I don’t know if Pittsburgh Steelers defensive linemen Cameron Heyward needed any extra motivation for this upcoming season, but it appears he found some thanks to the national media.

Heyward, a five-time Pro-Bowler, recently appeared on a podcast with ESPN’s Mina Kimes and he revealed that he has some issues with all the praise that Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald receives.

It’s not so much that Donald receives praise, it’s that Heyward doesn’t feel like he gets the same amount of hype. And Heyward thinks he should.

steelers
Jan 17, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald (99) rushes past Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum (68) during the second half of an NFC Wild Card playoff football game at SoFi Stadium. The Rams defeated the Cardinals 34-11. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

“It pisses me off, hands down,” Heyward said. “I think I’m one of, if not the, most complete player at my position. I know Aaron is a really talented guy. But [I] don’t just shy away and say, Oh, it’s Aaron Donald and everybody else. S—, It’s Cam and Aaron and everybody else.”

Heyward is an elite player, but Donald is in a league of his own. He has 30 more career sacks than Heyward in three fewer seasons. Donald is truly a transcendent defensive lineman that’s one of the best players of his generation.

However, I don’t blame Heyward for feeling slighted. It doesn’t matter if he’s right or wrong — what matters is the extra motivation he gets from feeling that way. It’s not unusual for the best athletes in the world to come up with reasons to feel slighted. It was true of Michael Jordan, so why shouldn’t Heyward see if it works for him as well?

Maybe all the love from the media for Donald will inspire Heyward to have a career season with the Steelers in 2022.

Featured image via USA TODAY Sports