Ryan Shazier continues to succeed after his career-ending spinal injury. On top of opening his own business and writing a book, Shazier has dabbled in media as an analyst and commenter. In a tweet he sent out Saturday, Shazier shared he recently went through the NFL’s Broadcasting Bootcamp.
Shazier’s caption reads:
“Had a great time being surrounded by friends and old teammates at the NFL’s Broadcast Bootcamp. The league does a great job of empowering players to pursue their post-game passions with unwavering support and guidance from the field to the screen.”
This bootcamp is one of many ways players can help transition after their careers end. Shazier has been officially retired for nearly 2.5 years, holding a news conference in September of 2020, but he’s still connected to the league. Pittsburgh has its own liaison programs to help players make the switch from their playing days to moving on with life’s work. After stepping down as GM, Kevin Colbert now helps handle that role, detailing as much in a recent interview with Armstrong Neighborhood Channel.
“It’s a program that we started with the Steelers and it’s specific to Steelers’ retirees, Steelers’ alumni,” Colbert said. “Where we try to help them transition to life after football. No matter how long a guy had in his career, there’s still challenges that they meet when they move into that next phase of life. So we’re just there trying to aid them, give them some direction, and be an ear when they need somebody to talk to.”
Clearly, Shazier’s transition was under the most unusual and harrowing circumstances. Paralyzed on the field against the Cincinnati Bengals, he had to learn how to walk again, beating the low odds doctors gave him, all while grappling with the end of his football career. But he’s thrived through adversity and accomplished so much after his injury.
The bootcamp isn’t just for retired players either. Active players like LB Marcus Allen and DL Cam Heyward, who has carved out a regular media role with his own podcast, have gone through the league’s program in past years.
Shazier already has experience in the booth, calling games ranging from Kent State football to the Fan Controlled Football League, but this bootcamp helped him sharpen his skills and is a great opportunity to network and connect.