While there are many who doubt that Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier will ever return to the football field, he continues to work relentlessly towards that target. And given the remarkable progress that the Shazier already has made since that fateful day in Cincinnati, it would be foolish for anyone to bet against him.
Returning to his former high school this week for a football camp run by his childhood friend and trainer, Jerome Howard, Shazier once again highlighted how far along he was with his recovery when demonstrating to students the correct form to use on a variety of workout equipment.
Ryan Shazier yesterday instructing young football players through back exercises at his HS alma mater Plantation High.— David Furones (@DavidFurones_) June 25, 2019
He was helping trainer and childhood friend Jerome Howard at his camp. Story dropping soon on how their bond has pushed Shazier in his comeback from injury. pic.twitter.com/ALakHsAuCk
When speaking to David Furones of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Shazier confirmed that he had been using machines like the one in the video above for quite some time, while also discussing his progress and his goals for the future.
“I try to be appreciative of every day I get, because every day I’m beating the odds. Every day I’m getting better, proving people wrong that never thought I’d be where I am. I constantly am proud of where I’m at. There are some moments that people see that are a little bigger than others. I set goals, but every day that I take another step, take another breath, I’m truly thankful and praise God for that.
“I have a lot of little moments like that to myself and my family, but my goals may be different from a lot of people’s goals. People might see me walking on the stage and be thinking, ‘Man, that’s an amazing goal. I know he’s been trying to achieve that.’ But at the end of the day, I can be trying to achieve something entirely different.”
Revealing a focus for his return that goes beyond being able to suit up for a game; not only does Shazier want to be able to play, he wants to be as great as he ever was and more.
“I still want to make the Hall of Fame, still want to be the best linebacker in the NFL. I’m not giving up on my goals, and the doctors said don’t give up on my goals, so there’s no problem with me doing that. I’m just going to keep working, and hopefully I’m going to be back as soon as I can.”
Shazier will spend the year on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list while he continues his rehabilitation in Pittsburgh, as well as providing assistance to the coaching staff and acting as a mentor to the other linebackers on the roster. And while his presence may not be directly evident on the field this season, there can be little question that his continued involvement with the team will pay dividends in 2019.