Some of the trades Kevin Colbert has made over the last decade simply haven’t worked out. Brandon Boykin? Looked good at the time. Real good. But it fell flat on its face. Justin Gilbert? Worth a shot, I guess. But definitely didn’t work out. J.J. Wilcox? Swing and a miss.
Acquiring Ryan Switzer might not turn out to be a home run but it’s a double into the gap. He’s been an asset to the team as a returner, receiver, and even occasional runner. It’s been a bumpy road for him, traded twice since entering the NFL in 2017, but in his mind, Pittsburgh couldn’t have been a better landing spot.
Speaking with Steelers.com’s Missi Matthews, Switzer explained how he found out he was traded.
“I got pulled out of a team meeting,” he said. “Went upstairs to meet with [Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie] and he told me I was coming to Pittsburgh. And honestly, I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I was ecstatic to come here. Be back on the east coast, be back to a town and a city I’m familiar with.”
Switzer was born and raised in Charleston, West Virginia, just a little south of Pittsburgh before attending college at North Carolina. Since then, he’s been away from that part of the country. Drafted by Dallas last year and then traded to Oakland early in the offseason. Pittsburgh isn’t just a new team. It’s coming home.
While he praised all his teammates for welcoming him, he made special mention of one coach he’s reunited with. Assistant Blaine Stewart, hired by the Steelers this year.
“I’m real close with Blaine Stewart. Blaine and I grew up together. He’s from the Morgantown area. So I’ve known Blaine for awhile now. He’s been a big help.”
But Switzer also made sure to credit everyone for making him feel like apart of the team, especially for someone in his shoes, sent over shortly before the season started.
“The team in general has been very welcoming. They’ve been great. The guys have been great, the receiver room has been fantastic. I’ve made friends quick. Getting along with everybody. They’ve made the transition smooth for my wife and I.”
As we wrote yesterday, Switzer has been used like Le’Veon Bell. While the numbers aren’t gaudy, he’s performing well in what he’s asked to do while offering steady, big-play-potential return work for the first time in what feels like forever.