Pittsburgh Steelers shut down Ryan Shazier in 2018, making the sad truth more realistic

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 08: Ryan Shazier /

The Pittsburgh Steelers are headed into the 2018 season without Ryan Shazier.

A new season rolls around, and a familiar face won’t be on the grass at Heinz. A beloved steeler defender cut short another season in what could end up a great career. Yes, that man is Ryan Shazier.

Kevin Colbert announced this weekend at the NFL combine that Shazier will not play but will have an impact on this team in the locker room. So, here’s what they lose from the injury of Shazier, and here’s what they can do to fix his absence.

The Steelers lose a side to side style inside linebacker, with speed and power unlike any other. Ryan’s biggest tool for this Steelers defense is the ability to cover both receivers running crossing routes or even tight ends running any route in certain coverages.

Also, they lose a guy that can quickly fill the running lane and meet a running back in the backfield. So, how do they fix this problem? I’ve seen two theories, and I know which one to go with.

The first theory some people believe will happen is that Pittsburgh will sign Lawrence Timmons to return to the Steel City. Timmons is an explosive run stopper but has lost his footing in the pass coverage aspect as of late and may not be able to match up well with crossing patterns. So if Timmons isn’t the answer, then what is? The draft.

Pittsburgh has a way of finding the best linebackers in drafts. TJ Watt and Ryan Shazier himself are both examples of this, and this year they could strike another fine take. Boise State’s Leighton Vander Esch or Raashan Evans could be that replacement guy in the draft. Both guys have speed and range like Shazier, with Both men being larger linebackers with Vander Esch at 6’4 and 240 pounds and Evans not far behind at 6’3 and 234 pounds. These two guys could be the answer for Pittsburgh in 2018, with Timmons being a last resort.

Ryan Shazier’s injury will still look into the 2018 season, but I hope that the front offices in the land of Black and Gold can help to find a fill in for him until he heals and returns. When he does return, look for Shazier and whomever they may draft, or even Vince Williams to become one of the best linebacker tandems in Steelers history.

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Our Thoughts and Prayers go to you, Ryan. May all be well in your journey to recovery, and this fine fan base will miss you over this season.