Visit NFL from the sidelines on the new Observer-Reporter site:

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A quick Q&A with Cam Heyward

Caught up with Cam Heyward today as the Steelers finished up their first week of OTAs. Here's what the emerging star at defensive end had to say:

Q: Your room is going to have a whole different look to it this year. What kind of adjustment is that going to be for you?

A: I can't tell yet. I'm still learning the guys, and guys are trying to pick up stuff. We'll see once camp comes.

Q: Do you feel like there's more pressure on you now, given the guys who are gone, to step up and be a leader?

A: Shoot, I put enough pressure on myself. The last thing I want to think about is somebody else putting pressure on me. I've got goals and I'm looking for more team goals than individual goals. If we can hit those, we're all good.

Q: What are some of those team goals?

A: To be the No. 1 defense. Coach (Dick) LeBeau put it up for us. We struggled last year. We were 13th. In the last 10 years, we've had four or five No. 1 defenses. We've got to get back to that.

Q: Does it seem strange to say you struggled and you were 13th? Struggling is like 30th, isn't it?

A: That's the thing. Our bar is set a lot higher than other places. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Q: What do you think the dynamic is going to be like without some of the guys who are now gone? No Ziggy (Hood). No Brett (Keisel)? If you look back two years ago with what you had, it's completely different.

A: Right. We don't know what our roster is going to be once camp is done. Everybody is going to have to contribute. I'm looking for everybody to put their best foot forward and just continue to grow.

Q: It's been very tough for rookies to come in here and help out and play a lot, as you saw. Stephon (Tuitt) is coming in, and the team kind of stepped out of character and even Dick (LeBeau) said Tuitt has a chance to contribute a lot right away.

A: Everybody has a chance. It's about seizing that. We'll see how he develops and how he grows. I know he's going to be a great player one day. You don't know when it's going to happen. It could be this year, next year, whenever. Everybody grows different. You've just got to learn. That's the thing about the NFL, you're constantly learning. Hopefully, he can take in all of that information.


Anonymous said...

Cam was dominant last year and might be even better this year.

Anonymous said...

Stay healthy big boy. We need you.

marc said...

do you expect any additional signings after june 1, other than draftees? or how about contract extensions.

datruth4life said...

Dale, you think they've completely turned the page on Keisel & Deebo? As backups, I think both could still provide good veteran leadership and depth for this defense.

Dale Lolley said...

I think at this point, it's unlikely they bring back Keisel or Harrison, though I could be wrong.
They would take valuable snaps away from the younger players. And with so many new faces, especially on defense, I expect Tomlin to get his first unit as much time as possible working together. That will already take snaps away from younger guys.

Both of those guys will be available if the Steelers have any major injuries.

As for contract extensions, I expect those talks to heat up around training camp for a few guys.

Anonymous said...

I agree. If they do bring back either one it should be after training camp so that they can see what they have with the youngsters. That being said I would love to see both Dabeard and Deebo back in a backup/mentor role

Anonymous said...

Noticed on that Archer changed his # from 34 to 13, perhaps suggesting that he will be primarily listed as WR. Brown, Wheaton, Moore, Bryant and Archer are virtually all locks. Not a lot of room for anyone else.

Dale Lolley said...

Numbers change. He could change again once camp is over.

Archer wore No. 1 at Kent State, so another number change could be coming. But he'll likely be listed as a RB/WR