Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier spoke in public for the first time since his December injury earlier today, briefly expressing his thanks to everybody who has been supportive of his recovery before turning it over to questions from the media.
He was very forthcoming in his answers and had a lot of interesting things to say, including the fact that his dream remains to return to the NFL, and that his next ‘first down’ is to be able to walk without a cane or other assistance for longer stretches of time.
Among the many other things that he talked about was what his day-to-day life was like right now, why he remained in Pittsburgh for his recovery, and how he spends his time at the Steelers’ facilities, the two of those being tied together.
“I feel like it’s important to say [in Pittsburgh] because it makes me feel like I’m still myself, feel like I’m still at home”, Shazier said. “I honestly felt like being here made it more comfortable for me, just being able to see my teammates practice” and “learn the ins and outs of the Steelers organization”.
Another important factor in his decision to have his recovery process take place in Pittsburgh is because it gives his teammates greater access to him to visit more frequently, he said. He is still employed by the Steelers as an athlete, even if currently on the Reserve/PUP List, and it’s important for him to feel like he still holds that status.
Mike Prisuta asked Shazier if he was going to have a ‘defined role’ during the season, but the linebacker said that is yet to be determined. “Right now”, he told the reporter, I’m just taking it one day at a time”. “Right now I’m not really doing as much scouting” since the draft ended, he said, but he usually arrives at the building at about seven in the morning and goes to bed at around 10 at night or later.
“I’ll come in, watch film, probably do half with the scouts and then half with the coaching staff when they’re breaking down the film from the old season and figuring out the stuff that we’re going to do for the new season”, he said.
“Then I’ll be here, work out for about two hours. Right now I’ll watch practice, but before we were practicing I would go to the training facility and I would be there from about two to four. Then after that I’d go home, rest for about an hour, and then my trainer comes over and helps me do some extra stuff”. That “extra stuff”, he said, helps him build his body back up.
As we’ve known for some time now, Shazier is not going anywhere, and he is going to remain an active member of the team, though we don’t know quite what role that will be yet during the regular season. He’s gotten himself involved in many different aspects, and I’m sure a clearer picture of where he can be the most help will take shape as we continue to move along.