Cam grateful to play with Ben: There’s no one in the Steelers roster who has played with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger longer than defensive tackle Cameron Heyward. They’ve been teammates for 11 of Roethlisberger’s 18 seasons, and no one wants Roethlisberger to win, if Monday night against the Browns is actually his last game at Heinz Field rather than Heyward.
“This is definitely not his last game,” said Heyward, as the Steelers have two more regular season games to play. “I remember watching him. I remember that Super Bowl game, them playing in Arizona. He did a few moments.
“I enjoyed being just his teammate. There are two games left. That’s all we are guaranteed. I hope we can make this tour last a little longer. As a teammate you enjoy this. he did. I just want to send it with all I can. “
Heyward said he felt lucky to have been Roethlisberger’s teammate for so long, knowing what the quarterback did to keep the team running for so long.
“I thought I was one of the lucky ones,” Heyward said. “Not many guys can say they played with a Hall of Fame quarterback. Just the times we’ve had, the games he’s played. The leadership he’s shown. The growth he’s been showing. he’s had his whole career. I just enjoy him. Ben has always been a fighter. Always gave us a chance. He fought a lot. He was awarded two Super Bowls. But we had need every piece of Ben Roethlisberger in every game he’s played in. You can’t just replicate that.
“No matter what Ben had, he always made it work. Ben just found a way to win.”
Heyward praised Roethlisberger’s competitiveness, which many have said is evident not only on the football field, but on the golf course and even in the fun locker room games.
“We used to have the shuffleboard there (in the locker room) and we had tournaments back then and then it got out of hand,” Heyward said with a laugh. “Ben has always been very competitive in this area and somehow he’s always won. When it comes to being competitive Ben is one of the best.”
Heyward fully expects Roethlisberger to be presented on Monday night at Heinz Field in front of the Steelers loyalists, whom he will receive one of the best welcomes he has ever had.
“I know the fans are going to give him the loudest applause and rightly so,” Heyward said. “I’ve always tried to do my best, but regardless. This guy deserves a lot and we have to make sure we keep our end of the deal.”
And keeping their end of the bargain won’t be just for Roethlisberger. The Steelers are still in the playoff race, and beating the Browns is what will keep them in the hunt. The last time both teams played, the defense managed to contain the Browns’ game, holding out injured Nick Chubb to just 61 yards on 16 carries. They will have to redouble their efforts this week if they hope to win.
“We did a decent job,” Heyward said. “I think they had two explosive runs. But it was a lot of gang tackling. It wasn’t just one-on-one. What struck me was that we didn’t not giving up touchdowns a lot. We gave up one touchdown, a few field goals. But in this type of game it’s about beating a dead horse, running towards the ball and never giving up points. “
The defense managed to register four tackles for a loss in the 15-10 win over the Browns, something they must continue this week to keep them behind the chains.
“I mostly think about the first try,” Heyward said. “If you can start a drive they come in second and long and catch up, then the third down becomes an advantage your way. It’s no easy task. They have a lot of good athletes. A strong offensive line. . A great racing game. We have to make sure there isn’t just one guy there, there has to be 11.
“I think the key is to play the team’s defense. The race has to be stopped. You make a team one-dimensional. It’s easier said than done. We were able to do a lot of things that have made us feel better. Put on the right track Offense has been taken over the ball As a defense we have taken the ball You have to be able to do things that work in your favor.
Monday Night Magic: The Steelers are tied with the San Francisco 49ers for most Monday Night Football wins at 50, and have also won 19 consecutive home Monday Night Football games.
Heyward joked that he hadn’t played in all 19 of them, as they date back to 1992, but also shared how special it is to play when the lights are on.
“It’s like the Rose Bowl, it’s everyone’s grandfather for the week,” Heyward said. “This is the stage where all of your peers are watching. Anyone can show off their ability and talent. It’s like a Friday night game (in high school). That’s what you’ve built yourself into. people at school are watching. I’m ‘I’m just excited for Monday.’