Ryan Shazier was well on his way to etching his name alongside the other great defenders in Steelers history when he severely injured his neck making a routine tackle last season against the Bengals.
While the main concern for most has been Shazier’s quality of life post-football, Shazier himself has set far loftier goals.
While appearing on teammate’s Roosevelt Nix’s podcast, Shazier makes it clear he has every intention of trying to not only continue his NFL career–but to don a gold jacket as a hall of fame linebacker.
“I’ve gotta get back, bro,” Shazier said.
“I really feel I’m the best linebacker ever,” Shazier said. “I just have to be back out there so everybody can see it. You know what I’m saying?”
Earlier this month, Shazier stood in front of the PPG Paints Arena crowd during a Pittsburgh Penguins game — “I felt everybody needed to see that,” he said — and also posted a picture of himself standing with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
He’s proud of that one.
“People were thinking Ben was supporting me, too — he barely was even holding me,” Shazier said on the podcast.
Shazier outlined several off-field goals, including potentially returning to college, owning a company or becoming the general manager of an NFL team. For now, he’s busy impressing his therapists.
“I’m really trusting the process and I know the end goal, so I’m taking every step of the way,” Shazier said. “My therapists are like, man … the progression they [usually] see every week, they see every day.”
It’s incredible to see Shazier remain so positive when it would be easy & understandable if he had no desire to play sports anymore. I’m sure when you don’t know if you’ll walk, or walk normally again, most people wouldn’t have playing football anywhere near the front of their minds.
I don’t know if he’ll make a return to the field, but I’m personally rooting for Ryan Shazier to accomplish whatever goals he’s setting for himself.
The entire episode is actually a good listen. Flip the page to check it out: