I always find it interesting how certain players become fan favorites. Oftentimes, these are offensive players who are routinely in the spotlight or who touch the ball frequently. In general, quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers are three of the most popular positions in the league. But when it comes to fan favorites among the Pittsburgh Steelers, this isn't necessarily the case.
The Steelers have seen tremendous success over the past 20 years, and some players deserve to be at the forefront. Throughout their careers in Pittsburgh, fans developed a deep passion for some of their best players.
Since the 1970s, there have almost been too many iconic figures to count, and ranking them among modern-day fan favorites would be a difficult task. Here are the biggest fan favorites of the Pittsburgh Steelers fanbase over the past 20 years.
5. Cameron Heyward
The longer Cameron Heyward progressed into his NFL career, the more fans seemed to love him. Despite being a first-round pick back in 2011, Heyward didn't start his first NFL game until year three in 2013 as he took a backseat to Brett Keisel and Ziggy Hood early on.
Once he did see the field in a larger capacity, we really didn't have that 'wow' moment. It took years of steady progression for Heyward to reach a Pro Bowl level, and he finally earned his first Pro Bowl honors at the age of 28 in 2017.
Since then (and even prior to that) Heyward has been one of the easiest players on the team to root for. His work ethic, leadership, and determination make him the model team captain and fan favorite that he is today.
For as long as he has played, Heyward hasn't had the honor of playing in the Super Bowl, as he joined the team in April after the Steelers lost the Super Bowl to the Packers in 2010. However, he's been as steady and reliable as they come. His longevity and impressive leadership led to him being one of the biggest fan favorites over the past two decades.