Pittsburgh – Conor Heyward He entered his mother’s room in their Atlanta home when his phone started ringing. He protected him from the defensive interference of his older brother, the Steelers All Pro Cam HeywardHe answered the call.
Out of curiosity, Cam stood near him and tried to find out who was on the phone with his brother, as he ran from behind turned into a narrow end of Michigan. On nearby TV, the Chicago Bears were making a 6th round pick in NFL Projectso Cam thought his brother might have been headed for the Bears.
Tried to interrupt, Connor asked who was on the phone.
“One second,” Connor said as he walked away.
But before he could inquire further, Cam’s phone rang. Mike Tomlin was the Steelers coach.
“I’m like, ‘Oh, that idiot just walked away, he didn’t tell me it was the Pittsburgh Steelers,’” Cam said on Saturday afternoon. “So that was invaluable.
“My brother thought it would be funny to make a joke. But there will be plenty of times to get some back up.”
By picking Conor Heyward in the sixth round with the 208th overall pick, the Steelers added their fourth pair of brothers to the roster, joining Conor and Cam TJ And Derek WattAnd Teryl And Tree Edmonds And Carlos And Khalil Davis.
“I honestly think when you have siblings, it makes you play a lot better,” Connor said. “They can push you to the limits that your teammates can push you to, and when your brother is tough on you, your teammates can kind of look at that and say, ‘Well, he’s tough on me.
There are currently seven sets of brothers on the NFL teams. At four pairs, the Steelers have the most by a wide margin.
“We appreciate the intangible quality,” Tomlin said, explaining the number of Steelers siblings. “When you’re dealing with one, it probably gives you an indication of the intangible quality of the other. We’re all constantly trying to measure what we can’t. Maybe that’s what drives us toward the brother game.
“The guys we’re dealing with, they’re here on their own merits and abilities. In some cases, they’re just brothers.”
Although Connor’s older brother has been with the Steelers for more than a decade, Pittsburgh coaches insisted he earned his spot on merit. Connor, ten years younger than Cam, was a prominent Swiss knife of the Swiss Army in Michigan. In his first season, Connor had 35 catches for 326 yards and two touchdowns. A year ago, he had 65 carry carts for 200 yards. Center coach Alfredo Roberts said Connor, who is 6 feet 229 pounds, would be used as a pro at the start as a court finish.
“We’ve been very fortunate to have that kind of talent and ancestry that spreads, but with Connor, I think he carries a bit of his weight and name,” Roberts said. “To be drafted into the NFL is a big thing. I think he’s bigger than a breed. I think he’s being valued and chosen because he can play.”
But being the younger brother of the well-established Stellar company has its advantages. Connor has been in the locker room with Cam a few times and has a good sense of organization, even if things would be a little different now.
“Do you think Kenny Beckett“He’s been around our facility a lot, Connor was there too,” Cam said. “If Kenny is doing the rounds, Conor gives the turns.
“I like to think that Connor was there and he saw it all. I think it’s going to be different for him this time. Being a spectator is one thing. Seeing what’s going on from afar, you don’t really understand, but when you’re in the thick of things, it makes it even more massive” .
Although Connor was not born in Pittsburgh, he has a deep connection to the city. Drafted by not only the Steelers, Cam was their late father, Craig “Ironhead” Hayward, a Pitt linebacker before being selected by the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 1988 draft.
With a significant age difference, this is the first time the duo has played on the same team, and although Cam will be there to guide Connor during his transition, there is still plenty of lively fraternal competition.
“I would have hit him if he had been on a different team,” Cam said. “Now I have to beat him up in practice.”