Heyward: Big Ben, Steelers Have Super Bowl In Mind

Pittsburgh was ravaged by injuries yet still finished 8-8; with Big Ben back in the fold, the Steelers have one goal for 2020: hoisting the Lombardi Trophy

Tiki and Tierney
January 29, 2020 - 4:57 pm

After losing Ben Roethlisberger to a season-ending elbow injury in Week 2, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ season went off the rails a bit. Granted, they still finished 8-8 – more than respectable given the circumstances – but getting back to the AFC Championship, or Super Bowl, was pretty much off the table.

Well, Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers want that back on the table in 2020.

“We all have that in mind,” Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward said on Tiki & Tierney. “That brings us together. He’s in a different stage of his life than a rookie. But for him, he’s had accolades. He’s got Super Bowls already. Then you start seeing, ‘Where can I differentiate myself and where can I put myself ahead of somebody else?’ Ben’s a competitor and he wants to win. He’s never lost that drive. As he’s been our leader, he’s only grown in that, and he understands, ‘I’ve got to bring guys with me to accomplish that.’”

Without Big Ben, the Steelers went from averaging 26.8 points per game in 2018 to averaging 18.1 in 2019. In other words, they went from having the sixth-best offense in the league to having the sixth-worst.

Heyward expects more production from that side of the ball in 2020. 

“Yes, I think so,” he said. “Bringing Ben back helps solidify that. You look at the way JuJu’s year went, it was inconsistent, but I look for a bounce-back year. I look for him to be even better than he was his rookie year. I look for James Conner to bounce back. I look for that offense as a whole to bounce back.”

As for former teammate Antonio Brown, Heyward remains at a loss.

“It’s two different Antonio Browns, but at the same time, it’s the same person,” he said. “It’s scary, it’s shocking – you start thinking about ‘What should I have done more?’ But it’s a two-way street. All I want to do is see him succeed. I want him to lead a good life. I want him to be a good father. Through everything, I’ve always thought about these children and how their lives are going to be affected by it. Whether he needs to pick up the phone from somebody else, or me, I want him to one day say, ‘I’ve had my mistakes, but I bounced back.’ We’re all looking for AB to respond from this because it’s not looking good.”