Steelers.com brings you the Ask the Steelers feature. Fans submitted the questions that were asked. Please understand that we receive an incredible number of questions for each player, with many of the questions being similar, and not all of the questions can be answered. We selected as many as possible, and took your questions to the current subject to get your answers.
Defensive End Cameron Heyward
Ben Wright, Charlotte, North Carolina: Last year you didn't have offseason workouts because of the lockout. How valuable have they been to you this year?Heyward:
They have been vital. From day one you are getting more comfortable with the playbook, with the guys, learning their offseason regimens. I think it's going to benefit us a lot this upcoming season.
Dan Myers, Rochester, New York: What was the toughest adjustment your rookie season?Heyward:
The speed. It's a different speed. You think you are prepared but you have no idea. It's a different kind of fast here.Doug Mills, Washington, Pennsylvania: Looking back on your rookie year, what was the best thing about it?Heyward:
That I kept building last year. Early on I didn't play a lot but towards the end I played a lot more. I felt like I was grasping the playbook a lot more.Matt Zimmerman, Landover, Maryland:
How much did your playing time at the end of last season prepare you for the 2012 season?Heyward:
I think it gives me a little more confidence knowing I can go out there and play and contribute to this team. Going into this year I want to build on that and get better every day.Carlo Carino, Los Angeles, California: What have you done this year to better prepare for the upcoming season?Heyward:
I took about a month off and then it was right back into it. I had a couple of surgeries fixing up stuff. I have been working out, running, staying in my playbook and watching extra film so I am ready for training camp.Mike Capalbo, Chicago, Illinois: What do you appreciate most about Dick LeBeau's defensive schemes?Heyward:
That it's aggressive. It's not just sitting back and letting the offense dip and dunk. We are going to get after it. He is a mastermind at it. I am very appreciative to be a part of this defense.Jay Regal, Memphis, Tennessee: Does it amaze you the way Dick LeBeau can come up with different game plans to stop opposing offenses?Heyward:
I love it. It varies every week. We get our game plan on Monday and we get to work.
Mark Eller, Houston, Texas: You often hear good things about your defensive line coach John Mitchell. What type of teacher and coach is he?Heyward:
He coaches me in practice, but lets us play free in the game. He is hands-on, detailed oriented. That is the way all of the coaches are here and that is why they always have such great teams, because they pay attention to the little things as well as the big things.
Tom Lawson, Wheeling, West Virginia: Last year you got a taste of the post-season, but an early exit from the playoffs. Does that make the drive that much stronger this year?Heyward:
Going out like that only fuels the fire. A lot of guys think we have some unfinished business. We have to take care of the regular season first and then go from there.Scott Jones, Newport News, Virginia: Who was your favorite football player growing up?Heyward:
My dad, Craig "Ironhead" Heyward.Chris Hayes, Columbus, Ohio: I always dreamt of playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Who did you follow or dream of playing for when you were young?Heyward:
I mostly just followed my dad and the guys he was friends with. I never saw myself playing football, but it all worked out.Cody Powers, Champaign, Illinois: What type of determination does it take to be great and to get to the NFL? Heyward:
It takes a lot of determination and sacrifice. It's about doing the little things on and off the field and understanding the job is not done yet. I am here now, but I am not done yet.