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Pass-Rush Specialist Works with Three Steelers

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Cam Heyward

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward, nose tackle Keeanu Benton and outside linebacker Nick Herbig recently got in work with pass-rush specialist Dez Walker in Pittsburgh. Former Steelers defensive lineman and current free agent Tyson Alualu was also at the session.

Heyward used to work with pass-rush specialist Chuck Smith in the offseason, but that changed in 2023 when Smith accepted a job with the Baltimore Ravens as their outside linebackers coach. It appears that Heyward orchestrated the workout with Walker.

Walker recently posted a clip of Heyward working on his pass-rush moves with him.

On X Tuesday night, Walker shared a clip of him training Heyward, Benton and Herbig.

“Had a great week of work down in Pittsburgh.. The way these guys work together & push each other is phenomenal. Always great to be lead by one of the best to Ever do it @CamHeyward
🦍.! Great session much luv to all you guys @keeanu_benton @nickherbig_,” Walker wrote.

 

Heyward is a three-time first-team All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowler. He’s recorded 80.5 career sacks, which is tied for second on the Steelers all-time list. Heyward, 35, wants to play for at least three more years, so he still has the potential to bolster his case for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

If he can win a Super Bowl, earn another Pro Bowl or first-team All-Pro, and record 20 more sacks, he should be a shoo-in for the HOF.

Benton and Herbig both had impressive rookie seasons, and should take a big leap in 2024. Many think Benton is in prime position for a breakout year.

Pro Football Focus and Bucky Brooks of NFL.com named Benton to their All-Breakout Teams.

“Benton was inconsistent in run defense last year but still recorded six PFF-run-defense game grades above 70.0. He should be able to improve on that in his second NFL season. He was a useful pass-rusher, too, notching an 8.5% pressure rate,” Gordon McGuinness of PFF wrote.

Mike Tomlin thinks Benton can be dominant sooner rather than later.

“It’s interesting, I just had an exit interview with him,” Tomlin said during his season-ending press conference in January. “I’m really excited about the prospects of his future. He’s really talented. I think he’s capable of being dominant sooner rather than later. And so, the question is how quickly can we make that happen and what are our roles in doing so. And so, we just had a real good conversation about what that looks like foundationally and how do we build.”

Steelers defensive coordinator Teryl Austin has high expectations for Herbig in Year 2.

“Yes. And it’s not so much in the rush and how he’s rushing but I think it’s his approach to the game and what he knows. You know, it’s always a little different. You get used to NFL football first year, second year, you get a jump because now you kind of understand the game. And that’s what I see with him. He understands what’s going on around and it’s not just hey, what’s my position. He can understand and he has a good feel for the game. And so, I’m excited about Nick and I think, you know, when you look at what he did last year, and the limited amount of reps he played, his impact was pretty good. And so, if he’s playing more this year, it wouldn’t surprise me and I wouldn’t be like, oh, we got to get the other guys back in. I would be trustful of what he’s going to do in the game,” Austin said.