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Connor Heyward Earning Trust of Steelers Quarterbacks Quickly



Connor Heyward

PITTSBURGH — When the Steelers drafted Connor Heyward in the 2022 NFL Draft, there was thought by many that Heyward may simply be a fullback. However, he immediately came out working as a tight end and an H-Back. While Heyward did finally get some fullback reps early in the past week, tight end coach Alfredo Roberts has been attached to the hip of Heyward throughout training camp.

It has shone through in a positive light, as well. Heyward has caught everything that has come his way. From balls that were routine catches to seemingly easy catches in traffic, Heyward has made it happen. That impressive trait in his game has not gone unnoticed by the people at training camp. Heyward is hard on himself as a whole, so his view of his first preseason was a bit hard, but Heyward was a standout performer. Even in the third phase of the game, Heyward was a monster on special teams.

“I think I had three tackles, but I should have five, but that’s growing pains,” Heyward said. “As a unit, on punt and kickoff, we did really well. But I can always grow and build, and that’s what I did today. I got back to the drawing board.”

Heyward has earned the trust of the quarterbacks already. So much so in fact, that Kenny Pickett persuaded Roberts to get Heyward in on the two-point conversion against the Seahawks. Heyward specifically told Pickett that he would have to coax Roberts to do that. But the connection between the two rookies has grown strong enough for Pickett to rely upon the dependable Heyward’s hands.

“You know, we always rep with each other before and after practice,” Heyward said. “I always hit him up if I have a question about anything. He always helps me. We were about to run that play, though, and he wanted me at the Y. But I told him that he had to go to Coach Roberts. You know, we just made it work.”

Pickett backed up that trust and more. With his strong hands and consistent playmaking ability, Heyward has become more than just another tight end. He has become Pickett’s security blanket. That is why in that critical moment, Pickett called for Heyward to be the man on the field.

“I wanted Connor in there,” Pickett said. “That’s one of the guys I rep with a lot. I have a lot of trust in him. He’s a great play-maker. I made sure he was out there for that one.”

Heyward has been able to rack up the reps with some injuries in the tight end room early on. If he continues to catch everything thrown his way, Heyward will only continue to get more playing time. He has been dependable enough to where the Steelers may have to work him into game plans even in the regular season.

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