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Cam Heyward Reveals that his 1st Steelers vs Ravens Game was his Official “Welcome to the NFL Moment” / NFL Total Access

Cam Heyward Reveals that his 1st Steelers vs Ravens Game was his Official “Welcome to the NFL Moment”

Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro and defensive captain, Cam Heyward is a seasoned veteran, having been in the league since 2011. He’s a 5x Pro Bowler as well, and no stranger to how violent the NFL can be. But even experienced superstars like Heyward, at some point, have their “welcome to the NFL moment(s).” For Heyward, it came during his rookie year against the Baltimore Ravens, and if that wasn’t enough for the youngster, he had another one against the Indianapolis Colts on primetime television.

A “welcome to the NFL moment” for a player is usually a point in a game where they realize this ain’t the collegiate level anymore. Maybe it’s their first big hit, or a veteran taking them to school when they thought they had the initial upper hand. For Heyward, although he wasn’t originally a starter for the Steelers, he still felt the impact of their arch rival:

“For me, it happened my rookie year. Game 1. We were playing the Baltimore Ravens after just coming off the Super Bowl, so all the guys are hype. We went into the game, I’m like, ‘Yeah, maybe I’ll get to play.’ I’m not starting at the time. ‘I’ll get in there.’ We get out there. They smoked us! They laid the law down! Like, Haloti Ngata came out and close-lined Rashard Mendenhall,” Heyward explained. “There were a lot of hits by that defense from the Baltimore Ravens that made me say, ‘Oh, man. I got to get my game together. ‘Cause this is a different brand of football.'”

Cam Heyward Rashard Mendenhall Steelers vs Ravens

Pittsburgh Steelers running back, Rashard Mendenhall (#34), gets stuffed by Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle, Haloti Ngata (#92), in Baltimore, MD in 2011. | Gail Burton / AP

Heyward later admitted to his second “welcome to the NFL moment” against the Colts:

“Man. I am a goofball. I’ll tell you that. My second time, for my ‘welcome to the NFL moment,’ we’re playing [the] Indianapolis Colts, primetime TV, and it was a heck of a game. They put me in the third quarter, I went in for like a series or two, and I’m coming off the sideline. I trip, and I fell right in front of Mike T [Tomlin], and I had a ball of just turf pedals coming down my face. And Mike T is like, ‘You gon’ get out the way?'” Heyward concluded. “I always make sure I’m grabbing someone to get to the sidelines, ’cause I don’t ever want to go through that again.”

Cam Heyward Mike Tomlin

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle, Cam Heyward (#97) and head coach, Mike Tomlin, walk off the field after the AFC Divisional round playoff game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. | Matthew Emmons / USA TODAY Sports

Steelers HC Mike Tomlin Identifies Najee Harris as the New Leader on Offense; Credits Cam Heyward for Transition

Luckily for Heyward, he’s been through the ringer enough at this point in his career to now be the one who’s dishing out “welcome to the NFL moments” of his own to other young rookies. When asked if he was going to help recently drafted and younger brother, Connor Heyward with his own “welcome to the NFL moments,” Cam joked by saying he’s “not going to tell” Connor anything. “He’s going to have to deal with it.”


You can watch the full clip here under: “NFL veterans reveal their ‘welcome to the NFL’ moments | ‘Players Only’


So, what do yinz think of Heyward’s “welcome to the NFL moments?” Do yinz think this is something every NFL player experiences at one point or another in their young careers? Click to comment below!



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  1. Pingback: Steelers Superstar Cam Heyward Texted Former Steeler Ramon Foster: "I ain't 5, I ain't 4, I ain't 3, it's pick your poison at 1 or 2" -

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