ShareThis Page

Steelers' Heyward has high expectations

| Wednesday, June 13, 2012, 11:24 a.m.
Cameron Heyward
Getty Images
Cameron Heyward NFL

Defensive end Cameron Heyward feels more confident entering his second season with the Steelers, in part, because he's had offseason practices and minicamp to prepare.

A year ago, the NFL lockout slowed his progressed.

“When you can slow it down, you're going to have much more success,” said Heyward, a first-round selection in 2011. “I've been able to focus on my keys and execute.”

Heyward has higher expectations for himself this season.

“If there's pressure, there's pressure. I'm just going to do my job,” he said. “I don't have to be an all-star. If I'm opening the gap for somebody else — it may not show up in the stats — then we're winning. I just want to be a part of the mix, so I just have to execute.”

• The Steelers signed linebacker Brandon Johnson and long snapper Matt Katula on Wednesday. Johnson, a fifth-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in 2006, spent the past four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, playing primarily on special teams and as a backup linebacker. Katula, a seven-year veteran, played with Baltimore, New England and Minnesota Vikings. He appeared in 93 games as a long snapper but only 13 games over the past two seasons. Katula, an undrafted free agent in 2005, played the last five games of 2011 with the Vikings. Also, the Steelers placed receiver Connor Dixon (South Park) on their waived/injured list and released tight end Wes Lyons (Woodland Hills).

• Running back Isaac Redman surprised himself with how quickly he grasped the offense of new offensive coordinator Todd Haley, especially the two-minute offense. “This is a learning camp,” Redman said. “Right now, we're trying to get in a position where we're not thinking about. We're starting to get a hang of it. We're starting to grasp the two-minute drill, but I surprised myself how I've caught on to the verbiage of it.”

• Rashard Mendenhall, who suffered a torn ACL in the 2011 regular-season finale, isn't sure when he'll be ready to play this season. “I'm not looking too far down the line, but right now, I'm comfortable with my recovery,” Mendenhall said. “The healing process has been going well.”

— Ralph N. Paulk

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.