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Several members of the Steelers talk about the unseen value in Darrius Heyward-Bey

While many have written off Darrius Heyward-Bey, his teammates shine a light on why he hasn’t gone anywhere.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

If you’ve written, or talked, about the Pittsburgh Steelers over the past three seasons, there is a good chance you have mentioned Darrius Heyward-Bey as a player who could be a cap casualty, or one who is constantly embroiled in a training camp battle. You know, someone who is always considered on the roster “bubble”.

No matter how many suggest Heyward-Bey will be gone, or what the predictions say — he always seems to find a way to make the team.

Heyward-Bey’s role has changed dramatically since he was drafted in the first round out of the University of Maryland by the Oakland Raiders, and some wonder why the Steelers keep bringing him back year after year.

Let his teammates tell you why the team has kept the player they call “DHB” around for all these years.

“He comes in every day, works hard,” Marcus Tucker told Teresa Varley of the Steelers official website. “He was a first-round draft pick, but he works like he was one of the guys who still has to prove himself day-in and day-out. I love how he helps the young guys out. He is so knowledgeable about the game, as far as the receiver spot and special teams goes. He is one of the guys I look up to as far as effort, working hard and knowledge.”

Heyward-Bey was within ear shot of Tucker’s comments, and chimed in on what makes him tick. How he has come to accept the role of special teams ace, and true team player, over anything glamorous.

“I look forward and always appreciate the opportunity to come here and not only get the work in for myself, but also be someone guys can lean on when they have questions about football, when they have questions about life. I have seen it all. I was a first-round draft pick, I was a starter, special teams, a guy coming off the bench. I have seen a lot in this league.

“I understand there are eyes on me, younger guys have their eyes on me. I have to bring the effort every day.”

That sounds great, but he was a first round pick as a wide receiver, not a special teamer. Doesn’t that have to bother him deep down?

“I have embraced the role,” said Heyward-Bey. “As long as I am doing my job, I’ll have a job. That is the way I look at it. That is most important to me, to fight with my teammates to win a championship and provide for my family.

“It’s an adjustment, but you take the strides, you understand this is where I am in my career. This is my role, who I am right now, and I embrace it. A lot of people wake up in the morning, brush their teeth and lie to themselves. I try not to. I try to tell myself the truth so I can get better.”

It gives you a glimpse into Heyward-Bey the person, and teammate, which might be why the Steelers choose him over other receivers who have come and gone. Heyward-Bey might not be lighting up the scoreboard anymore, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t value in a veteran who is willing to sacrifice his own goals for the sake of the team’s.

If it hasn’t become clear yet why Heyward-Bey continues to hold down a spot on the Steelers’ 53-man roster, it should. It also should make you appreciate what Heyward-Bey brings to Pittsburgh.

Come to think of it, the Steelers could possibly use more DHBs on their team...