Ryan Shazier certainly offered an abundance of information on his own recovery and his role within the Pittsburgh Steelers organization earlier this week on Pat McAfee’s podcast. He revealed his goals to make the Hall of Fame and shared optimism in a potential return but lost in the shuffle may be the comments that Shazier made on the outlook of the Steelers’ organization.
Shazier was asked for his thoughts and feelings on the team and how they may fare this season. With a rocky and bumpy off season, in which the team said good bye to many talented superstars such as Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, in the distance, the Steelers’ linebacker still offered a lot of confidence in his team.
“I placed a bet with my family that we’ll win the division. A lot of my good friends like the hype with all the other teams but me personally, I love what we got. I love the mindset that we have & I really feel that we gon’ win the championship, especially the division,” Shazier told McAfee.
The linebacker’s comments about the team’s mindset seem to be a consistent theme this offseason as the team has almost rebuilt itself on a new identity. With the departures of Brown and Bell, the team has said goodbye to two talented players but hope the moves will pay dividends in the locker room. The Steelers hope to have moved away from the drama and Kardashian-like atmosphere that has clouded the team over the past few seasons and instead aim towards a focused-on field product.
Winning the Super Bowl and even the division will no easy task for the Steelers. The main competitors will be the newly constructed Cleveland Browns, who have added Odell Beckham Jr. as a target for Baker Mayfield and the Baltimore Ravens, who will now enter year two with athletic quarterback Lamar Jackson under center. Should the Steelers manage to win the division, they will likely have to navigate through the likes of the Tom Brady led New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs, who will have Madden cover boy Patrick Mahomes leading their offense.
As for Shazier, he will likely either be on the sideline or in the press box as he will be on the team’s Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list for a second consecutive season as he recovers from a spinal injury. The two-time Pro Bowl linebacker has worked in numerous roles for the organization since his injury and will continue to mentor the members of the defense as he aims for a return to the field in the distant future.