Cam Heyward Remembers His Best (And Worst) Combine Interviews

The 2023 NFL Combine is underway. While the TVs will capture all the on-field testing, everything from the 40 time to the bench press and drills, some of the most important events happen behind the scenes. The Combine was largely created to serve two missions. A central location for medical history and the opportunity for teams to get to know players through interviews.

More than a decade ago, Cam Heyward found himself at the 2011 NFL Combine. Coming off elbow surgery, he couldn’t workout, making his first impressions with teams during the interview process all the more important. On the latest episode of his Not Just Football podcast, Heyward talked about his best and worst interviews. Lucky for him, his best came with the team who drafted him, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“My best interview was with the Steelers,” Heyward said. “I was getting to know them, they were getting to know me. I’m talking with Coach LeBeau, Mike T, Coach Butler, John Mitchell. I enjoyed those because they got to see my personality.”

Heyward became the 31st pick of the 2011 draft, selected by the Steelers coming off their Super Bowl loss to the Green Bay Packers. Heyward had to bide his time, a backup his first two years, before finally seeing the field and becoming the dominant player he is today. He was a great scheme fit for Pittsburgh’s 3-4 and humble enough to wait and learn from the guys ahead of him, names like Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel. Getting to talk to coaches like Dick LeBeau, Mike Tomlin, Keith Butler, and John Mitchell is a heck of a conversation to have.

Unfortunately, not all his interviews went that well. Heyward described his worst meeting at that year’s Combine.

“My worst was with the Denver Broncos. Mike Shanahan was there. He’s asking me to go up the board. I think I made a joke and nobody laughed. So I was like, ‘oh gosh, I’m off to a terrible start with this.’ Then I dropped the marker and the marker ended up behind the board. I’m like, ‘guys, I wish I could restart this whole thing. Because this is not going well.'”

The Broncos picked near the top of that year’s draft, taking Texas A&M OLB Von Miller 2nd overall. So it’s safe to say they were happy with their selection and were never strong contenders to take Heyward, not picking again until well into the second round.

All’s well that ends well. Heyward found a great home, Denver drafted a Hall of Famer, and the 2011 class is regarded as one of the best ever with names like Cam Newton, A.J. Green, Julio Jones, and Patrick Peterson some of the first names off the board.

You can check out Heyward’s latest episode below.

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