Tomlin Likes Special Teams Willingness Of Heyward-Bey Heading Into Preseason Finale

Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers is a very important game for veteran wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey as the former first-round draft pick has made a late charge for a roster spot. During his Tuesday press conference, head coach Mike Tomlin was asked to talk about Heyward-Bey’s recent push.

“He’s done some really good things of late after he came back from his concussion and I’m just as pleased as to what he’s provided us from a special teams standpoint as I am what’s he doing at wide receiver,” said Tomlin.

“Like I was talking about earlier in terms of the people having an opportunity to make a final case for themselves, I really like some of the things that he’s shown us in the kicking game of late. Some things that quite frankly I didn’t know he had in terms of his willingness and ability to cover punts. His willingness and ability to block for punt returners in the vice game on punt return. It’s attractive and he’ll be given an opportunity to display those things along with his wide receiver play in this game.”

Back in April when Heyward-Bey was signed, we highlighted his work late last season on special teams with the Indianapolis Colts. At that time, it was easy to speculate that his play on special teams would be a huge determining factor in whether or not he ultimately makes the final 53 man roster this season.

Thanks to a concussion suffered early on in training camp, Heyward-Bey missed valuable practice time. However, thanks to all of the other young wide receivers on the roster being pretty pedestrian thus far during the preseason, Heyward-Bey is still very much alive for a roster spot.

Last week in the 31-21 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Heyward-Bey caught all three passes thrown his direction for 54 yards and a long touchdown. He only played three special teams snaps in that game, however, so look for him to be a part of all four primary units Thursday night against the Panthers.

  • richheddleson

    Sounds to me like he will make the 53……..Tomlin doesn’t usually gush about someone like that, then cut them…….

  • He belongs on the 53. Period.

  • steeltown

    True enough.. listening to the press conference today, it sounds like Heyward-Bey and Brad Wing are both making this Team

  • Steelers12328882

    Gotta love DHB right now. Until he drops his first pass of the season that is.

  • Soliciting Steelers

    As a famous Tomlinism would say…”He has the pedigree”

  • Ryan lagud

    He’ll make the roster. Justin Brown hasn’t proven himself as well as first speculated and DHB brings size, speed and veteran savvy to a group of young guys still learning the ropes. He belongs on the team and I don’t think it will be at the expense of a deserving youngster.

  • joed32

    Brown started out well last year and then just faded. I thought he was a lock to make the 53 this year but he disappeared again. Good battle on Thursday night.

  • Ike Evans

    smh…this guy is about to F*&k around and make this team….im going to owe my cousin $50….DAMNIT Justin Brown and Derek Moye

  • Ike Evans

    i was JUST thinking to the same thing

  • Douglas Andrews

    Not only is he disappearing but he made the mistake of running wrong route in the last game while DHB had a pretty good game. If there ever was a chance for J Brown to seize an opportunity it was last week when he was running with the first team but he let that opportunity slip away by not showing up on the stat sheet. This week is gonna be big for him like you said hope he shows up.

  • unfurious

    Good call. Bad hands guarantee drops. Wrong routes guarantee interceptions.

  • unfurious

    lol. Meant to post below DA

  • unfurious

    Good call. Bad hands guarantee drops. Wrong routes guarantee interceptions.

  • Douglas Andrews

    I like J Brown but the kid just hasn’t showed up during games. DHB while ur right he may drop a few but he still has the speed and ability to stretch the field like he did in last weeks game.

  • unfurious

    Brown is still eligible for PS, right?

  • Douglas Andrews

    Yes he’s eligible.