We’ve talked a lot already about the transformation that Zach Banner has undergone, not just in the past year or two, or since he’s been with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but since he has been in the NFL. His physical transformation through controlling his weight is the most obvious, but a lot more goes into it than that, and he can see it, as he heads into his first season as a starter.
How, “just by evidence of tape”, he said. “I’m a big tape guy. I watch a lot of tape. I have had a lot of regrets since senior year, junior year of college, allowing myself to become a bigger gentleman. Now, you guys are used to that”.
“But if you ever take the time to look up what I was doing when I was playing both sports, going through that hip surgery kind of changed the course of my life”, he added, referring to an injury he suffered while at USC. “If I could go back and tell the guy right now that just redshirted, who’s also about to sit out again his second year, I would tell him, ‘get with the right people’, which is what I did this offseason”.
He talked in particular about how he sought guidance into what he was putting into his body. He referred to getting some sort of bloodwork done that would help inform him about his diet, what sorts of foods might inflame his body, to best control his weight. But he especially gave thanks to Xavier Banner, his younger brother, who has been his roommate during quarantine, whom he credits for holding him accountable and staying consistent.
“He talked to me about stuff like this. Like when he’s holding the bag, when I look at him, like, ‘hey, you want to get some food’, and he’ll be like, ‘no, you’re gonna cook like you’ve been doing’”, he said. “I think when you have people around you who care about you like that, not only from the science perspective, but also from a family perspective, I think that’s the best thing. I kind of closed my circle this offseason, and I have no regrets about it, and I want to continue throughout my career doing the same thing”.
There probably isn’t a man in that locker room who better appreciates the opportunity to have a good time and make people laugh, but we’ve all seen his great capacity to be serious as well, and that has fallen under two categories this offseason.
He has been outspoken and passionate when it comes to preaching unity and togetherness pertaining to prejudice of all sorts, including speaking out against anti-Semitism. But more on topic, he is and has been for years deadly serious whenever he has been asked about his job and his goals. He has worked long and hard to earn a starting job. Now he has it. With his drive, don’t expect him to lose it.