From Mike Prisuta,

Heyward’s expectations match Tomlin’s

Mike Tomlin’s publicly stated intention for the Steelers’ defense is to get back into the conversation as one of the best in the NFL in 2015.

That’s Cam Heyward’s intention, too.

“Agreed,” the fifth-year defensive end said.

It was during the NFL Owners Meetings in Phoenix just last month where Tomlin outlined expectations for a unit that last season was the league’s 18th-ranked defense.

“Our goal is to be the very best, or at least be in that discussion, depending on how you define it,” he said. “Obviously, the last couple of years I don’t think we’ve had a legitimate argument in that discussion. We have (had a legitimate argument) for a great number of the years I’ve been here, and that’s our intention, to be back in that discussion no matter how you shape it or cut it.”

In the first few days of Phase I of the Steelers offseason program, Heyward maintained that such lofty expectations are attainable.

“I think so,” he said. “If that’s not our motto, it should be. We’ve had a tradition of having great defenses. Now we have a great offense. Why not have a great defense, as well?

“We know our offense can put some points on the board, but I have a lot of faith in our defense. We can be the best defense. We have the guys capable of doing it.”

Read MORE.