CBS Sports has recently been going through positional rankings, and in a few spots on defense, the Pittsburgh Steelers did rather well. That tends to happen, after all, when you produce three first-team All-Pros on the same unit. T.J. Watt, for example, was listed as the number one edge rusher. Minkah Fitzpatrick was second among safety. But Cameron Heyward was seventh among defensive linemen.
Heyward wasn’t too impressed with his position on the list, responding to it on Twitter with a gif from The Office. ‘Good joke’, it reads. In spite of the fact that the has become a perennial Pro Bowler, he hasn’t found it difficult to find things to motivate him, including being left off of the 2010s All-Decade team.
— Cam Heyward (@CamHeyward) June 24, 2020
He wasn’t alone though. Former teammate Bryant McFadden, who works for CBS Sports, responded to the listing during a televised segment and defended both of his former teammates—the other being Calais Campbell, as both were on the Arizona Cardinals in 2009. Here was his response:
I think it’s an issue that I have, and clearly Cam Heyward has an issue with that as well, but I got you Cam. Don’t worry, I got you, my former teammate. Both guys I’ve formerly played with as well in the National Football League. When you look at Cam Heyward, in that 3-4 scheme, they’re not always being called to be attacking defensive linemen. I know that defense extremely well. Their job is to make sure that the inside backers are clean and they’re able to flow from sideline to sideline to make plays. But Cam Heyward has been able to defy all those odds and still come up big when it comes to sacking the quarterback. Nine sacks last year. The last three years, he’s totaled up 29 sacks. 29 sacks. The thing about Cam, and the reason I’m so hyped about Cam this upcoming season, it seems to me, the older he gets, the better he gets, and when you look at that defense in totality, they’re gonna be a top-3-5 unit easily, and I think Cam Heyward will have a lot to do with their success.
— Bryant McFadden (@BMac_SportsTalk) June 25, 2020
Aaron Donald was understandably at the top of the list, which was compose by Ryan Wilson, followed by Chris Jones and Kenny Clark. Grady Jarrett and Fletcher Cox rounded out the top five, with DeForest Buckner also listed ahead of Heyward. Campbell was eighth behind Heyward, followed by J.J. Watt and Javon Hargrave.
Heyward is currently entering a contract year, but the hope is that he and the Steelers agree to terms on a long-term contract extension before the season begins. Originally a first-round pick in 2011, he is heading into his 10th season in the NFL, all with Pittsburgh.