From his latest interview with Teresa Varley, Steelers.com:
Football is a game. It’s supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to be enjoyable and entertaining.
And for Ryan Switzer, last year that was finally the case.
“I always knew how to play the receiver position. I think that got lost last year because of a stigma that was they put on me elsewhere as being just a return specialist guy. The Steelers who evaluated me coming out of the draft, they knew the production I had in college. For them to trust that, even though I wasn’t used like that in Dallas, meant a lot.
The first week I was here Coach (Mike) Tomlin made sure I knew that I wasn’t just here to be a return guy. Throughout the year I grew because of the guys that were around me, the guys I was able to watch.
Then I grew because of Ben (Roethlisberger). He took time with me individually to make sure I was on the same page with him. He took the time to make sure we knew about each other, learned about other, made sure I knew what he wanted and he knew how I saw things.”
That relationship with Roethlisberger, one which had Switzer thanking him at the end of the season, led to a lot of the success the second-year receiver had, talking to him whether it was in practice, meetings, or off the field.
“If he wasn’t practicing he would be looking to make sure we are on the same page,” said Switzer. “He reached out a bunch. He didn’t know me from anything. My wife got into a car accident on a Friday and the first person that reached out was Ben. It meant a lot. He was one guy on this team I felt bad when I didn’t get the job done. I didn’t want to let him down because I knew he trusted me and was expecting me to come through for him.
“It took time to earn that trust. You have to earn trust. You do that through experience. You do that through proving people right. Whether that’s proving Ben right when he throws you the ball and you are where you are supposed to be. Whether it’s proving the coaching staff right when they put you out there and they expect you to get the job done. It means for the majority of the season I did my job and I did what I was called to do.”
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