Tomlin Thinks Heyward Has Been ‘Really Solid’ So Far This Season

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward has been limited to mostly playing in sub packages in the first four games of the 2013 season and it resulted in him only getting 19 snaps in the loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Those snap limitations will now change, however, as Heyward will now start over Ziggy Hood Sunday against the New York Jets.

“He has and he will play more, and deservedly so,” said Tomlin when asked Tuesday if Heyward has now moved ahead of Hood in the base defense. “I think he’s been really solid, not taking anything away from Ziggy [Hood], obliviously, both guys will continue to play, we just want Cam to play more than he’s been playing and in order to ensure that, we are going to put him in the starting lineup.”

Heyward has registered two tackles, seven quarterback hurries and one quarterback hit in the 114 defensive snaps that he’s played thus far this season. Despite Hood being demoted, Tomlin insisted that all of his defensive linemen will continue to play moving forward with the primary goal being to get Heyward more snaps.

“All of those guys are going to play like they have,” Tomlin said. “We just wanted to redistribute the snaps to make sure that Cam is getting more than he’s gotten until this point and that’s the reason for change.”