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‘You’re A Hero Now:’ Cameron Heyward Excited To Work With Patrick Queen


The Pittsburgh Steelers made a big splash this offseason by signing All-Pro linebacker Patrick Queen away from their division rival Baltimore Ravens, and Steelers veteran defensive lineman Cameron Heyward is a big fan of the move. Heyward called Queen a “hero” for leaving the Ravens to come join the Steelers.

“I think I read on Twitter, he views himself as a villain now. I’m like, ‘Nah bro, you’re a hero now, you were a villain all this time, you just became a hero.’ So I’m excited,” Heyward said on The Rich Eisen Show today.

Heyward said that Queen being a three-down linebacker will make the Steelers more versatile and his ability to get downhill will help them in an AFC North that’s loaded with running back talent.

“I think having a guy like that who can play the run, play the pass, he’s a three-down linebacker who allows the team to just be more flexible and more versatile in his approach,” Heyward said. “And man, I just love the way he’s gonna meet dudes in the hole; we have some great running backs in our division.”

Of course, Queen is a hero in Pittsburgh but will be a villain in Baltimore, a role he said he’s going to embrace.

With Nick Chubb returning from his knee injury next season and Derrick Henry signing with the Ravens, there are two elite running backs the Steelers will face two times a year each. Queen is coming off his best season yet, finishing 2023 with 133 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, six passes defensed and an interception. The Steelers were decimated with injuries at inside linebacker last season, and the position was a priority to fix this offseason. While the team will still look to add depth, bringing in the best free agent middle linebacker available in Queen was a really good and aggressive move out of the Pittsburgh front office.

As Heyward said, having someone who can kind of do it all in the middle of the field allows the defense to become more versatile. Queen is someone you can at least rely on in coverage, and after watching the makeshift linebacker room get beaten time and time again by tight ends last season, that’s something the Steelers need so they don’t have to always dedicate a defensive back to covering the position.

Queen really helps solidify the middle of the Steelers defense, and it’s one that’s going to be good next season with a fully healthy Heyward and Minkah Fitzpatrick along with T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith doing what they’ve been doing setting the edge and getting after the quarterback. There’s still work to be done to fill it out, but Queen’s addition is one that could push the Pittsburgh defense among the best in the NFL.

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