The Pittsburgh Steelers might not be the most talented team in the NFL, but they certainly have talent along their roster. Especially on defense. But if there was a player on the team who was deserving of more credit outside of the global Steelers fan base, it would be Cam Heyward.
All Heyward does is make All-Pro teams, Pro Bowls and other prestigious accolades for well over a decade, yet he still isn’t considered near the top at his position. When you look at the list many fans cling to for where players reside compared to their peers, it would be the NFL’s Top 100 list.
Why? Because the NFL states it is voted on by the players.
With that being said, Heyward comes in on this year’s Top 100 at No. 42.
There will be plenty of people who believe his ranking is bogus, and not close to showing how good he is for the Steelers defense, but there were plenty of people speaking highly of Heyward’s play.
“If you watch our practices, you see him run around and do a lot of things that as a coach I don’t have to do,” said defensive line coach Karl Dunbar. “I think that is the stuff, the intangible things in the locker room, showing guys how to take care of their bodies when they are off the field.
“Cam is a guy that is really settled. He has a family. He knows how to play football and he loves football. The young guys see that.”
Heyward certainly has the attention of those around the AFC North division too, and that includes coaches.
“Cam Heyward, No. 97, he wrecks games,” said Cincinnati Bengals Coach Zac Taylor, who the Steelers will face in the regular season opener on Sept. 11. “It’s not often you say that about defensive tackles. They can move him around to so many different positions. He has such a knowledge of the defense, a knowledge of his matchups. He is always a guy you have to pay attention to and be dialed in on because he will wreck a game in a heartbeat.”
Heyward had 10 sacks last season, the second time in his career he had double-digit sacks, but the fact he rightfully feels slighted by being ranked No. 42 will only add fuel to the fire heading into the 2022 regular season.