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Ryan Shazier and the Steelers continue to work as the offseason drags on

The Steelers aren’t about to leave Ryan Shazier high and dry, and Shazier isn’t planning on leaving Pittsburgh anytime soon either.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

While many fans long for more and more updates on the physical health of Ryan Shazier, the updates which might be more common are his role with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Art Rooney II said earlier this week the team will have a role for Shazier no matter what, and recently General Manager Kevin Colbert spoke about what Shazier has been up to recently.

“From a physical standpoint, he’s continuing to work to overcome this injury,” Colbert told media. “We’ve enabled him to be involved with the football part of it because we think it’s important for him to still have that in front of him.”

Colbert added how Shazier shows up at the team facility every morning to work out. Then, he spends times with coaches watching film and sitting in on scouting meetings. After all of that, Shazier goes off-site to continue his rehab exercises.

“The great thing about it is Ryan does as much for us as we do for him,” Colbert said. “The way he works at this, the attitude he has shown in his rehabilitation is really uplifting. Never once has he said, ‘Why me?’

“I know that is an uplifting gesture for us and those that deal with him. He shows us that everybody has problems, but he’s going to work to overcome his as we should ours.”

Shazier isn’t done with football, and while is playing days may be a long way off, or completely over, he seems to have found a home where he can still use his talents to help better the black-and-gold.

Always continue to SHALIEVE!!

Time to check on the black-and-gold news outside the walls of BTSC...

One year after making an early offseason splash by signing Antonio Brown to a standard-setting contract, the Steelers could be on the same course with another All-Pro playmaker.

General manager Kevin Colbert, reiterating the stance taken previously by team president Art Rooney II, told reporters Thursday he is confident the Steelers can sign running back Le’Veon Bell to a long-term deal.

”I believe I am (optimistic),” Colbert said.

Last February, the Steelers made Brown the highest-paid receiver in the NFL with a five-year, $73 million deal. Bell had the top salary among running backs in 2017, but the Steelers are working on getting him signed for more than one season.

Bell played last season on a $12.12 million franchise tender, and his salary would increase to $14.5 million if the Steelers exercise it again. They have between Feb. 20 and March 6 to do so, but Colbert is hopeful the process that played out in 2017, when Bell didn’t sign his contract until a week before the start of the season, can be avoided.

Watching the Steelers win 13 games, capture another division title and earn a first-round playoff bye doesn’t give general manager Kevin Colbert any sense of comfort as he approaches this NFL offseason.

“We have to be better,” Colbert said Thursday. “I do not think we were better in 2017 than we were in 2016 because we got eliminated a round earlier, and I think that’s a reflection of the job that all of us did or didn’t do.”

The Steelers, of course, were upset by Jacksonville in the divisional playoff round after reaching the AFC championship game the previous season.

“How do we get better?” Colbert said. “We all have to figure out a way to not get eliminated in the first round. That is the process that we are in.”

AJ McCarron won his grievance against the Cincinnati Bengals and will become an unrestricted free agent next month, making him one of the more attractive quarterbacks on the market.

McCarron challenged the Bengals’ decision to put him on a non-football injury list as a rookie in 2014, when the fifth-round pick had a sore passing shoulder. The move meant that the season wouldn’t count toward free agency and McCarron would have to stick around as Andy Dalton’s backup for one more year in 2018.

Instead, an independent arbitrator ruled in McCarron’s favor Thursday, a decision announced by the NFL players’ association.

The Bengals could keep him for one more season by applying a transition or franchise tag, which is highly unlikely given the cost. Instead, the 27-year-old McCarron is set to find a place where he can start.

Could it be Cleveland?

The Browns arranged a deal for McCarron shortly before the trade deadline on Oct. 31 but failed to submit the paperwork on time, scuttling the trade. Browns coach Hue Jackson was McCarron’s offensive coordinator in Cincinnati, giving him a firsthand assessment of the quarterback’s abilities.