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Cam Heyward Blasts ‘Mob’ Attack on Arthur Smith Hire

Pittsburgh Steelers captain Cam Heyward revealed his in-depth thoughts on the Arthur Smith hire on his Not Just Football Podcast.



Pittsburgh Steelers DL Cam Heyward
Pittsburgh Steelers DL Cam Heyward and HC Mike Tomlin walk off the field together in Buffalo, Jan. 15, 2024 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

When the Steelers hired Arthur Smith a week ago, the reactions it got locally and nationally were mixed at best. Given Smith’s struggles in Atlanta, there were significant questions about Smith’s ability to become a solid NFL offensive coordinator despite his wildly successful stint in Tennessee.

Steelers defensive lineman and captain Cam Heyward believes that the mentality against Smith is a ‘mob mentality’ and should not thrown out there so lightly when he has yet to even start on the job.

“You’ve got to give him time. I just don’t get already throwing the guy under the bus and saying, ‘Oh man, I can’t believe we did this.’ What makes you think you know better than the guys in the front office? You don’t think they’ve been doing their homework, studying this guy? And if they do have success, that’s great. If they don’t, OK, they missed. But I can’t get behind the mob saying, ‘Oh, man. I can’t believe we did this.’ It’s ridiculous,” Heyward said on the Not Just Football Podcast. 

Though things did not go well in Atlanta with Smith as the head coach, he had a strong stint as an offensive coordinator with the Titans. Smith started in Nashville as a quality control coach in 2011 and worked his way up to offensive line and tight ends coach before taking over as offensive coordinator in 2019.

The Titans finished 10th and scoring and third in rushing in his first season, leaning on a strong offensive line and the talents of running back Derrick Henry. That provided the blueprint for the franchise, as they finished fourth in scoring in 2020, all the while having a below-average passing attack.

“Arthur Smith was balling out with Tennessee all those years ago. I know he didn’t have all the success in Atlanta, and everybody is talking about it. But, shoot, I’m happy about it. It’s great to have an OC with some experience. The main thing I loved about what he said was it’s all about relationships. You can have all the Xs and Os, but if you don’t have an OC who the players trust, it’s not going to work,” Heyward said.

The Steelers will hope to draw on that attack more from Smith. But Smith also faced criticism for his usage of the Falcons’ skill position players, with former first-round picks Drake London, Kyle Pitts and Bijan Robinson failing to reach their full potential. He must use their playmakers to the fullest potential for that to make sense. And he did do just that in Tennessee.