And yet there was Shazier outside of Rooney Hall this afternoon, surrounded by 10-deep microphones and cameras and fielding questions that were coming at him in rapid-fire succession.
That’s the way it is for those who arrive not only as first-round selections in the most recent NFL Draft, but also for players who line up with the first team on their side of the ball on the first play of the first offseason practice.
Shazier will be counted upon to do a great deal more than line up now that training camp has commenced. The inside linebacker from The Ohio State University wouldn’t have it any other way.
Shazier was often the center of attention during the offseason’s Organized Team Activities, whether it was because of the physicality he displayed against a veteran such as center
He’ll be that center of attention again in training camp based on his pedigree and the opportunity Shazier is getting to cement a starting position in his first NFL season. But Shazier maintained that hasn’t altered his approach.
“Regardless, I was going to put pressure on myself to go out there and show the coaches what I can do, show everybody what I can do,” he said. “If the coaches have trust in me for me to start, then I’m going to start. If they don’t, I’m not. I’m just going to continue to do what I can, go out there and grind and do what I have to do to help this team.”
That process started for Shazier and the rest of the Steelers with the camp-opening conditioning test.
Shazier approached that already looking forward to practicing on Monday with shoulder pads.
“I’m not really nervous,” he insisted. “I’m just ready to go. I’m real anxious, just ready to get out there and get going.
“We’ve been doing a lot of practicing without pads, and you really don’t know what people can do until they actually put the pads on. This game is played with pads on. I’m ready to get the pads on.”