Breakdown Of Steelers DE Cameron Heyward Versus Jets

By Alex Kozora

Breakdown of all defensive snaps from Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward against the New York Jets.


First Drive

Snaps: 5

Run: 4

Rush/Drop: 1/0


1. 1st and 10, 13:21 1st. Started game at LE with the team in dime. Base blocked by the guard. Zone read with Geno Smith running away from Heyward.

2. 2nd and 1, 12:46. Double teamed. Run off left tackle.

3. 1st and 10, 12:14. Wildcat. Base blocked by RT Austin Howard.

4. 2nd and 9, 11:39. Base by RT. Starts to get sealed by Heyward nice job to shed and not get run out of the play, even though he didn’t make the tackle.

5. 3rd and 7, 10:57. Hand up standing over center. T/E stunt with Brett Keisel that works, allowing Heyward to run in free. Helps chase Geno Smith down from behind and contributes to the throw away.

Second Drive

Snaps: 8

Run: 5

Rush/Drop: 3/0


1. 1st and 10, 9:04 1st. Run left side away from Heyward. Not much to report.

2. 1st and 10, 8:20. Bubble screen to RB split out wide. Recognizes it quickly and good hustle to try to get to the ball. Doesn’t make tackle but shows athleticism/effort.

3. 1st and 10, 7:43. Base by RT. Good arm extension and strength (all goes hand in hand) to drive Howard back off the snap.

4. 2nd and 7, 7:03. Pre-snap lined up as three tech. Slants one gap over (to “C” gap) post-snap. Run is away from him.

5. 3rd and 5, 6:29. Rushes with hand up. Pass thrown quickly to the back in the flat.

6. 1st and 10, 5:45. Screen to WR. Nothing doing.

7. 2nd and 6, 5:05. Based by Willie Colon who wins that battle.

8. 3rd and 1, 4:25. Heyward great job to shed, make tackle on goalline stand. Great play to do all that in such a short time in a space even more confined than usual.


Third Drive

Snaps: 4

Run: 1

Rush/Drop: 2/1


1. 1st and 10, 12:07 2nd. Playaction. Three man rush. Not much happening.

2. 1st and 10, 11:27. Hand up, EMOL with LaMarr Woodley covering slot. Drops into coverage in middle zone post-snap. Pictures pre/post snap below.



3. 2nd and 10, 11:20. Based by RT on end around away from him.

4. 3rd and 8, 10:41. Solo blocked by Nick Mangold on stunt. LaMarr Woodley, not a part of the stunt, records the sack pretty quickly so we don’t’ get to watch the stunt develop too much.

Fourth Drive

Snaps: 6

Run: 1

Rush/Drop: 5/0


1. 1st and 10, :40 2nd. Mangold sticks initially but the DE falls off as Mike Goodson flies past to help make tackle. Sound two-gap responsibility.

2. 2nd and 4, :31. RE with hand up. Rushes “A” gap, doubled by C/G.

3. 3rd and 4, :26. Rush. Good initial punch vs D’Brickashaw Ferguson, knocking him off balance. Left tackle is able to recover and doesn’t let himself to get completely run into the pocket but Heyward showed his power, getting the better of a solid left tackle.


4. 1st and 10, :19. Left end. Hand up. Bull rush. Ball comes out quick, not much to say.

5. 2nd and 2, :15. RE. Rush. Nothing doing in brief moment vs LG Brian Winters.

6. 1st and 10, :11. RE. Good leverage, getting under Mangold’s pads and driving him into the pocket. No pressure, however.

Fifth Drive

Snaps: 3

Run: 0

Rush/Drop: 3/0


1. 1st and 10, 14:55 3rd. RE. Rush. Ball out quickly on curl.

2. 2nd and 10, 14:52. RE with hand up. Allowed to burst through the line on bubble screen but no impact/pressure.

3. 3rd and 6, 14:15. RE with hand up. C/RG double him.

Sixth Drive

Snaps: 8

Run: 4

Rush/Drop: 4/0


1. 1st and 10, 12:24 3rd. RE. Good arm extension, able to get off block though not involved in the play.

2. 2nd and 9, 11:46. RE. Rush. Lines up over guard, slants a gap outside, rushing vs LT. Proper hand placement, good leverage on the play.



3. 1st and 10, 11:04. Run away from Heyward. Doesn’t make an impact on the play but doesn’t let himself get swallowed up and gets off block. Just gets caught up in a swarm of bodies and can’t try and make a play on this run.

4. 2nd and 4, 10:30. Rush. Smartly gets his hands up but doesn’t knock the pass down.

5. 1st and 10, 9:58. Run right tackle away from Heyward, who was base blocked on the play.

6. 2nd and 5, 9:21. Mangold with a down block on Power O with LG pulling.

7. 3rd and 3, 8:41. Hard to tell what exactly happened but loses balance off the snap and falls to the ground.

8. 1st and 10, 8:01. Rush from RE spot. Just a four man rush so doubled by LT/LG.

Seventh Drive

Snaps: 3

Run: 1

Rush/Drop: 2/0


1. 1st and 10, 5:36 3rd. Screen away from him. Not much doing on this play.

2. 2nd and 12, 5:01. Run away but he has trouble getting off the block of LG Brian Winters.

3. 3rd and 14, 4:28. Initially bull rushes Mangold but then tries to swim. Ends up falling, might have tripped over the center’s foot.

Eighth Drive

Snaps: 6

Run: 1

Rush/Drop: 5/0


1. 1st and 10, 12:09 4th. Slow rush, almost contain principles. Smith with all day to throw. Heyward catches LT/LG napping, splitting the two and getting pressure late in the play.


2. 1st and 10, 11:37. Run. Base by LT. Not able to fall off in time and make the stop on the RB who runs past. Only a three yard gain though.

3. 2nd and 7, 11:07. Lined up as the one-tech. T/E stunt (pre-snap technique indicator of that)



4. 1st and 10, 10:41. Lined up as one tech again though no stunt, just a straight bull rush. Again, shows good arm extension and leverage.

5. 2nd and 10, 10:38. RE, rush with hand up. Initially stymied by Winters but able to slip past but does not generate pressure.

6. 3rd and 10, 10:33. Inside shade, outside rush again. Gets pushed upfield by the LT.

Ninth Drive

Snaps: 3

Run: 0

Rush/Drop: 3/0


1. 1st and 10, 7:52 4th. Double by C/G on pass rush.

2. 1st and 10, 7:27. Know it’s a screen so traditional OL technique can go out the window but gets the LG (away from screen) turned to the side. Winters is a rookie and Heyward schools him.


3. 2nd and 10, 7:28. Screen recognized/blown up by Heyward. Heady play.

4. 2nd and 20, 7:18. Screen again. Winters lets him blow through but Heyward able to pressure Smith and force him to throw the ball into the ground.


5. 3rd and 20, 7:15. Best pass rush of his of the day. Again, schooling Brian Winters. Walks him into the pocket with a powerful bull rush. Takes Smith down right after the throw. Excellent series from #97.

Tenth Drive

Snaps: 4

Run: 0

Rush/Drop: 4/0


1. 1st and 10, 4:49 4th. Doubled by C/G.

2. 2nd and 12, 4:21. Colon gets best of Heyward, anchors vs bullrush.

3. 1st and 10, 3:51. Same thing. Colon mirrors with ease.

4. 1st and 10, 3:08. RE. Initial bull then swim that looked effective, catching Ferguson off guard.

Eleventh Drive

Snaps: 1

Run: 0

Rush/Drop: 1/0


1. 1st and 10, :18 4th. Quick hands and sheds Winters, forcing Mangold to come over and help out.


Snaps: 51

Run: 17

Rush/Drop: 33/1

He was a little less impactful than what I hoped but definitely had his moments and is clearly a better athlete and subsequently, better pass rusher than Ziggy Hood. With the team’s lack of pressure, there’s no question that is one of the reasons he was inserted into the starting lineup. Rushing with his hand up on 8/33 rushes (24%) is something Hood will never do.

And Heyward is no slouch against the run either. His stack/shed on the goalline was a potential game changer, holding the Jets to three and a great example of Heyward at his best.

Would like to see him add to his repertoire and use his quick hands more often. The swim was effective when used but want to see it more.

Although he lost a few battles towards the end of the game, I didn’t get the sense of him tiring out, one area I wanted to take a look at with him play 90% of the snaps, a big uptick from being in a rotation.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • Dr. Doom

    great stuff thanks for posting

  • steeltown

    Nice, thank you

    I love that play where he sheds and breaks out to cover the screen

  • srdan

    Is anyone as high as I am on him? I feel like his play this year is the best DE play we have had since Smith was good. Doesn’t get pushed around, gets penetration run/pass, and diagnoses plays well.

  • sean mcmartin

    Ziggy is probably going to be re-signed if he takes back-up money.
    Very good news that CH is actually getting better.

  • cencalsteeler

    This just proves how athletic Cameron is! Great stuff.
    I don’t really like how non-aggressive Clark was in the first gif. It looks like he’s waiting for someone else to make the play. Watch Troy, then watch Ryan. Every player moved up field as he moved laterally one yard deep in the end zone. It does no one any good when your back there, they would have already put six on the board by the time Ryan makes contact.

  • dgh57

    Yes maybe if he’s willing to play backup. I’m ready for the Brian Arnfelt experiment to start next season.

  • Jeff

    That’d be ideal if he took back-up money. It’ll get interesting though because although he isn’t living up to standards and probably deserves back-up money, there is really no one else on this roster that is going to take over for Keisel but him. I think it’s pretty obvious that Heyward has secured the spot on the other side. Both he and his agent know that Brett Keisel’s days are limited at age 35, and they’ll probably use that as a bargaining chip to some degree. If he’s awful enough, maybe the Steelers don’t resign him… who knows right now….

  • So pretty much, he reinforced those of us that have been saying he deserved to start over Hood all year. I hope he continues to improve.

  • Backup money I am fine with, if he wants anything else, let him walk.

  • That gets interesting, as a 35 year old Keisel is still WAY ahead of Hood, but we’ve all seen how fast age can catch up with a guy…

  • Virdin Barzey

    Ziggy who? Hood where? Nope haven’t seen either. Cam is beginning to impress. Starting to look like a first round draft pick. Trade Hood or let him walk. I’ve seen enough and he is what he is. What he isn’t is a first round talent.

    Teams like the Redskins, Philly and others maybe interested since I believe he came from a 4-3 background.

  • Steve

    Clark’s play has taken a back step this year. He was one of the hardest hitters we had in the secondary, but no more.

  • HopalongCassidy

    Arnfelt played too well in pre-season to not be on the roster right now.

  • chris ward

    Impressive play by Heyward to shed the blocker and make the tackle on a big 3rd and short near the goal line.

  • Alex Kozora

    Personally, I’m not concerned. Clark is still one of the most physical players on this team who has probably suffered a million concussions from the hard hits he delves out on a weekly basis.

  • Johnny Loose

    Finally!! Good to see CH get a shot. I knew he wouldn’t disappoint. I’m telling you, he was an absolute BEAST at Ohio State. I knew it would translate eventually. Haven’t given up on Hood yet, but he needed a gut check. Two birds one stone.

  • PA2AK

    On the first gif…W.T.F. Was Timmons reading?!

  • PA2AK

    Take a look at Timmons on that play! Where was he headed? He still does this every now and then against the run. Slow or missed reads.

  • lefnor

    I agree, Hood shouldn’t be on the 2014 roster. He is simply a bad 34 DE. Can’t hold the LoS.

    Btw the Redskins and Philly runs a 34 D.