Cameron Heyward has spent 11 seasons in the NFL, all with the Pittsburgh Steelers. A three-time All-Pro, the defensive tackle has also been named to the Pro Bowl each of the last five years and has become one of the most feared — and respected — defensive linemen in the league.
In a June 30 appearance on NFL Network’s NFL Total Access, Heyward broke down why he thinks the rest of the NFL should be on high alert when playing against Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields.
Fields had arguably the best game of his rookie season against the Steelers Week 9, finishing with 291 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception, and he also gained 45 yards on the ground. The Bears wound up losing the game, 29-27, but it’s clear Fields left a lasting impression on the Steelers defender.
ALL the latest Bears news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Bears newsletter here!
Heyward on Fields: ‘I Hated Playing Against Him’
Heyward, like Fields, attended college at Ohio State University, so the Steelers DT admitted he has been watching the 23-year-old quarterback play for a while now.
“He always puts the defense at a disadvantage,” Hayward said about Fields. “He’s able to run, he’s able to throw. I loved him in college because of those reasons. I hated playing against him because of those reasons.”
Fields had several memorable plays against the Steelers, and he led a 4th quarter comeback that nearly won Chicago the game. With 2:47 to play, Fields and the Bears’ offense got the ball on their own 25-yard line down 26-20. The rookie signal-caller led the team down the field and capped a seven-play, 75-yard drive with this gem of a TD pass to wide receiver Darnell Mooney:
Follow the Heavy on Bears Facebook page, where you can weigh in on all the latest Bears-related breaking news, rumors, content and more!
Heyward Calls Mooney a ‘Great Receiver’
Fields was the clear star for the Bears in their Week 9 loss to the Steelers, but Mooney also left an impression on Heyward. “He’s got a great receiver,” Heyward added, referring to Mooney.
The Steelers vet thinks Fields has a solid core forming around him — but he also stressed that the team needs to continue to build around its young QB.
“He’s just got a lot of pieces growing around him. In that game, we were tired as heck. We were trying to get off the field and he made it hard on us. Luckily, we have a defensive player like (reigning Defensive Player of the Year) T.J. Watt,” Heyward added.
Heyward also noted he’s glad he hauled in the lone interception Fields threw against Pittsburgh, because he doesn’t see the Bears QB throwing many more picks in the future.
“With Justin, I’m so happy I got my pick on him because he’s just going to continue to get better. The picks won’t happen every single time. He’s a heck of a talent, he’s going to continue to learn — they just gotta build around him.”