Cam Heyward Still Playing Key Role While On IR

He is the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive leader. And so even though he’s been confined to the sidelines for the rest of the season, the result of a torn pectoral, he’s still lending a helping hand to the rest of the team.

Sitting down with Missi Matthews on Steelers’ Nation Radio, Keith Butler commented on the impact Heyward has still made with the unit.

“He still comes in and goes to all the meetings. He still wants to be part of the team and be on the sidelines and help coach. He means a lot to us.”

At that point, Matthews pointed out to Butler he was smirking while making those comments and followed up on why.

“He’s always wanting to help coach. He’s always had suggestions. He’s been around for awhile. He’s seen how this league works. He knows our defense very well. He’s just trying to [do his part].”

Of course, it’d be a million times better to feel Heyward’s impact on the field than on the sidelines. And Butler reiterated what a loss it’s been for the defense.

“Aw I mean, we miss him for sure. Not only his playing ability but his leadership. He’s always had a real good attitude, real good approach for the game.”

Heyward has always seemed like the player who can be whatever the team needs him to. He can be the jovial, light-hearted Heyward, singing happy birthday to DeAngelo Williams at training camp. He can be the one who dishes out tough love, serving as the defensive ambassador to the media after every game, and if things didn’t go well, will be extremely blunt.

It’s a rare combination of someone who has everything. The talent, the drive, the leadership, the character. When some players go on injured reserve, they sulk, and generally don’t feel like part of the team. There is certainly no obligation to be involved as usual. Not for Heyward. And that speaks volumes.

He’s the kind of guy Chuck Noll would’ve been proud of. I can’t think of a higher compliment than that.

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.

  • Steelers12

    injuries kicking our ass

    Heyward is a top 2 defensive player for us , it’s between him or Shazier

  • Sean Ralphio

    True definition of a leader!

  • srdan

    I put tuitt on that same level. But I agree, it’s splitting hairs between those 3.

  • Steelers12

    i thinks it is Shazier when fully healthy because he is an impact player but the sad thing is Harrison is in the top 5

  • srdan

    Shazier in open space is a DMVP caliber in my opinion. Shazier taking on any guards head on is a marginal player.

    So depends on which way you look at him.

    Tuitt and hayward, no matter who is in front of them get the job done.

    I think 92 on a limited snap count would be a top 4 defender on 20 teams out there. Think just in these terms. Would you rather dumervil or him? Hali or 92? Plenty of players on teams out there playing and producing far less. Where we get hurt is that we dont have a houston or suggs that are muuuuch better on the other side.

    We are lucky to have harrison.

  • Steelers12

    yeah that was no knock on Harrison as a matter of fact i could see him playing next year

  • Jacob

    Me thinks he smileth too much. 😛

    Miss him on the D-line, but it seems Hargrave and Tuitt are playing better for some reason.

  • Taylor Williams

    Heywards been hurt the entire year, but he tried to play it off which cost him the season.