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Cam Heyward: Steelers’ Fearless Leader

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Cam Heyward: Steelers’ Fearless Leader

It’s been awhile since a Pittsburgh Steelers team last played in a Super Bowl. It’s been since the 2010-11 NFL season to be exact when the Steelers were defeated by the Green Bay Packers 31-25 in Super Bowl XLV in February of 2011.

Steelers Mike Wallace

Mike Wallace ran for a 25-yard touchdown after he caught a pass against the Packers’ Sam Shields. | Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Over two months later, with the 31st overall pick, the team selected DE Cameron Heyward to carry on that continued success. At this point, the Steelers had made three Super Bowl appearances in five years and the team wasn’t about to fold after a grueling loss to the Packers. The Steelers wanted the legacy carried on and did just that by adding Heyward to the roster. The team was pleased with drafting Heyward when they made the selection, but were faced with the unknowns that come with drafting any player. Little did the team know at the time that they were selecting a 3x First Team All-Pro player and ultimate leader on and off the field!


Checkout Heyward’s Path to the Steelers


Heyward has been nominated as the team’s representative for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award numerous times during his career, but most recently this past season. He provides the community ways to celebrate one another through his foundation the Heyward House and did so with his annual Birthday Bash for local kids at Dave and Busters. At the beginning of this month, Heyward was awarded an honorary Doctorate Degree  for his “commitment to Pittsburgh mercy values.”

Steelers Cam Heyward Accepts Honorary Doctorate

Steelers’ Cam Heyward accepts Honorary Doctorate (Pittsburgh Steelers)

The Steelers’ Last Link to those Super Bowls 

Heyward is the last link to the Steelers’ most recent Super Bowl appearances. He’s an unquestioned leader who leads by example, the epitome of what is means to represent the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the heart and soul of the defense!

When the Steelers needed a veteran to step up in a huge way last season and as he has done so time and time again in his career, Heyward answered the call. In addition to Stephon Tuitt being out indefinitely this past season, Tyson Alualu went down after playing just one game, and the Steelers’ unquestioned leader tallied 89 total tackles, 10 sacks, 1 interception, 15 tackles for loss, 9 passes batted down, and 17 QB Hits. Heyward is THE last connection to a Lombardi Trophy the current Steelers’ roster has now that Ben Roethlisberger has called it a career.

Steelers Cam Heyward Ben Roethlisberger

Photo credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Even head coach Mike Tomlin has commented about that connection that Heyward has with those Super Bowl teams. He watched Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel raise him. Heyward didn’t really come on to the scene as a dominant force until 2013 when he notched 5 sacks. He paid his dues playing behind guys like Smith and Keisel, but I’m sure Heyward would tell you he’s grateful for those times with those guys!

On the opposite side of 30 now, it’s Heyward’s chance to be the Keisel, Smith, or Casey Hampton to young Steelers’ defenders and he’s doing just that. He’s the heart and soul of this defense and isn’t afraid of the young offensive talent sprouting up all over the AFC North. Our fearless leader welcomes all the smoke.  A fire needs lit in the locker room, especially with all of this built up pressure on the young guys on the offensive side of things! What better way to relieve that stress with a fearless leader like Heyward and a reigning AP Defensive Player of the Year, TJ Watt?

 

Can Cam Heyward lead the Steelers back to the promise land? Sound off in the comment section below, or on FacebookTwitter, and/or Instagram!

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I'm a lifelong Steelers fan who always has plenty to discuss when it comes to the Black and Gold! #HereWeGo! Check out my Twitter: @CJLester58 #SteelerNation

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