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2020 Offseason Questions: How Much Is Ryan Switzer’s Job Tied To Relationship With Big Ben?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the offseason, following a year in which they had high hopes for Super Bowl success, but ultimately fell short of even reaching the postseason at 8-8. It was a tumultuous season, both on the field and within the roster, and the months to follow figure to have some drama as well, especially in light of the team’s failure to improve upon the year before.

The team made some bold moves over the course of the past year, and some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago, or even at the start of the regular season. Whether due to injuries or otherwise, a lot has transpired, and we’re left to wonder how much more will change prior to September.

How will Ben Roethlisberger’s rehab progress as he winds toward recovery from an elbow injury that cost him almost the entire season? What about some of the key young players, some of whom have already impressed, others still needing quite a bit of growth? Will there be changes to the coaching staff? The front office? Who will they not retain in free agency, and whom might they bring in?

These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.

Question: How much does Ryan Switzer’s relationship with Ben Roethlisberger factor into his job security, if at all?

At least judging by the comments that we get, there aren’t many players less popular on the Steelers these days than Ryan Switzer. That is referring only to his desirability as a member of the 53-man roster, and not in any way a judgement of the type of person he is. He appears to be a very nice person; however, the general opinion seems to prefer that he not be on the roster this year, and many take his possible inclusion as a sign that things are not going well.

Even Switzer readily and fully admitted that he did not play well last season. There isn’t anybody more disappointed in his performance than he is, and he understands that he has to play a lot better. Given his extremely poor numbers, actually, it’s virtually inconceivable that he doesn’t do better.

Those who do believe that he will make the 53-man roster also tend to be in the camp who believe that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s seemingly close friendship with the fourth-year wide receiver plays a not insignificant role here.

Understandably, one might think that a team is inclined to keep wide receivers his quarterback likes to throw do. Roethlisberger did like throwing to Switzer in 2018, and it was believed that he would have a more varied and expanded role last year, since he was only acquired at the end of the preseason the prior season, but that never came to fruition with the quarterback going down…and then Switzer himself spending most of the year on injured reserve.

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