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Steelers Star DT Cam Heyward Sticks Up for Colts Fellow All-Pro Quenton Nelson After ‘Anonymous NFL Coach Quote’

NFL: NOV 10 Rams at Steelers Photo by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers star defensive tackle Cameron Heyward has stuck up for Indianapolis Colts All-Pro offensive guard Quenton Nelson after a peculiar anonymous quote from an NFL defensive coach said the following (per a recent ESPN ranking that also had Nelson as the league’s best interior offensive lineman):

Added an NFL defensive coach: “Ever since I saw Cam Heyward whoop up on him, I’ve never looked at him the same.”

Heyward responded Sunday night as follows via his personal Twitter account:

Now, from one fellow All-Pro to another here, ‘greatness respects greatness’—which is always refreshing to see among top NFL competitors.

What is equally refreshing is to see others call out the ‘anonymous’ NFL defensive coach’s comment as pure rubbish:

Did Heyward get the better of Nelson that day? Potentially.

However, one bad game doesn’t dictate a future Hall of Fame career, as an offensive lineman can lose 5-10 snaps during the course of a game—and that can be the difference between a great and horrible performance—as the margin for defeat is rather small (with mistakes and lapses clearly magnified).

For perspective, former Colts’ sackmaster Dwight Freeney would routinely take Baltimore Ravens’ All-Pro offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden’s lunch money off the edge—spin moving him into quicksand, but at the end of the day, Ogden was still an NFL Hall of Famer based on the rest of his high level football production and overall Canton-worthy resume.

Let’s look at the complete body of work for Nelson over the span of two seasons—which is consistently elite and nothing short of dominant.

Perhaps most importantly, Nelson would tell you that he didn’t perform well enough because the Colts ultimately lost 26-24 in Week 9 last season at Pittsburgh (and has already blamed himself for allowing starter Jacoby Brissett to suffer a game-ending knee injury in the pocket).

The good news though is that Nelson has a redemption game of sorts currently scheduled for Week 16 (12/27) against Heyward and the notoriously stingy Pittsburgh Steelers’ front seven at Heinz Field this upcoming season.

Regardless of what happens, both All-Pros have mutual respect and admiration for the other stalwart facing off head-to-head in the trenches—as well as a no nonsense policy for ill-advised anonymous coach comments.