Even though he is still a relative newcomer to the Pittsburgh Steelers, third-year wide receiver Ryan Switzer has been something of an ambassador for the team this offseason, making more media rounds than perhaps any other player, whether it be on the sports show circuit or, most recently, sitting down with Kristine Leahy on Fair Game.
In a fairly wide-ranging interview, in which he revealed that he blamed his fiancé (then his girlfriend) for drinking Mitchell Trubisky’s chocolate milk, which got her yelled at by the former North Carolina quarterback, Leahy asked Switzer to comment on a number of topics, including the drama that really started to unfold late in the season and bled into the offseason.
“I wasn’t there…the only Steelers that I know was this year, and we didn’t make the playoffs”, he admitted as he tried to draw comparisons between the team of 2018 and of the previous years. “I think they hadn’t missed the playoffs in five or six years previous, so I don’t know those teams. I just know from the outside looking in how strong of a history Pittsburgh’s had. I grew up watching them. Obviously I’ve seen the championships they’ve won. I don’t think Coach T’s had a losing season since he’s been at Pittsburgh”.
“I don’t know those yet”, he went on. “But I do know that when I walked into the locker room, you just got kinda this vibe that there’s a ‘Pittsburgh Way’. It’s just different”.
Switzer was traded to the Steelers from the Oakland Raiders in late August after the Raiders previously acquired him in April earlier that same offseason from the Dallas Cowboys, who drafted him in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
In many ways he ultimately became the team’s number three receiver last season behind Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster, recording the second-most receptions and receiving yards even though second-round rookie James Washington saw more playing time.
Leahy asked Switzer what he observed in the relationship between Brown and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger that he might be able to attribute to the deterioration of their relationship that the wide receiver cited—whether honestly or not—as one of the reasons he wanted to be traded.
“I don’t know if it was as much tension as just, you know, there wasn’t any backlash”, he said. “All I saw was, before games, you see them go out there and AB’s got 180 yards and two touchdowns. The type of plays they were scoring on were plays that you don’t score on unless you and your quarterback are in sync”.
Not exactly an answer to rock the boat, but then again it wouldn’t have been advisable for him to say much of anything else. He has only been with the organization for about half a year and they added two wide receivers who could be ahead of him on the depth chart this year in spite of the loss of Brown, so there’s no sense in giving the team any reason to part with him.