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Steelers sign All-Pro DT Cam Heyward to 5-year contract

first_img FOLLOW US SUBSCRIBE TO US First Published: 8th September, 2020 07:25 IST Associated Press Television News WATCH US LIVE COMMENTcenter_img Cam Heyward knew his father, Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, bounced around the NFL during a decade-plus career as a running back that saw him suit up for five different teams.As much as Heyward admires his dad, he wasn’t eager to follow him down that particular path.Now, he doesn’t have to. Not after the All-Pro defensive tackle signed a five-year contract with the Steelers that runs through 2024, when Heyward will be 35.The deal eliminates some unwanted uncertainty for Heyward, who admitted he was ready for a “farewell” tour this season as he prepared to enter the final season of the current deal he signed in 2015. As late as Saturday afternoon, Heyward felt pessimistic something could be worked out.A meeting with Steelers president Art Rooney early Sunday helped talks regain momentum. By Monday morning, the 31-year-old had a pen in his hand knowing he will likely be a Steeler for the duration of his career.He’s well aware of how rare such stability can be. He need only to look at his father’s journey through a handful of cities — including one-year stops in three of them — as proof.“There was a time where Atlanta was offering him a contract and he had just come off a Pro Bowl year and they were ready to go in a different direction,” Heyward said.“And to be such a different situation than what my dad goes through, I always feel like I am competing against him and I kind of like it that way — it lets me know that he’s still there and it keeps me grounded.”While Heyward is aware that the new contract takes him into his mid-30s, he believes he’s fresher than his resume suggests. The nine-year veteran spent a significant portion of his first two seasons as a backup to Brett Keisel.“I think Brett always told me, ‘You’re going to keep getting better. You haven’t hit your prime,'” Heyward said. “And I really took that to heart. I felt like there’s another gear for me to hit and you know, I’m entering my 30s, but shoot I was behind those guys for so long, I’ve got to play catch-up. So I kind of feel like I’m still in my late 20s.”Heyward has certainly played like it over the past three seasons, when he’s racked up 30 of his 54 sacks.The team changed his position from defensive end to defensive tackle in 2018 — a move more semantic than anything else since Heyward slides up and down the front depending on the situation — and he has become the dominant presence the Steelers envisioned when they selected him with the 31st overall pick in 2011.He’s become just as vital in the locker room — where he has embraced being a captain — and in the community.His foundation created The Heyward House in 2015, which focuses on helping various child-based causes throughout western Pennsylvania. That closeness is one of the reasons Heyward admits he tried to distance himself from his contract status as weeks went by and no progress appeared to be made.It’s also why he felt such a sense of relief when things were finally sorted out.“To be in a city where I was born and I have family has meant a lot to me,” he said. “But not only that it’s a city in which I am indebted to the community and it’s a city that I live playing for.”Retaining Heyward gives one of the NFL’s best defenses a sense of stability going forward. Outside linebacker Bud Dupree — who is playing on a one-year franchise tag this season — joked recently he turned down a two-year, $200 million deal so Heyward could get paid. Heyward hopes it’s just the first of several moves by the team to lock up other high-profile players who helped the team lead the NFL in sacks and turnovers in 2019.“Bud left it for me, so I am leaving it for TJ (Watt) and Minkah (Fitzpatrick),” Heyward said. “So it’s just getting passed on. I am pretty thankful in Bud taking the discount but there are a lot more guys to be paid, and rightfully so. I know everybody likes to make a big hoopla about today, but there is going to be more paydays down the road and my guys deserve it.”Yet for all the zeroes at the end of his paycheck, Heyward is well aware of the responsibility that comes along with it. While he’s been an integral part of the organization for nearly a decade, he’s also never been to a Super Bowl. And he’s well aware that is the ultimate standard by which he will be measured.“I’m honored and humbled to get a new contract but at the end of the day, I understand the job is not done,” he said. “You know, the number is out there but it’s up for me to attain that.”Image credits: AP Written By Last Updated: 8th September, 2020 07:25 IST Steelers Sign All-Pro DT Cam Heyward To 5-year Contract Cam Heyward knew his father, Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, bounced around the NFL during a decade-plus career as a running back that saw him suit up for five different teams LIVE TVlast_img read more

UWI edge Tivoli in West Kingston thriller

first_imgAndrae Bernal came on as a late substitute and scored the winning goal for the University of the West Indies FC against Tivoli Gardens in a thrilling 3-2 encounter in the Red Stripe Premier League at the Edward Seaga Complex yesterday. UWI’s scorers were Kemoy Atkinson (34th), Girvon Brown (44th) and Bernal (90th plus one minute). Peter Keyes (22nd) and goalkeeper Edsel ‘Robbie’ Scott converted from the penalty spot in the 76th minute for Tivoli. The game was a fierce encounter as both teams ended with ten players each. Tivoli’s Shavar Campbell picked up a red card in the 35th minute for violent conduct, while Kemar Flemmings was issued a second yellow card and was ejected in the 79th minute. The teams battled each other hard for the entire game. However, UWI scored in added time to break the deadlock. Bernal was naturally happy to score the winning goal for his team. “The aim was to get three points, and that was achieved in a team effort,” Bernal, who replaced Anthony Greenland in the 83rd minute, told The Gleaner. “We want to finish in the top two for an automatic semi-final spot in the championship round, so to beat the leaders was very good for the team,” he added. THE ISSUE OF INJURIES Bernal has been in and out of the team due to injuries and is looking forward to staying injury-free for the remainder of the season. “We are a confident young team and I want to stay injury-free in order to assist the team,” he added. UWI coach Marcel ‘Fuzzy’ Gayle disclosed that the game plan was not to make Tivoli beat us in their physical game. “We didn’t want Tivoli to get the better of us in a physical encounter, so we were prepared for that,” Gayle said. Meanwhile, coach of Tivoli Gardens Omar Edwards said his team moved away from the game plan. “We lost our emotion and deviated from the game plan. The early red card took a toll on the team. We played with ten players for too long,” Edwards said. The win pushed UWI on to 42 points, the same as Montego Bay United and Tivoli Gardens. However, Tivoli remained in pole position with a superior goal difference. Yesterday’s results Reno 2 Montego Bay United 0 Arnett Gardens 4 Jamalco 1 Humble Lion 2 Boys’ Town 0 Tivoli Gardens 2 UWI 3 Maverley 1 Waterhouse 2 Harbour View 3 Portmore United 2last_img read more