Cam Heyward Turns Heads in Recent Social Media Activity

Getty Steelers' Cam Heyward celebrates a tackle.

The 2022 Associated Press All-Pro team roster was revealed on January 13. Selected by a panel of 50 media members, 16 were first-timers (including Minkah Fitzpatrick), and only two were unanimous: Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce and Minnesota Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson.

One name not included among the 56 was Steelers tackle Cam Heyward.

For decades, being named to a Pro Bowl was significant for players. What’s now been relegated to flag football, a Pro Bowl invite no longer means what it once did. The AP All-Pro honor, the Pro Bowl’s more prestigious older brother, is where it’s at and has been the gold standard since 1940. When players who genuinely deserve to be included aren’t, there’s bound to be some resentment.

For Heyward, like every other time he’s been snubbed on lists — unfortunately too often — he uses it as motivation.

After learning of getting slighted by the panel, Heyward took to social media on January 13, posting a tweet with the phrase he’s been known for: “Back to the Lab.”

To provide some backstory, it’s a catchphrase from characters Pinky and the Brain, who were part of the popular 1990s animated series “Animaniacs.” When Pinky and the Brain tried to take over the world (at which they continuously failed), Brain would say, “Back to the Lab.” The ACME lab is where the two worked meticulously to devise their plans.

Heyward’s lab is the Pittsburgh Steelers facility.

Steelers fan @wtfidgaf2 (not to be confused with @wtfidgaf1) felt compelled to quote retweet Heyward’s tweet, replying: “You’ve been ‘back to the lab’ since you entered the league, bruv. Go away.” #RetireAlreadyYaBum #Steelers

The Steelers defender replied: “Thanks for your input. I’ll take that into consideration.” #bum

Fans jumped to Heyward’s defense, begging him to ignore the “fake fan” and definitely not consider retirement.

Perhaps a more apt response to the All-Pro snub is one Heyward gave Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ron Cook. “Damn! Not being a part of that group is going to make me hungrier for next year. It hurts. But I won’t let it stop me from doing what I’ve got to do.”

Get it, Cam!

Defensive Tackles Who Made All-Pro Over Steelers’ Cam Heyward

A three-time first-team selection (2017, 2019, 2021) and a second-team choice in 2020, Cam Heyward was snubbed after having one of the best years of his 12-year career.

While Heyward didn’t quite put up the elite numbers this season that would call for a first-team nod, it’s a travesty he didn’t make the second team.

New York Giants tackle Dexter Lawrence had an outstanding season which rightfully earned him a second-team honor. But Tennessee Titans’ Jeffrey Simmons‘ stat line was not as stellar as Heyward’s. While the Steelers star had three fewer passes defended than Simmons, it wasn’t the case in the sacks (10.5-7.5), tackles (74-54), tackles for loss (14-9) and QB hits (22-14) categories.

Simmons didn’t play all 17 games as Heyward did, but that’s splitting hairs. If the Titan had, he still wouldn’t have outdone Heyward’s numbers.

Of course, stats aren’t the only aspect considered when voting. It’s the whole package. Of which Heyward is it.

Those are the breaks.

Steelers’ Cam Heyward Building Case for NFL Hall of Fame

Two current players on the Pittsburgh Steelers roster are arguably locks for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and (surprise!) they’re both defenders: Edge T.J. Watt and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. If the trajectory of their careers continues, they’ll be gold jacket recipients.

A third who could have a case for the Hall is Cam Heyward, who, at 33, has not regressed. In a position where it can be a challenge to garner sexy stats, Heyward has.


Heyward has three double-digit sack years to his name and 78.5 career sacks, third-most among active defensive tackles and 12th in the league.

“I think I’m on track,” Heyward told Cook about the Hall of Fame. “I should be looked at as one of the top guys at my position. I can play the run and the pass.

“You want to have a Hall of Fame career. It’s a totality thing. It says you are a part of one of the best fraternities in the game. That has always been one of my goals, to leave this game and be able to say, ‘I played my best football, and my best characteristics stuck out, and I was recognized for it.’ I’ve had teammates in the Hall of Fame who are very deserving. I want a chance to one day follow in their footsteps.”

One aspect of a player’s resume that Hall of Fame voters consider is postseason wins. Heyward has only been part of three playoff-winning rosters and none since 2017.

As Ron Cook pointed out, T.J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick haven’t played in any wins (yet). If the Pittsburgh Steelers don’t get on that and turn the tide, that could hurt Watt and Fitzpatrick.

“I like to think I’ve still got time to change that,” said Heyward. “I’m still grasping for more. I’m hopeful I can change that outlook and put that cherry on top. I think that’s what happened for Jerome Bettis.”

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