The Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) are presenting their 2022 Off-Field Awards beginning this week, and Steelers defensive tackle Cameron Heyward was named the winner of the 'Good Guy' Award on Tuesday. The award is presented annually to an NFL player for his qualities and professional style in helping pro football writers do their jobs.
Heyward learned of the award from Steelers President Art Rooney II and the Pittsburgh members of the PFWA at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, something that came as a complete surprise to Heyward.
"I try to make sure I am honest, and I communicate well with you guys," said Heyward. "I just try to be honest and have fun doing it. I have a blast doing it. You guys make it easy on me.
"I am still in shock because I still don't know what is going on."
Heyward was surprised by the media with the announcement, told he was there to meet with Mr. Rooney and instead learned of the honor.
"You're a good guy, so it's an appropriately named award for you to win," said Rooney.
Heyward was consistently available throughout the 2021 season, and his entire career, always giving insightful answers and bringing his fun and joyful personality to every interview.
Heyward's nomination stated: "Heyward did not miss an availability for the 2021 season, and those on the beat locally said he never avoided a tough question as he offered open and honest discussions about everything from on-the-field issues to the impact of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's retirement. He was cited for consistently going 'above and beyond' to build an honest rapport with those who cover the team."
The award was established in 2005 and Steelers Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis was the first recipient. Heyward is only the second Steelers player to win the honor.
Heyward has been selected as the winner of 'The Chief' Award three times in his career, an award presented by the local chapter of the PFWA. 'The Chief' Award, which was established in 1988 in honor of Steelers' founder, Arthur J. Rooney, Sr., and is presented annually to a member of the Steelers' organization that best exemplifies the spirit of cooperation with the media that he embodied. Heyward has won the award in 2014, 2019 and 2021.