Three Pittsburgh Steelers have been named to this year’s Pro Bowl roster but at least one name on their roster was conspicuously missing.
Yesterday the NFL announced the players who made the cut. The Steelers’ offense was well-represented by the likes of Ben Roethlisberger, David DeCastro and Antonio Brown.
Roethlisberger was an easy choice for voters. Not only does he lead the league in yards per attempt, but he’s also number one in explosive pass plays. DeCastro’s run blocking has helped both Le’Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams spring loose for some amazing runs and his pass protection is solid. Brown is the most entertaining player in the NFL to watch and even if he didn’t catch a single ball he probably would have made the cut.
As with every year, there were some very deserving candidates who should have been named to the team but for one reason or another got left out. Pittsburgh might have one of the worst snubs in the league on their team. You won’t have to guess who it is, but we’re going to tell you anyway.
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His name is Cameron Heyward. He is one of the league’s best young defensive linemen and he just got royally screwed.
Pro Bowl voting is determined by a consensus of fans, players and coaches. That means this was a failure on at least three different levels, because Heyward should be playing in Hawaii and there’s no argument you can make that will convince us otherwise.
So far this season Heyward has tallied seven sacks and 47 tackles. He is possibly the best combination pass rusher and run stopper in the AFC not named J.J. Watt. If that’s not enough to impress you, consider the fact that Heyward also has had a hand in blocking field goals as well.
It’s more than his raw numbers that stand out. Heyward plays every snap with the kind of effort that inspires people to be their best. Watch him chase down Frank Gore on this run:
That’s what we call determination and it’s a quality that the NFL supposedly values.
Heyward has not missed a game in five years, so the good news is he will probably get plenty more chances, still this is an epic snub.