Haden's Attitude: "I Told You So!"

The Florida secondary's performance in the season opener with Hawaii was more than even the most ardent Gator supporter could have hoped for. The Gators held the Warriors to just 54 percent completions in its vaunted passing game and intercepted four passes returning two of them for touchdowns.

Sophomore Ahmad Black led the pick brigade with an end zone interception to thwart an early scoring chance and a second pick that he returned 80 yards for a touchdown. His safety cohort Major Wright also intercepted a pass for a score and Jacques Rickerson did some representing for the corners with the fourth interception of the night.

Not bad for a unit that intercepted just 11 passes in 13 games last season. One guy who insists he wasn't surprised by the performance is Florida's most proven DB Joe Haden. The sophomore corner spoke with me after the Gators' 56-10 opening win.

LV: Joe, talk about the defensive performance and the six turnovers you guys created (2 fumbles + 4 int).

JH: It's just something we've been working on the whole time. I tried to tell everybody, but they couldn't understand unless they were out there (at practice) to see it. The D-Line did a real good job and they had pressure on the quarterbacks the whole day.

LV: How much did you enjoy the chances to blitz?

JH: Well I got half a sack. Me and Jermaine got half a sack and then I blitzed in there and caused a fumble. They are trying to get me in there on some blitzes because I'm one of the best blitzing corners.

LV: One big question about this defense was safety after all the guys you've lost since last season. What was your reaction to the way Ahmad and Major played?

JH: I knew they could do it. They've been doing it throughout spring and all through two-a-days making interception after interception. Out there they were just going against a different team, but they were doing the same thing. I just knew they would get it done the whole time.

LV: You knew they would each take one to the house?

JH: Once they catch it they're looking for the end zone. They're not just going to catch it and say that's it.

LV: Do you expect them to give you a hard time about not getting a pick?

JH: Oh they started talking to me about their picks and I told them I had half a sack and a forced fumble. Major usually gets the forced fumbles so he said, ok you're up there.

LV: Did Hawaii have enough speed at receiver to really challenge you?

JH: They had really good passing concepts, but there just wasn't the speed. Our speed was a little overwhelming. I could tell. We were still trying to play them like they had the speed, so if we just keep playing like that we'll be all right.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel

Fightin Gators Top Stories