The Pittsburgh Steelers seemed to know that they would be getting in Ryan Switzer a player who would be able to add more than just return ability. The second-year wide receiver played just 91 snaps over 16 games during his rookie season with the Dallas Cowboys, but he is already halfway there in four with the Steelers, playing 48 snaps with nearly a career-high 21 on Sunday.
While the team talked about the need to address the returner position after they traded a fifth-round pick in exchange for Switzer and a sixth-round pick, they have not been hesitant to get him involved on offense, either. He was targeted on the first drive of the season—though he dropped it.
He has gone on to catch 11 of his 12 other targets that have followed, and that has come with his continued maturation in the offense, having been brought in only in late August. He admitted during a sit-down interview with the team’s website that that was and continues to be a struggle, but that it’s getting better as the weeks go by.
“It was a little bit more challenging early on because I didn’t have the install days in the summer or in training camp. These guys were [already] getting ready for a season, so I kind of had to do a lot—I had to do a lot of studying on my own”, he said.
“The trust factor is very important in terms of creating a role for yourself offensively. It’s hard to create trust in a short amount of time”, Switzer added of his early experiences in Pittsburgh. “But I felt like I’ve come in and I’ve done a good job of knowing the plays and knowing what I’m supposed to do and [where I’m supposed to be]. Hopefully I can continue to earn this coaching staff’s trust, and Ben’s trust. I took a step in the right direction this week and I’m looking forward to down the road”.
Missi Matthews asked the wide receiver about how one goes about earning a quarterback’s trust, and he suggested that it first comes down to trusting in yourself. “Me coming in being a young guy, really this is my first season playing offense, I didn’t play much offense in Dallas last year, but I’m a receiver…I know how to play the position”, he told her.
“In order to earn a guy like Ben’s trust, you’ve got to know what to do, you’ve got to know when he calls on you you’ve got to—the experience of proving him right has got to be there”, Switzer went on. “I enjoy playing with him. He’s a very smart guy. He sees the field so well and he distributes the ball to a lot of different guys. And with Ben, I’ve noticed in the short time that I’ve been here, everyone has a chance to get it, no matter the play”.