No longer the big, strong and bulky players who are nothing but defenders who fill holes and make bone-crushing tackles. Instead, athleticism and sideline-to-sideline speed is what was required at the position.
Ryan Shazier embodied that mold of linebacker.
Shazier was Superman on the field, but in December of 2017 in Cincinnati when Shazier was left motionless from the waist down, everything changed. Shazier was told he wouldn’t walk again, yet he did. He repeatedly said he was determined to get back on the field.
Many fans were devout in their hope Shazier wouldn’t return. Rather just be happy to have the ability to walk, and live a more normal lifestyle. Throughout it all, Shazier continued to progress.
But on Wednesday, Shazier posted on his verified Twitter account he has decided to retire from football.
Let him explain his reasoning in the video below:
Shazier is currently going back to Ohio State University to finish up his degree, and made it very clear in his video he wants to see what the world has to offer him outside of the world of football.
He is stepping away, but knows the game will always be there for him if/when he wants to return.
He also knows the Pittsburgh Steelers will always be there to help him in any way. He thanked Art Rooney II, Mike Tomlin and the entire Steelers organization for everything they’ve done for him since being drafted. How they never left his side throughout his rehabilitation. You can tell he is grateful for everything the Steelers have done for him.
As for where life takes Shazier now? That is anyone’s guess. He, his wife and two sons will be seeing what unfolds in the future, but if fans have learned anything about Shazier it is how he shouldn’t be counted out of anything.
We here at BTSC thank Shazier for all the memories, and wish him nothing but the best moving forward. Once a Steeler, always a Steeler.
We recently had a one-on-one interview with Shazier, and you can here that interview in the audio player below: