Cameron Heyward: T.J. Watt "Better Get Defensive Player of the Year."

Noah Strackbein

PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers defense was recognized once again as T.J. Watt won the AFC Defensive Player of the Month in November. The third-year outside linebacker is making a strong case for himself as Defensive Player of the Year with 12.5 sacks, 5 forced fumbles and 3 fumble recoveries this season. 

For his teammates, they've recognized Watt's performance this season. Bud Dupree gave a quick but direct statement on Twitter following his teammate's award. A message much of the Steelers locker room has given when talking about Watt. 

For defensive captain Cameron Heyward, Watt winning the award was nothing of a surprise. The Steelers have fought their way back from an 0-3 start with three different quarterbacks behind center this season. Much of the credit has been handed to this unit, with Watt's name being high on that list. 

"Man, it's not just me, we have a lot of guys that are held up there in the ideas, but I love that at the beginning of the year everyone was counting us out, everyone was throwing in the towel," Heyward said about the Steelers season comeback. "Not a lot of teams come back from 0-3. So, we have to keep answering the call and make people keep regretting it." 

As for the games the Steelers lost earlier in the season - before their 7-2 stretch - Heyward knows they dropped games they shouldn't have. With a playoff spot looking brighter with each week, Pittsburgh could get a chance to meet some of their earlier losses in the postseason. Something Heyward is looking forward to. 

"I'll catch them on primetime TV and say 'oh we played them. We let those slip away,'" Heyward said. "But those teams are doing well. I want a chance to get those teams back."

And as for Watt winning Defensive Player of the Month, Heyward knows there's more. In fact, he expects it. 

"He better get Defensive Player of the Year," he said. 

Comments (1)
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Johnny Football
Johnny Football

Best player on this team, 12.5 sacks and he better be in the conversation for DPOY.