Ryan Shazier: I'm trying to come back, be an All-Pro
RaynorShyne
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#1
02-22-2018, 02:19 AM

Ryan Shazier's road back from a serious spinal injury has included plenty of rehab and occasional visits to the Steelers, including appearances at the team's facility and late-season games.
The linebacker's latest stop on his journey was a sit-down with teammate Roosevelt Nix, who recently received a new contract and started a podcast. Nix brought in Shazier for his third episode, and in the middle of discussing playing college ball in Ohio, their video game skills, first years in the NFL and career goals, his teammate dropped a big declaration.
"I've gotta get back, bro," Shazier told Nix of his desire to return to an NFL field. "Every day, bro. Every day I'm like -- right now, I'm reading a book and it's basically saying trust the process, bro. I'm really trusting the process and I know the end goal. I'm taking it every step of the way but I'm like, I'm giving it like my football effort, like 1,000, everything I've got.



"The therapists, they'll be like, 'man, this is crazy. I'm happy to be working with an athlete because I've never seen somebody work this hard.' They see progression almost every day. They say some progression they see week to week, they see from me day to day. I've got to get it. I'm really trying to come back and still be a Pro Bowler, still be an All-Pro."
Shazier goes on to talk about how he felt as though despite his injury, his statistics -- which he admits earlier in the podcast he's nearly obsessed with racking up -- were good enough for All-Pro honors.
"I'm still reaching for that Hall of Famer," Shazier said. "I really feel like I'm the best linebacker ever. I've just got to get back out there so everybody can see it."
Shazier underwent spinal stabilization surgery after suffering a scary, season-ending spinal injury in December, and was discharged from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Rehabilitation Institute on Feb. 1. He's since transitioned into an outpatient therapy program as part of what is expected to be a long rehab process.
We live in an age of modern medicine that has advanced tremendously even in the last decade, but spinal injuries are more serious than a knee injury, and we have less history to be able to project whether someone can return.

Shazier's future is still very unknown, but it's encouraging to know the linebacker is giving as much effort as possible to get better.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000916923/article/ryan-shazier-im-trying-to-come-back-be-an-allpro
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Barney
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#2
02-22-2018, 11:31 AM

I never doubted his moral character, his work ethic, or his ability... the health of his body on the other hand there exists my concerns... Some things are more valuable than football, walk away while you still can, no pun intended.
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mcmillenandwife
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#3
02-22-2018, 11:40 AM

(02-22-2018, 11:31 AM)Barney Wrote: I never doubted his moral character, his work ethic, or his ability... the health of his body on the other hand there exists my concerns... Some things are more valuable than football, walk away while you still can, no pun intended.

It's obviously a huge motivator for him. It's a highly unlikely scenario, but if the dream of a return to football helps him with his recovery, I'm all for it. If there actually is a miracle return to the field for Shazier, I think I would be scared for him every play.
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Cali-Steeler
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#4
02-23-2018, 09:42 AM

Agreed Tim... A dream is a dream.
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Crash
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#5
05-03-2018, 11:24 PM

https://twitter.com/FieldYates/status/99...7447949312
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RaynorShyne
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#6
05-05-2018, 11:57 AM

(02-22-2018, 11:40 AM)mcmillenandwife Wrote:
(02-22-2018, 11:31 AM)Barney Wrote: I never doubted his moral character, his work ethic, or his ability... the health of his body on the other hand there exists my concerns... Some things are more valuable than football, walk away while you still can, no pun intended.

It's obviously a huge motivator for him. It's a highly unlikely scenario, but if the dream of a return to football helps him with his recovery, I'm all for it. If there actually is a miracle return to the field for Shazier, I think I would be scared for him every play.

As a former 21-year Army Cavalryman who has numerous tours under his belt - I've seen the mindset before;  Football isn't something Shazier does, it's something he is.  

All things being equal - that's not necessarily a good thing.  

I've seen two soldiers in particular who were unsurpassed; the best.  I mean truly transcendent beings who embodied all things warrior; all things leader.  The cutting edge of a lineage going back to the time of Cain and Able.  One committed suicide 3 years post retirement, the other suffered through alcoholism, two divorces and is now in college trying to rebuild his life.  Were the beset by tragedy?  No.  Victims of some family trauma?  No.  Something much worse.

Forced retirement.

Everything they knew, everything they were, everything their life's summary of values, standards, personal conduct, and measurement of success - was taken away.  Having the core of who you are ripped out from you is more jarring than any event.  

Shazier's life has been football since he was 7.  I've read stories about him wearing his uniform to bed as a kid.  He played in middle school, where he was, "the best".  In high school where he was a standout and heavily recruited and was the campus stud.  Football wasn't something Shazier did, it's something he was.  His senior prom date wondered if he was going to wear his jersey because she never saw him wear anything else (Shazier worse a Tux :-)).  By the beginning of his Junior year, colleges were all over him. He was originally committed to play for Urban Meyer at Florida, but Meyer resigned. Shazier then signed to play for Jim Tressel at Ohio State.  He was so good and so cocky, he told Florida to shove it, and went to the top school in the Big 10. Football wasn't something Shazier did, it's something he was. He played in all 13 games as a freshman in Ohio State and was the man. Pittsburgh drafted him - he's now a professional football player.  Football wasn't something Shazier did, it's something he was.

Last season, he became the hurt football player.  

The recovering football player.

As someone who has seen people recovery from just about every injury imaginable, trust me when I say I don't see courage.  I don't see commitment.  I don't see dedication.  I don't see heart.

I see fear.  

I see someone driven by the very real fear of his identity, his life, his core, everything he knows, being stripped from him.  Of losing everything he is.  

I hope he makes it back - at least to the point where he can make peace with it.

The Steelers just converted his entire 2018 salary to a signing bonus (at his request).  He's working and is going to put everything into it.  He has too.

http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/23392...ning-bonus
(This post was last modified: 05-05-2018, 11:59 AM by RaynorShyne.)
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Chucktownsteeler
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#7
05-08-2018, 05:01 AM

Raynor - great write-up, man.


Dilly - Dilly!

Pray for 50!
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RaynorShyne
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#8
05-11-2018, 06:49 AM

Dilly Dilly.

I pray for the day I see him run onto the field wearing pads and #50. Even if he only plays 1 play - he can then leave on his own terms.
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