On Tuesday, the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) announced their annual good guy award for 2022. With other finalists such as Terry McLaurin of the Washington Commanders, Justin Simmons of the Denver Broncos, and C.J. Uzomah of the Cincinnati Bengals, this year’s award went to the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive captain Cameron Heyward.
The PFWA is a group which consists of accredited reporters from each of the 32 NFL teams with Mark Kaboly of The Athletic serving as the media member for Pittsburgh. The Good Guy Award, given annually since 2005, is for cooperation with the media.
Heyward is the second member of the Pittsburgh Steelers to win the award, with Jerome Bettis being the first recipient in 2005.
Heyward just completed his 11th NFL season, all with the Pittsburgh Steelers. A five-time Pro Bowler and three-time first team All-Pro, Heyward has 68.0 career sacks with the Steelers and over 500 tackles in 166 regular season games. Additionally, Heyward has seven forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries, 42 passes defensed, and two interceptions, both coming in the last two NFL seasons.
As for Heyward’s media availability leading to the award, it was described by the PFWA as follows:
Heyward did not miss a media availability during the 2021 season, and those on the beat locally in Pittsburgh said he never avoided a tough question as he offered open and honest discussions about everything from on-the-field issues to the impact of the retirement of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He was cited for consistently going “above and beyond’’ to build an honest rapport with those who cover the team.
A list of previous winners can be seen below courtesy of profootballwriters.org:
2005 – Jerome Bettis (Pittsburgh Steelers)
2006 – Tiki Barber (New York Giants)
2007 – LaDainian Tomlinson (San Diego Chargers)
2008 – Brett Favre (Green Bay Packers)
2009 – Kurt Warner (Arizona Cardinals)
2010 – Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints)
2011 – Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers)
2012 – Tim Tebow (Denver Broncos)
2013 – Tony Gonzalez (Atlanta Falcons)
2014 – Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks)
2015 – Richard Sherman (Seattle Seahawks)
2016 – Thomas Davis (Carolina Panthers)
2017 – Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals)
2018 – Chris Long (Philadelphia Eagles)
2019 – Chris Long (Philadelphia Eagles)
2020 – Eli Manning (New York Giants)
2021 – Philip Rivers (Indianapolis Colts)
2022 – Cameron Heyward (Pittsburgh Steelers)