PITTSBURGH — It all starts with the shoes.
Every morning, Joe Haden stands in front of his collection of more than 1,000 pairs of Jordans and carefully selects the pair of the day.
Then, he wanders over to the sweatsuit section of his color-coordinated closet and picks a set that matches the shoes.
Every single day.
On this warm November afternoon, the Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl cornerback is wearing the Guava Ice Union Jordan 4s, an off-white sneaker accented in a washed reddish pink and sky blue with a light highlighter yellow sole. He paired the kicks, which hit the market only a couple months ago, with a light red Jordan shorts-and-hoodie set.
“I knew it would go with the pink,” Haden said. “I said, ‘This will work today.’ Every day I wake up, I go to the closet and I get dressed. I put on an outfit like I’m about to go somewhere even if it’s just to the facility. The dudes are like, ‘Joe, you don’t take any days off?’ I’m like, I just like waking up, get my stuff — you know I have a lot of clothes, so might as well wear it.”
Haden prefers more formal, business-like attire when he’s traveling to a road game. Karl Roser / Pittsburgh Steelers
Haden, a cornerstone of the Steelers’ secondary, exudes swag on and off the field. Sidelined by a foot injury for five weeks, he returned to the lineup against the Tennessee Titans with an exclamation point as he executed a game-saving — perhaps season-saving — tackle on fourth down to seal the win. He also recovered Cam Sutton’s third-quarter forced fumble, one of four Steelers takeaways.
“He’s Joe Money,” T.J. Watt said Sunday. “He’s got swag. He’s the freshest looking guy in the locker room and out on the field.
“He just brings a little bit of swagger, a little bit of mojo with him. I think it rubs off on all of us. He’s just a vet who makes a lot of those really smart, veteran plays, and a lot of that stuff rubs off on other guys as well. Really happy to have him back.”
It’s not just his play and on-field mojo that leaves an impression on his teammates. Haden’s outfits recently earned him the Swag Award at the team’s annual Rock Steelers Style fashion show. He posted the trophy and acceptance speech from inside his massive closet.