In the days after the 2011 NFL Draft, fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers read numerous reports about their first round draft pick Cameron Heyward. All mentioned the remarkably high character and impressive work ethic of the Ohio State product. Two weeks into training camp, Heyward has validated those reports with his humble attitude. But it’s not just reporters and draft niks singing his praises now that the pads have gone on at Latrobe. It’s Heyward’s teammates that are impressed. Here’s a sampling of quotes about Heyward from the veteran mainstays along the defensive line, all of which reflect the healthy amount of respect Heyward is commanding from his teammates early on.
"He’s a rookie, and he acts like a rookie," said defensive tackle Casey Hampton. "That’s a major thing. You kind of probably wouldn’t think that from his background but obviously his father and his mama did a great job of keeping him grounded."
"He came in here, has put his hand in the dirt and was ready to work," said defensive end Brett Keisel.
"He’s not believing his own hype, that’s the main thing," Hood said. "He’s a first rounder. He knows it. Everybody knows it but he’s not into that. He’s a young guy coming here trying to learn. He’s hanging around us older guys, we’re trying to show him correct ways on how to do things."
You’ve got to give defensive line coach John Mitchell a lot of credit as well. There’s a clear hierarchy along the defensive line, yet there’s a willingness to help one another out provided everyone’s on the same page attitude-wise. Sounds like that’s exactly the case with the newest addition to the DL depth chart.