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Steelers Cam Heyward looks up to Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen

Showing support from one pro team to another is always a good idea. Steelers DE Cam Heyward shows his connection with the Pirates before they start their quest to return to October baseball.

Justin K. Aller

The reigning National League MVP, Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen, has a legion of fans.

One of them might boast the claim of being the best 5-technique defensive end out of all of them.

Steelers DE Cam Heyward spoke glowingly of McCutchen to writer Teresa Varley just hours before the start of the Pirates' 2014 regular season and NL Central title defense.

"It’s just the way he works," Heyward said to Varley of McCutchen. "I was listening to one of his interviews and he talked about he doesn’t settle and strives for more. He is a team-first guy. We are lucky to have a player like that in the city."

The right kind of thing to say for the guy inching closer to a contract year. Not to suggest there's anything wrong with that, but the one thing Heyward needed to do this offseason to boost his overall value - outside of continue to refine his game and stay in the best graces possible with local authorities and the fan base - is establish a link between himself and the city.

Pro athletes of one area team showing their support of another team and the players on those teams is always a good read. Heyward, from the Pittsburgh area initially, understands and feels the history of the Pirates organization and the game of baseball.

McCutchen and Pirates manager Clint Hurdle led the Terrible Towel Twirl before the Steelers' game against the Ravens this season. The Pirates host the Chicago Cubs at 1 p.m. ET Monday, with Francisco Liriano taking the hill vs. Chicago's Jeff Samardzija.

Get all the latest on the Pirates on SB Nation's Pirates blog, Bucs Dugout