Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said Friday he plans to stick with cornerback Eric Wright, even though he acknowledged Wright has regressed this season. Meanwhile, rookie cornerback Joe Haden, the seventh overall pick in this year's draft, continues to play in nickel and dime situations. Haden has shown progress during the past few weeks, and he recorded his first career interception this past Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Still, Ryan has Wright's back for now.
"We are definitely counting on Eric Wright as a coaching staff and as a football team," Ryan said. "Just because we are counting on him doesn’t necessarily mean he’s always going to do great. The biggest thing is consistency. Right now, Eric hasn’t been that consistent, not as good as he was last year consistent-wise. The young man is working, he’s studying tape, he works extra with (defensive backs coach) Jerome (Henderson) and he’s just got to play through it. I guess it would be like a hitter in baseball going through a little slump. Eventually they’re going to get their stuff back, their groove back. Has he been beaten in man coverage sometimes? Yes, he has. Did he miss a tackle last week that hurt? Absolutely. Did we get the throw we were expecting? (Heck) yes. (Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward was) 5 yards short of the (darn) goal line, we have got to get him on the ground. Is he a fine football player? (Darn) right he is. We have got to all play better, whatever it takes, we are going to do."
Ryan also said Haden's time will come. But for now, Ryan believes Haden is being used the right way.
"Joe Haden’s doing a (darn) good job, I think," Ryan said. "I think we’re doing the right thing because the kid’s also playing well on special teams. This is a full game. I don’t know if he’s played any receiver yet, but he’s a (darn) good athlete. He’s just a young player, and he’s really doing a good job. Will he eventually be an every-down player? Sure, no question about it. We’ve got New Orleans this week, and they’ve got so many (darn) receivers on the roster and they put them all in the games and all that. The guy’s going to play 60 plays a game anyway."
So now that you've heard Ryan's opinions about the situation, you make the call.