Cam Heyward is in just his fourth season, but has the respect and admiration not only of teammates, but of everyone in the Steelers organization for his approach to the game, his commitment and his demeanor off the field.
He is the type of player who, as they say, 'gets it.' He has respect for the game, respect for those who played before him, and those he plays alongside.
Check out some photos of Chief Award recipient, Cameron Heyward.
And Heyward has respect for the media, never shying away from talking on good days and bad days, and always being open, never backing down from the tough questions.
That is why the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America voted him this year's winner of "The Chief Award," established in honor of Steelers' founder, Arthur J. Rooney, Sr. and presented annually to the member of the Steelers' organization who best exemplifies the spirit of cooperation with the media that Rooney did.
"I know through you I can portray my message," said Heyward, who thanked everyone from the writers, to the cameramen to the public relations staff. "I think in Pittsburgh we have the best of everything. You get our point of view across.
"It's a blessing. Any time you even get to be nominated for an award that goes along with The Chief it's just humbling. It doesn't come easily or lightly. We have a lot of great guys that want to be upfront and honest with you."
Heyward is the type of guy Art Rooney Sr. would have loved. He is a Pittsburgh guy, born in the city, someone who embraces the history of the team, admires those like Joe Greene who played before him, and understands the legacy and foundation they laid. He also understands what comes with being an NFL player, and that is being accountable to many, including the media.
"I think accountability goes along with swallowing your pride and understanding you are at fault sometimes," said Heyward. "There are times I don't want to talk, but you guys deserve it. It means being accountable, taking about the games and being honest with everyone around.
"The Rooneys have established that for us, Coach (Mike) Tomlin has, and our coaches and we want to do the same, be honest with everybody."
Heyward in a sense joined the media this year as the co-host of Steelers Late Night with Cam Heyward, which airs after the late news on KDKA every Saturday night in season. He said that gave him even more of an understanding of what goes into the job.
"I understand that this isn't easy," said Heyward. "We have to understand it's not all bad. It's how we use it. You can enjoy it and make the most of it."