltimore isn't 'the Ravens of old'

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Apparently Joe Haden's never poked a sleeping bear and had it wake up and hurt him. He basically did just that on Thursday, though, when asked about this current iteration of the Ravens.

Asked about Baltimore's team, Haden pointed out that they aren't "the Ravens of old" which should go over nicely with the quiet people on that roster.

"The Ravens aren't the Ravens of old," Haden said via the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. "They're still really good, a real 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."

Now, Haden actually makes accurate points here. This is a different Browns team. It doesn't feel like your run-of-the-mill Cleveland team, even if we're all maybe just getting Charlie Brown'd on their future.

And if you're Haden (or anyone on Cleveland's roster) you can't automatically concede that you can't beat Baltimore even if the Browns have lost 11-straight games against their division opponent.

“This team has only been 0-1 against them,'' he said. "So the past is really not what we're worried about. We're worried about the last game, what we can improve from that game. The past 10 or whatever, those have been completely different teams, different owners, different coaches, different everything.

"We're worried about what we can improve on from the last game and put that into play this game."

The last game Cleveland played was a loss too, but the Browns at least kept things pretty close against the undefeated Chiefs. Jason Campbell threw the ball well and the defense stepped up in a big way after halftime.

According to Haden, a fiery speech from defensive coordinator Ray Horton inspired Cleveland to step up their game after the break. Horton confirmed as much, pointing out that the team was "embarrassed" by letting the Chiefs dominate them in the first two quarters.

"I think they were embarrassed by what had happened because I know they were very excited about the Kansas City defense, not versus the Cleveland defense, but there was a psychological challenge there,'' said Horton said. "I think they were embarrassed. There's always somewhere in the season — a turning point, good or bad. I hope that that halftime was our turning point to understand we can (be) and we are good."

Cleveland's not going to do major damage this season, at least in terms of winning a lot of games. That's out the door thanks to an offense that's limited by personnel.

But they can keep providing Browns fans hope and there's always the added bonus of helping to ruin the Ravens season. Poking bears is a sport for those who have nothing left to lose.

 
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