PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro defensive tackle Cameron Heyward has been selected as the 2022 Good Guy Award winner by the Professional Football Writers of America.
Heyward, the 18th Good Guy Award winner, is the second member of the Steelers franchise to get the award, joining Jerome Bettis, who won the inaugural honor in 2005. The award is given to an NFL player for his qualities and professional style in helping pro football writers do their jobs.
Heyward did not miss a media availability during the 2021 season, and those who covered the Steelers noted he doesn’t avoid answering tough questions. He was cited for consistently going “above and beyond” to build an honest rapport with those who cover the team.
“We give out the Chief Award — named after team patriarch Art Rooney — for cooperation with the media every year, and it got to the point where we had to alter the rules to not allow back-to-back winners,” said PFWA Pittsburgh chapter president Mark Kaboly of The Athletic. “If not, Cam Heyward would’ve won every award since. Instead, he’s won a record three in a span of eight seasons.
“He never turned anybody away. When the locker rooms would open after games, the entire media group would go right for Heyward, win or lose. When COVID hit, he never missed a week talking to the media, and it never seemed like a chore for him. He enjoyed being the voice of the team, and he used it to get his message across through the media, especially in tough times. … He sets the tone in the locker room, and his teammates tend to follow his lead.”
During the 2021 season, Heyward started all 17 games with 89 total tackles (53 solo), 10 sacks, one interception, nine passes defensed and one forced fumble with a fumble recovery.
Other nominees for the Good Guy Award were Washington wide receiver Terry McLaurin, Denver safety Justin Simmons and Cincinnati tight end C.J. Uzomah, now with the Jets.