Forever diplomatic, Cam Heyward tipped his hat to the Denver Broncos and refused to put the blame on any one player or play from today’s season-ending 23-16 loss.
“As a defense, they had to drive the whole field,” Heyward told reporters in response to the Broncos’ final, game-winning drive. “We could’ve gotten the block. There is not one play that can signify this loss. We are all accountable. We didn’t play perfect. We just didn’t finish. The NFL teaches us this.”
Heyward would again emphasis one play did not create the loss, likely in an attempt to deflect the blame away from Fitzgerald Toussaint, whose fumble set up the Broncos’ drive.
The start of the offseason also serves as a reminder that the roster will be shaken up. Not completely different, but slight changes, with faces leaving and new ones entering. It’s entertaining for us to speculate those moves but a harsh reality for players who are surrounded by it.
“Everybody in this locker room, it hurts. This team is never going to be together like it is now,” a somber Heyward said.
Heyward, of course, is one of the Steelers whose feet are planted firmly in Pittsburgh. But Steve McLendon, Will Allen, William Gay, Robert Golden, and Antwon Blake are all notable players set to be unrestricted free agents.
Though he was careful not to use injuries as a scapegoat, he admired the way the team held together through one of its more difficult seasons.
“Between the roller coaster ride we’ve been on, I appreciate my teammates. I don’t know if a lot of teams could’ve overcome all the stuff that went on but each one of our teammates, our coaches, I appreciate the work they put in day in and day out.”