The Pittsburgh Steelers made it very clear during the offseason that they are looking to get younger on the defensive side of the ball, while they have lost a number of key veterans. If Pittsburgh wants to continue being one of the contenders in the AFC on a yearly basis, they will need some big performances from their younger players, and one of the guys that the team will be counting on to improve is former first-round draft pick Cameron Heyward.
Heyward will still play behind Brett Kiesel this season, but he will still have the chance to have an increased role in the defensive end rotation.
“It was almost a loss because I didn’t meet all the goals I wanted. I need to have a productive training camp, so we can get this thing running,” Heyward said, via Ralph Paulk of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I have the athletic ability, so it’s a matter of putting technique and ability together. Then, I have to transfer that onto the field. I have to come to work every day and leave no questions about my effort. When my number gets called this season, I have to be ready. I want to be consistent. I want to have one great play followed by another great play. I can’t have too many bad plays, not if I want to gain the confidence of the coaches.”
If Heyward can show Pittsburgh why they made him a first-round pick just a few years ago, then they will be much more comfortable at the position once Kiesel moves on.