Cameron Heyward talked about his relationship with Mike Tomlin, the only NFL head coach he has ever played. The guy who drafted him in the first round in 2011 and the guy who saw Hayward’s entire career evolved from backup to starter, star, and potentially inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Appeared in Mad Dog Sports Radio With Leger Douzable and Dr. Chantel Tremitiere, Hayward was asked about Tomlin.
“The man is the man who is the leader of the man,” Hayward said. “He pushes us and challenges us, which makes us better. Personally, he made me me today. He challenges me every day. Sometimes it’s trivial, I’m competitive for it, but sometimes I thank a man who wants to keep working and get better. He always gets that Lombardi next Talk about the chance. It’s the trophy he has and I want to give to the guy. That’s what I’m looking forward to. “
Heartfelt words from Hayward. As far as Hayward has, few players have the same head coach. Even Ben Roethlisberger had been with Tomlin for a long time, but Bill Cowher and Tomlin had two head coaches. Hayward and Tomlin have been attached to the hips for 10 years since Pittsburgh made him the 32nd and last first round pick of the 2011 NFL Draft.
The night they took him, Mike Tomlin praised Hayward not only as a player but also as a man. This is part of what he said through the Ohio State University’s 247 Sports Network.
“This guy has been an important core football player in the system since he set foot on campus. When you look at the guy, it creates great comfort. He’s a mature young guy. Not only is he a mature player in that respect compared to other people drafted in the draft. He has as much experience and playing experience as you have drafted. “
Hayward had to compete for time behind the established studs at Aaron Smith and Brett Kaiser and didn’t start until his third season in the league. Hayward has played the best football since his late twenties, recording 43 out of 68 career sack in the last five seasons. It’s also the span where he made all five of his Pro Bowl and three of his All Pro Selection.
Hayward also praised Bill Cowher’s ability to bury Tomlin’s shoes and won the Super Bowl just two years after taking over, continuing the Steelers’ success.
But the impact goes beyond the stats sheet. Hayward has unique leadership qualities derived from his father’s late Craig “Iron Head” Hayward, but Tomlin certainly nurtures what it looks like to be a professional and leader in today’s games. It was useful for. Hayward has taken on that role as one of the Steelers’ core faces. He passed it on to teammates like Isaiahh Loudermilk and Javon Hargrave. Both Hayward and Tomlin men go down as part of the best of their generation. Hayward is one of the franchise’s top defensive linemen, probably just below Joe Green. Tomlin is with Chuck Knoll and Kauer, but Knoll is still comfortably sitting on top of it.
And they may one day be part of the same team again – Pro Football Hall of Fame. Both definitely require more work, but if Hayward brings the trophy to Tomlin, both could end their career in a gold jacket.
Check out the full clip below.
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