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Knowing what to focus on

Winning is all that matters or It’s only the result that counts: If there’s one thing defensive tackle Cameron Heyward has learned in his 11 NFL seasons, it’s that no matter how you win, it’s just that you win.

Sunday’s win over the Tennessee Titans had its ups and downs, but in the end it was a win.

The defense allowed 201 rushing yards and had the ball almost twice as much as the Steelers, but the defense has always limited the Titans to just 13 points, which greatly increases the odds of winning.

“It was the good, the bad and the ugly,” Heyward said. “The worst was the 200 yards. The bad was the possession time. The good was 13 points. Our pass defense was good. And the really good was to pick up the ‘W’. That’s the ultimate goal. You take it all. Together. You can’t take one without the other. We just have to be a defense that gets better. “

The victory over the Titans keeps the Steelers alive in the AFC North playoff hunt, but there can be no disappointment going forward.

“The ball is in our court,” Heyward said. “It’s what we do that matters. I’ve never seen a team that has been crowned champions that they only watch because they won nicely or won ugly. We just have to find out. ways to do it. It doesn’t. must be pretty. But there is a lot of work that needs to be done. And I will never look at this or gloss it over and I can’t wait to get there . “

That next stop is this Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs come into the game as the best offense in the AFC, they are certainly a heavier team with quarterback Patrick Mahomes at the helm. But with several players on the reserve / COVID-19 roster, including tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill, Heyward predicts the Chiefs will run the ball more, but still go with what makes them so effective. .

“It’s a league of copiers,” Heyward said. “If you don’t do something right a team is definitely going to exploit that. I think we’ll have a dose of racing. But at some point you’re not going to change your whole personality. There are going to be things that you do. you’re going to do, but we need to clean up some things. If they run away, we need to be able to stop it and move them on. “

That something else would be Mahones and the touch he has with the passing game, something Heyward was delighted with.

“There’s not an angle on the court that he can’t throw, and he can charge you different volumes,” Heyward said. “We don’t say enough about the skills he has, but about the mobility, the strength of the arms, the precision. He’s the elite quarterback who can do it all.”

Heyward was elected for his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl and fifth overall, when the teams were announced Wednesday night. It is an honor that he does not take lightly.

“It’s great to be recognized,” Heyward said. “I work my cock. I remember years when it was hard to get in and I always wanted to be a pro Bowler. This is just a chapter in the book. It’s not something. that I can just hang my hat on and say the season is done. There is a lot more to be accomplished and I hope I’m still writing my story. “