DE Cameron Heyward earns top defensive marks for performance against Chiefs
Steelers DE Cameron Heyward earns top defensive marks for performance against Chiefs
By Neal Coolong on Aug 26 2013
Former Steelers first round pick Cameron Heyward is showing life with new defensive responsibilities.
Pro Football Focus, an evaluation web site, gave Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward a 3.3 grade - the highest among Steelers defensive players - for his performance in Saturday's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Heyward was given credit for a sack, two pressures and four hurries. It is the highest grade the site has ever given Heyward.
Heading into the 2013 season, Heyward is one of the biggest question marks on the team. A first round draft pick in 2011, he hasn't managed to get on the field often so far in his career. However, with a more upfield-aggressive style the Steelers plan to implement in the 2013 regular season, Heyward's explosiveness may be better utilized than the two-gap technique the Steelers' defensive ends have employed for the last several years.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was given the highest overall grade for the team at 4.1.
Offensively, the Steelers had four players with negative grades - tight end David Paulson (-1.1), right guard David DeCastro (-1.2), left tackle Mike Adams (-1.4) and running back Jonathan Dwyer (-1.5).
Defensively, linebacker Larry Foote earned a 2.0, the third-highest grade for the team in the game. Much-maligned cornerback Josh Victorian had a -0.7.
Last edited by hawaiiansteel; 08-26-2013 at 02:48 PM.
Heyward played well in limited action last year...both he and Hood seemed to make more plays in the base D on Saturday...
The sky is the limit for Heyward. My only concern for him was some disappearing during his senior season which was accounted for by teams doubling him.
Shawn is right in that the ceiling is up there for Heyward. I think he could easily be above average this year as what really will be his first full year starting. His motor appears to be very good and that is what is encouraging to me.
Originally Posted by Shawn
I thought nearly everyone on the Dline showed well against KC. From the starters to the 2nd string backups, they all looked good enough that I think we could go with a 6 man rotation of Keisel, McClendon, Hood, Heyward, Woods, and Arnfelt to keep everyone fresh rushing the passer.
Agreed. Heyward has played well for this team, yet the clueless preseason announcers (Bob Pompeani and Edmund Nelson) continued to say that Heyward needs to show something, and that he hasn't shown much at all since he's been here.
Where are they going to put him? A 3-4 Defense allows for 3 D-Linemen! He's not a nose tackle and apparently plays much better at RDE than left. Keisel is a medical marvel in that he keeps going and going and going. My gut tells me Heyward will get lots of time this season even with a healthy Keisel.
The ceiling might be high but we're in year 3 already and Heyward still isn't a full-time starter. He's a first rounder so he should be a lot further along at this point by now.
Originally Posted by Iron City Inc.
See my post above. He's a RDE and is playing behind Keisel. Keisel's contract is up this year so my guess is Heyward is next year's starter. Coaches don't think he's better than Keisel at the moment (who's one of the best 5-techs in the league) so IMO that's the only reason he's not starting. I don't think it's because of Heyward. He hasn't exactly gotten a ton of real PT to this point.
Hall of Famer
I wonder how many other 3-4 D's he'd be starting on. It's hard to replace Keisel.
Originally Posted by Notleadpoisoned
The guy rarely stands out to me. I dont think his ceiling is as high as you all seem to. The fact that he cant beat out Hood who is average and Keisel who is old speaks volumes.