The buzz around the Steelers offense this week is the return of receiver Martavis Bryant, and understandably so. Bryant was suspended for the first four games of the season, but returns this week against Arizona and at 6-4 is a weapon that Mike Vick can only smile at having back.
But there a player, even with Bryant back, who shouldn't be forgotten in the offense.
The Steelers prepare for the week 6 match up against the Arizona Cardinals.
Darrius Heyward-Bey stepped in with Bryant out, not just filling in for him but taking control and making a big impact.
"I am just doing my job," said Heyward-Bey. "I am happy to have the opportunity to go out there and play with my teammates. I believe hard work always pays off."
Heyward-Bey has done his part to make it tough to not keep him involved in the offense. Through five games he has 17 receptions for 209 yards and two touchdowns, those numbers as the third receiver.
"I might be making it tough, but that is not my decision," said Heyward-Bey. "That is up to Coach (Mike) Tomlin and the coaching staff. I am just going to go out there each and every day and work hard to get better."
Last year Heyward-Bey was asked to take on a role that he wasn't accustomed to. After being a starting receiver for the better part of five seasons in Oakland and Indianapolis, he was called upon to play special teams. He finished the season with only three receptions for 33 yards, but took pride in his special teams' play which included a forced fumble on a fake punt against Cincinnati.
While he loves his role in the offense right now, and loves making plays to help move the chains, he is willing to do whatever is asked of him because more importantly, he loves the game.
"For me personally my love for football came back to a whole different level last year," said Heyward-Bey. "Going through last year was a confidence builder for me, being on the type of team we have. It built me up to take a different approach to my training. I tried to change things up and take it to a different level and it paid off.
"I always want to be able to go out there and help. If that's on offense, great, but I am a special teams' player and if I can go out there and make some tackles and key blocks I am willing to do that also."