BEREA, Ohio (AP) — The black-and-white map of the Hawaiian Islands taped inside Joe Haden's locker serves as both motivation and reminder to the Browns cornerback.
His goal is to play in the Pro Bowl. He may be on his way.
"He's playing phenomenal," Browns linebacker D'Qwell Jackson said of his teammate. "I would be surprised if he doesn't make the Pro Bowl this year."
But before he can begin making any winter travel plans, Haden has more work to do. This week, he's preparing for a matchup Sunday against Detroit star wide receiver Calvin Johnson, the physical phenomenon nicknamed "Megatron" who keeps opposing coaches awake at night trying to devise ways to slow him down.
Johnson missed last week's game against Green Bay with a knee injury, and was limited in practice this week. But the Browns are expecting Johnson to play, and if he does, Haden will be assigned to cover the 6-foot-5, 236-pounder with the wing span of a hang glider and speed to burn.
"Just look at the dude," Haden said, describing Johnson. "He's huge. He's big, strong and fast. There's nothing really else that you have to say about him, he's so good."
It's another challenge for Haden, who has handled everything the Browns — or their opponents — have thrown at him this season.
In Week 4, Haden limited Bengals receiver A.J. Green to seven catches for 51 yards in Cleveland's 17-6 win. Green was unable to get free from Haden for a big play, and finished with a 16-yard reception as his longest gain.
Green is a tough assignment. Johnson is a whole other level.
"I think he's the only receiver I would say is better than A.J.," Haden said. "The one thing about it is that his quarterback has so much confidence in him. It's just no matter what, he can be covered, and he has so many opportunities to get to the rock. He's going to throw it up no matter what."
Haden has yet to get an interception this season, but that may have more to do with teams staying away from him. According to STATS, Haden is averaging 1.13 passes defensed per game, the second-highest average among NFL players with at least 50 passes broken up (PBUs) since 1994. Darrelle Revis is first at 1.23.
Haden hopes to one day be regarded on the same level as Revis. His performance against Green helped raise his profile, but Haden wants to take it higher, and a solid game could help him get more national exposure.
"It's good for everybody else to hear about how good Calvin is, but I'm not putting anything past myself," he said. "I like the challenge. I like to go up against somebody like him, because it lets me know exactly where I stand. If you go against the best receiver in the league and you hold your own and do your thing, it's like what's next?
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