Cam Heyward is yet another example of why the Pro Bowl is laughable.
Heyward earned All-Pro honors after leading his team in sacks. Curiously, the Pro Bowl electorate of coaches, players and fans chose not to elect Heyward.
It sounds, however, like All-Pro was enough to satisfy Heyward.
“I was not expecting that,” Heyward told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, adding that he was “a little bit shocked” when Mike Tomlin made the announcement.
“I’m very humbled and grateful to get it, but I can’t do it without the teammates I have. It’s an honor, but it’s the guys around me who make me good.”
Fifty media members who regularly cover the league vote on the roster, unlike the Pro Bowl; players, fans and coaches each control one-third of that vote.
Heyward was a surprise snub there, even with a strong group of AFC linemen. Still — some All-Pro love is a pretty great consolation, if not an outright bigger deal.
“Obviously, I care,” Heyward said in December after the Pro Bowl rosters were announced. “You want to be recognized, but it’s not my choice.”
What helped Heyward this time: He counted in All-Pro voting as an interior lineman, noted the Post-Gazette. In Pro Bowl voting, as a 3-4 end, he was grouped in with 4-3 ends who typically have higher profiles as pass rushers. Combine that tweak with a career high in sacks, and you’ve got an end result that Heyward spent years pursuing.
“Every year is different,” Heyward said. “I know the numbers are definitely different. Whether I was deserving or not [in previous years], I don’t know. To this point, this has been my best year.