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Cam Heyward, Ben Roethlisberger Smooth over Disagreement



Steelers DL Cam Heyward

UNITY TWP., Pa — Cam Heyward and Ben Roethlisberger may be having a minor squabble over Roethlisberger’s me-type attitude comments, but there are no hard feelings between the two. Still, after Roethlisberger clarified his comments, Heyward clarified his own further.

On Thursday at training camp, Heyward spoke about some of the reactions to Roethlisberger’s comments. Moreover, he detailed his viewpoint of how a locker room should be running and what looks like a successful locker room. While Heyward was not going to spark a rebuttal to Roethlisberger’s rebuttal, he did appreciate the relationship that both still had and the conversations that occurred.

“I’m not sure there’s any more to say on it,” Heyward said. “I’m not going to have a rebuttal to his rebuttal. But I think everyone has that conversation about making sure everyone is bought in and making sure that everyone is team-first. There’s nothing more to it than that. It’s not like I spend every moment wondering if this is a team-first or me-first mentality. But I’m just focused on football.”

There is one word that Heyward leaned upon, and that was accountability. In the NFL, it is in Heyward’s eyes that accountability is just about the most important thing that a team could have in their locker room. For Heyward, it is more about the players holding each other accountable rather than the coaches having to manage all the egos in a given locker room. If the players understand the culture and check each other when they get out of bounds, that is when leadership is ingrained in the locker room.

“You address what needs to be handled,” Heyward said. “You need to make sure everyone has a common goal. Things happen, but I don’t think I go into thinking ‘oh, I’ve got to change this, and oh, I’ve got to change that’. It’s about growing these guys right now in this atmosphere and environment. We are making sure that we’re bonding and learning from each other, knowing where we made mistakes. We must hold ourselves accountable. That’s the main thing. If we can hold ourselves accountable, and we can get to the point where it’s not the coaches telling us we’re wrong, but each other, that goes a lot farther.”

It goes beyond a simple acknowledgment of the problem as well. More importantly, players have to change it. Without an actual change to anything, the problem persists. So, Heyward wants to see a legitimate change in players. That is what his message of accountability is. Perhaps, that is the key distinction in his statement while rebutting Roethlisberger.

“It’s easy to say ‘my bad, I messed up on this play’, but how do I change that,” Heyward said. “You can’t keep letting the same mistake happen again. If one guy makes a mistake, everyone should learn from that. Then, that shows we all grow.”

There are some obvious red flags that Heyward will point to for a player. Those things include a player being on their phone in meetings. Heyward even joked about Antonio Brown taking his pads off on the field against the Jets last season, comments that didn’t seem to bother Brown.

Simply put, Heyward is brushing the concerns aside. There appears to be no tough feelings with Roethlisberger. While Roethlisberger will say what he wants to say regardless, Heyward is going to be the leader of the team.

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