Ryan Switzer nearly quit football last year

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After a pair of hot-potato trades following only one season in the NFL, Steelers receiver Ryan Switzer came very close to walking away from the game. A brief encounter with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin not long before the season opener changed that.

“We are playing Cleveland in three days, and he says to me, ‘Make sure you get your sh-t together because you are going to be in there a lot,’” Switzer told Mark Kaboly of TheAthletic.com regarding remarks made in the aftermath of the trade that sent Switzer from Oakland to Pittsburgh less than two weeks before Week One.

“Now, I am thinking I am just going to come here and catch some punts and some kicks and be kind of an afterthought,” Switzer said. “It was like ‘Wow!’ He didn’t care where I came from and what they thought of me, and he puts me out there Week One against Cleveland [for seven offensive snaps] because he has trust in me. . . .

“I have always been a guy who if you show trust in me, I will run through a brick wall or die trying,” Switzer said. “For him to do that, I felt really good.”

Few knew that Switzer, a West Virginia speedster who had a standout career at North Carolina but who then was traded from the Cowboys to the Raiders after only one year and then to the Steelers before ever playing for Oakland, was thinking about packing it in.

“It was more than I didn’t think I belonged anymore,” Switzer told Kaboly. “I have never had somebody not want me before. I have never been through a trade, I have never been through a team basically telling me that they didn’t have a need for me. I took a hit in confidence and my mindset.”

Switzer explained that he believed he was “letting [his] wife down” after moving from Dallas to Oakland and then to Pittsburgh.

“I felt really bad,” Switzer told Kaboly. “I told her that this isn’t worth me feeling like this anymore.”

Helping Switzer make the transition is the fact that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (to whom Switzer refers as “7” not as “Mr.”) took a liking to him.

“I don’t know why he chose me to try to pick me up and get me involved, but he did and I am grateful for that and I don’t take that for granted,” Switzer said.

He now has an opportunity to help fill the void created by the trade to Oakland of a guy who took a strong disliking to Roethlisberger in recent months. And if Switzer can continue to develop as a slot receiver, he could have a long and fruitful career roughly 220 miles up I-79 from where he grew up.

15 responses to “Ryan Switzer nearly quit football last year

  1. Lies. Joey said #7 does not help out his teammates. Just takes all his power and hoards it

    You gotta believe Joey over this Ryan fella.

    Lol

  2. He was going to quit … then realized the difference between minimum wage and $645,000.

  3. Did it ever dawn on you that the Steelers simply weren’t a great team last year as opposed to mindlessly asserting the whole team quit in the second half? Probably won’t be long before Switzer’s mind travels in that general direction again. Great college player, but there are simply bigger, faster, stronger players to do what he does at the professional level and I don’t think that’s any great secret.

  4. Switzer could probably be a Julian Edelman-Wes Welker type for the Steelers, if given the opportunity. Whether he gets it remains to be seen.

  5. steelerdeathstar says:
    May 31, 2019 at 9:08 am
    Switzer could probably be a Julian Edelman-Wes Welker type for the Steelers, if given the opportunity. Whether he gets it remains to be seen.

    3 2 Rate This

    ——————-

    That’s beyond insulting to both of those players, especially future HOFer Edelman.

    I watched Switzer live in college numerous times and had him pegged as a guy who would peak in college as an overachiever. So far, this is correct. HE’s a back up player, punt returner type, maximum at the NFL level.

    Not a knock, it’s just his max talent ceiling.

  6. The comparison to Edelmann is a more than a bit of a stretch, but I do think Switzer will have a significant impact this year.

  7. The comparison to Edelmann is a more than a bit of a stretch
    ————

    Wonder why? Gotta think Switzer is also a “gym rat” and a “student of the game” too…

  8. “He now has an opportunity to help fill the void created by the trade to Oakland of a guy who took a strong disliking to Roethlisberger in recent months.” Was that typed with a straight face? You have got to be kidding. If by void you mean, just filling the spot on the field, well then maybe. Skill level, no way in Hades.

  9. Cole Beasley actually did end up quitting and instead of thanking Dallas for grooming him and granting a career, he blasts them on social media. At least this kid is grateful and doesn’t smack talk. Good luck to ya man. 3 times a charm.

  10. WR’s benefit when they’re in the right situation. Remember when a no-name kid went from Miami to New England? Wes Welker was always the same receiver, but when he teamed with Tom Brady, he became one of the best in the game. He didn’t become a better football player once he got to New England, he just teamed up with a first ballot HOF QB. Same deal with Switzer. The sky is the limit if you can stay healthy, and know your job.

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