Pittsburgh Steelers second-year linebacker Ryan Shazier spent some time training with veteran linebacker James Harrison out in Arizona this offseason and according to a Tuesday report by Chris Bradford of the Beaver County Times, the former first-round draft pick out of Ohio State is noticeably bigger than he was last season. In fact, Shazier reportedly has said that he’s added seven pounds during the offseason and that he currently weighs 233 pounds.
Shazier’s rookie season unfortunately didn’t go as planned as knee and ankle injuries resulted in him playing in only nine games and logging just a mere 260 snaps on defense. Those injuries started during training camp and while he did make a great first impression in his first preseason game once he was deemed healthy enough to play, those snaps that he played against the Buffalo Bills were perhaps his best of 2014.
“This is definitely a chance to wipe the slate and start off healthy and get back on point,” Shazier said Tuesday after practice, according to Bradford. “Last year, it was kind of a disappointment for me because I felt like I could have brought more to the team.”
Now that Shazier has his rookie season behind him, he’s back working again as the starter alongside Lawrence Timmons in the Steelers defense just like he was at this same time last year. This time around, however, his head isn’t likely spinning as much even though he’s probably having to adjust to whatever changes new defensive coordinator Keith Butler is implementing.
Above everything else, Shazier is just looking forward to showing the Steelers in 2015 that they were smart to invest a first-round selection in him.
“I definitely have something to prove to my teammates,” Shazier said. “I’m just trying to help us get to the next level and get a seventh Super Bowl. I have to prove myself to my teammates, and that’s all that matters.”