Heyward co-hosts a podcast with his friend Hayden Walsh called Not Just Football With Cam Heyward. On a recent episode, the two were discussing the win over the Titans and Heyward said he felt like the Titans had it in for him right away. Heyward’s first play of the game was on the Steelers’ point after attempt that followed the touchdown they scored on their opening drive. During kicks such as field goals and extra points, Heyward is on the left side of the line.
“Hey, I forgot to bring this up. During the game, it’s my first play of the game, it’s a PAT and I’m thinking just regular snap. Bro, they tried to blow me up! They tried to kill me on the first snap! Yeah, they tested my groin for sure.”
Walsh asked him if they just sent three players directly at him and he said that was exactly what they did. The two also had long-snapper Christian Kuntz on the show and he confirmed that they went after him, but even with three players hitting Heyward, they weren’t able to get the 6’5″, 295 pound defensive tackle on the ground, he just kind of backpedaled. He said his counterpart on the other side of the line was not as lucky.
“They did that to me, but then the next time, they went to the other side on [Isaiahh] Loudermilk. I look over, I’m like, ‘You good, Loud?’ He was like, ‘Man, I was just trying to make sure I fell gracefully,’ chuckled Heyward.”
Steelers Are Relieved To Have Cameron Heyward Back On The Field
While some fans will say it is “dirty” to target a player just coming back from an injury, it is really just strategy. Football is a game of individual moments and decisions that hopefully add up to a win. If an opponent can execute a legal tackle or block that re-aggravates a healing injury, it might give them an advantage. It is not the same as intentionally causing an injury.
In this case, they had a little bit more of a likelihood of success since Heyward was probably not expecting to be triple-teamed on an extra point. Heyward probably thought his first real test would come on his first defensive snap. Fortunately, Heyward, who is in his 13th season, is veteran enough to be able to recognize what was coming and protect himself.
The Steelers have been inconsistent through the first half of the season and are likely hoping that Heyward’s return continues to help Pittsburgh win the line-of-scrimmage contest over their opponents. This is critical since the Steelers currently rank 31st in the NFL on defense. What makes this even more challenging is that the current number one and two spots are held by division rivals, the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens respectively.