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3 Pittsburgh Steelers’ defenders named to the Sporting News All-Pro Team

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Cameron Heyward, T.J. Watt, and Minkah Fitzpatrick all received first team honors while rookie Diontae Johnson made the second team as a punt returner

NFL: OCT 28 Dolphins at Steelers Photo by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Sporting News All-Pro Team was announced on Thursday and three Steelers’ defenders were once again selected. Defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, edge rusher T.J. Watt, and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick all earned all-pro honors.

The Sporting News All-Pro Team is made up of the top offensive, defensive, and special trams’ players in the NFL at their given positions. It is voted on by the NFL’s head coaches over the lst several weeks of the season.

Cameron Heyward had his most tackles in a season in 2019. With 83 combined tackles, Heyward added 9.0 sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. Heyward joins the RamsAaron Donald as the two selections at defensive tackle.

T.J. Watt turned in such an impressive season in 2019 he is on the short list of names associated with the Defensive Player of the Year. With 55 tackles, 14.5 sacks, two interceptions, and an NFL-leading eight forced fumbles, Watt joins the Cardinals’ Chandler Jones and the Seahawks’ Bobby Wagner as the three linebackers to make the team.

Minkah Fitzpatrick joined the Steelers in Week 3 of 2019 via a trade with the Miami Dolphins. While with the Steelers, Fitzpatrick tallied five interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Fitzpatrick also added a touchdown on one of his two fumble recoveries with the Steelers, having a total of three recoveries on the season as he added one in Miami. Fitzpatrick is joined by the Jets’ Jamal Adams as the other safety to receive the honor.

Sporting News also selected individual player awards. It should be noted Stephon Gilmore of the New England Patriots was chosen as the Defensive Player of the Year over T.J. Watt. Other individual awards included Lamar Jackson as Offensive Player of the Year, Nick Bosa as Rookie of the Year, and Kyle Shanahan as Coach of the Year.

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