Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Cameron Heyward has been on the receiving end of some disrespect lately. Over the past few days, Heyward was called a “3 dollar lineman,” by PFF and was omitted from a list of potential future Hall of Famers. Today, Heyward spoke up. In an Instagram post, he explained why he takes these media lists to heart.
Since entering the NFL in 2011, Heyward has been one of the best defensive linemen in the league. Despite not playing much his first couple of seasons, he has accrued quite a stat line. In his 12-year career, Heyward has 614 tackles, 78.5 sacks, 115 tackles for a loss, eight forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries, 46 pass breakups (as a defensive lineman), and two interceptions. Heyward’s incredible stats have earned him there AP first-team All-Pro nods and six Pro Bowl selections. What makes these accolades even more special, though, is that they all have come in the back half of his career. Heyward made his first Pro Bowl and got named first-team All-Pro in 2017, his seventh NFL season.
Since 2017 Heyward has been the closest competition to Aaron Donald for being the best defensive lineman in the NFL, but he is never talked about as such. Some of the reason why may be because of teammate T.J. Watt, who is more well known as an EDGE rusher, but Heyward has been so good he deserves more respect. While Donald is the best defensive tackle in football, it is hard to argue anyone else is better than Heyward.
Heyward is only two sacks away from tying James Harrison for the Steelers’ all-time sack leader but is seems almost no one in the national media is aware of this. Heyward is going to go down as an all-time great Steeler. In the meantime he should be getting way more respect from the national media for his play. Maybe the only way to put them on notice is for him to win a Super Bowl.