sounds to me like Joe Haden Sr. shouldn't be training his son -
Joe Haden Sr.: ‘No regrets’ with his son running the 40 at the Combine
by Ben Volin/ GatorCountry
Joe Haden has had only one focus over the past 10 days — running the 40 yard dash.
“The 40 is what time it is right now. That’s the big bang for the buck, that’s what the scouts want to see,” his father, Joe Haden Sr., said Tuesday from his home in Maryland. “He’s preparing very, very hard, to put it mildly.”
That’s because Haden may have cost himself several million dollars in the NFL Draft when he clocked a disappointing 4.57 and 4.60 in 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine two weekends ago. But his father said Haden has no regrets about participating at the event and risking his draft status.
“There’s no regrets. In hindsight you could look at everything and say we could switch up, and do something different, but things happen for a reason. God doesn’t make any mistakes,” Haden Sr. said. “I think this will only enhance him, make Joe a better player, a better competitor, and a stronger person, who can deal with adversity in his life.”
Haden, a 2009 All-American at Florida, was widely projected to be the first cornerback selected in April’s NFL Draft and a likely top-10 pick before the Combine – the Cleveland Browns, picking seventh, appeared to be a good fit (and still may be). But Haden’s 4.57 was much slower than the 4.37-4.42 he had hoped to run, and he may have run himself out of the first round, costing himself millions of dollars in the process.
In 2009, the No. 7 overall pick made $23.5 million guaranteed, while the No. 15 pick made $10.435 million and the No. 32 pick $6.1 million.
“It’s going to be hard for some scouts to get that 4.57 out of their mind when they think about him being an elite player,” NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks said. “It’s rare for a team to take a guy with that kind of speed as a top 15 or top 10 pick.”
Haden Sr., a former semipro bodybuilder who has been training his son at his gym in Maryland, said his son has been dealing with a lower back sprain, and his back tightened up at the Combine, affecting his performance.
“We had stopped doing some of the heavier lifting, but it just stiffened up on him, one of those things,” Haden Sr. said. “It just really affected him. I wish I had known, because I would have had him not even work out.”
But Haden has one more chance to make things right – next Wednesday at Florida’s Pro Day at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The Gators will hold their own Combine for the NFL scouts – 40 yard dash, bench press, cone drill and more – but Haden is only worried about one drill.
Haden’s family was pretty shocked with his 40 time, but they are confident he can improve it at Pro Day.
“For Joe, all his life, (speed) has been his biggest strength. So for something to happen like that for him, I mean, Joe ran a 4.5 40 in the ninth grade. It was just something that was a blip,” Haden Sr. said. “But I think that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It is what it is, and now it’s just time for us to handle our business.”
Haden has been running the 40 every day, and while his father declined to say what his latest times are, but Haden is “back to his regular self.”
“You ask (UF strength coach) Mickey Marotti, who was one of the fastest guys, explosive and everything at Florida, and he’ll tell you, it was Joe,” Haden Sr. said. “Joe has never never never had an issue with running, with speed, with anything. We didn’t want to put a lot of stuff out in the media and make excuses. The biggest thing was just to come out and do what we do.”
Haden Sr. also said his son isn’t too worried about his draft stock, because he has proved on film that he can be an elite cornerback. Haden helped shut down some of the best receivers in the nation this year in Alabama’s Julio Jones, Georgia’s A.J. Green and LSU’s Brandon LaFell. Haden Sr. said his son has several individual workouts lined up after Pro Day with teams drafting in the top 15.
“The blessing is you look at the film, he’s locked up everybody he’s played against,” Haden Sr. said. “This will be the only time that he runs a 40 again that it matters. After that it’s going to come down to what he does on the field.”