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Brett Keisel Recalls Playing With Young Cam Heyward, Discusses Mentorship

Perhaps among the best worth draft picks for Pittsburgh Steelers former GM Kevin Colbert, a thirty first total choice within the 2011 NFL Draft in Cam Heyward who has racked up three first crew All-Pro nods, 5 Pro-Bowls, and maybe most significantly has change into the chief within the Steelers locker room

Heyward stepped right into a crew that had come off a Super Bowl berth, and a defensive position room with seasoned veterans in Brett Keisel, Casey Hampton, Aaron Smith, amongst others. As such, Heyward was initially taken below their wing, which he cited in a latest interview as particularly useful in his profession trajectory.

Having not too long ago began his Not Just Football with Cam Heyward podcast, he had on former teammate and 12-year Steelers defensive finish Brett Keisel. In doing so, the 2 former teammates mentioned the beginning of Heyward’s profession.

“Well, I remember when we drafted him, I was watching the draft Coach Tomlin kept telling me for years that I was leaking oil,” Keisel recalled on the podcast. “So I kinda figured that someone was gonna be getting a high pick to maybe replace me. And you know, they picked Cam and, and he came into training camp and my first impressions were that this, this guy’s really big. He’s really strong. He’s really physical.”

A 2002 draft choose, Keisel was a nine-year veteran on the time of Heyward’s drafting, and was certainly previous his prime. Keisel’s preliminary impression of Heyward actually proved correct of his profession trajectory, as Heyward went on to make the most of his stature to change into extensively thought to be among the many elite defensive lineman within the league. Keisel went on to explain his mentors upon coming into the league.

“Yeah, so I was fortunate to have Aaron Smith and Kimo von Oelhoffen and they were the two starting defensive ends, I was a little bit shocked coming into a professional environment that these guys would help me, because essentially I’m vying for their job and I’m trying to work my way into any type of rotation,” Keisel answered within the interview. “I believe that’s one thing that’s actually distinctive about Pittsburgh, the veterans assist the youthful guys they usually attempt to train ’em the Steeler manner and train. “

The Steelers group has lengthy constructed by means of the draft quite than by means of free company or blockbuster trades, counting on the mentorship that Keisel describes to develop younger gamers. This technique seeks to profit from pushed gamers similar to Keisel. Indeed, Keisel started as a seventh-round choose, and went on to perform the uncommon feat of getting a 12-year profession, enjoying alongside his mentors and profitable two Super Bowls.

Much like Keisel, Heyward is following the identical profession trajectory in mentoring younger gamers within the DL room very like he was mentored himself. Heyward has had the chance to mentor the likes of Stephon Tuitt, Javon Hargrave, Chris Wormley, Isaiahh Loudermilk, and could have the chance to mentor third-round defensive finish Demarvin Leal. Given his excessive regard for his veteran mentors, it’s little question that Heyward is greater than keen and completely satisfied to take the mentorship position for the rest of his profession with the Pittsburgh Steelers.


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