One of the most friendly people with the media, and someone who isn’t afraid to speak his mind, Cam Heyward sat down for a fantastic interview with Steelers.com’s Missi Matthews.
They covered a ton of topics, go check out the full, five-minute clip at the link here (Part 2 will be out Wednesday). Always one to deflect, Heyward immediately jumped to the team when Matthews asked him to evaluate the 2015 from a personal level.
“I don’t really grade myself personally. I’d rather do it as a group or a team setting because we could have all the individuals stats but if we don’t accomplish those goals as team, then those become secondary.”
Of course, anyone not named Heyward realizes he had a tremendous year, finishing with seven sacks and a forced fumble while being one of the defensive leaders.
He was more receptive to talking about others. While he thought the Steelers’ defense was similar under Keith Butler as it was Dick LeBeau, there were a couple of differences.
“I think we blitzed a little bit more on 3rd downs. We were a little bit more exotic than we had been in past years. I think gameplan to gameplan, we adjusted. We didn’t just stay one front, or one different coverage. Because in the National Football League, there are so many different offenses. I think now we’re able to adjust and adapt and be versatile.”
I certainly don’t think he was throwing LeBeau under the bus, you can sense the notion that LeBeau had been a little too rigid and not evolving as offenses have. Heyward’s comments are true based on our data. Butler blitzed about 5% more in 2015 than LeBeau two years ago.
Matthews also asked for Heyward’s thoughts on Daniel McCullers, the lone nose tackle on the roster with Steve McLendon living it up in New York. Heyward kept it simple. Much like a job interview or first date, be yourself.
“When you looked at Steve’s situation, trying to replace Casey Hampton, which is never going to happen. Dan needs to understand that as well. I think when you look at it, Steve was Steve, Casey was Casey, and Dan needs to be Dan…We’re all going to pushing for Dan because he’s going to be a vital part of our defense this year.”
And much like a job interview or a date, I am equally nervous over the prospects of McCullers being the team’s full-time nose tackle.