If you are a lover of the Combine, then you are probably familiar with Mark Gorscak. You should at least know the name if you are an avid fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who has been a scout for the organization for some time. He has served as the ‘starter’ for the 40-yard dash event at the Combine, and he makes sure players are doing it right, which gets him his share of facetime.
In fact, he got facetime courtesy of the team’s website last year, sitting down for an interview with Missi Matthews during which he talked about the notoriety that he has gained thanks to the televised Combine and the function that he serves in the most high-profile event.
“You got to look at it from the Steelers point of view”, he told Matthews in 2017. “You’re on the floor and get to know all those players down there. If there’s any trouble, if anything goes wrong, or if anything goes great, you’re going to know about it. It’s valuable to us. And that’s why I did it”.
He will be getting a lot of facetime tomorrow, however, but it won’t be about him. It will be about Ryan Shazier.
Gerry Dulac for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported last night that the veteran scout is going to be featured on the NFL Network’s broadcast of the 40-yard dash event on Sunday, when the linebackers are being tested, during which he will be wearing a #Shalieve jersey in honor of Shazier.
There is a purpose to this. The shirts have been manufactured in conjunction with Shop 412, a local company, who, as Dulac writes, “partnered with Shazier to develop the #Shalieve shirts that will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania and spinal research”.
“I wanted to do something to bring attention to his cause”, Gorscak told Dulac.
Shazier, the Steelers’ 2014 first-round draft pick, has made the Pro Bowl in each of the past two seasons and maintains that his goal is to reach the Hall of Fame. That has not been altered since suffering a severe spinal injury that left him immobilize in his lower half.
He has undergone intensive rehabilitation for the roughly three months since the injury occurred, telling his teammate Roosevelt Nix in an interview that his current regimen sees him working on his rehab for two hours a day, five days a week.
Shazier has made important strides and is working on slowly regaining the full capacity of walking. He has demonstrated in public a number of times now that he is capable of standing on his own, which has brought joy to those who have had him in their thoughts these past months.
During his interview with Nix, and in a social media post after he first left the hospital, Shazier talked about how much it meant to him to have the tremendous support he has had, and called his Steelers teammates and the organization his family. This is just another example of that above-and-beyond connection.