Zach Banner had no complaints about his role last year, when he was a tackle eligible for much of the season, but he wants more.
And he took the first step towards that today when he signed a new one-year contract.
"I am super excited, ready to play back in the black and gold," said Banner. "I am ecstatic I don't have to move again. I get to call this home. It's starting to feel a lot more like home, than home, if that makes sense. My family is on the West Coast and I miss them a lot, but it's growing on me."
Banner, who was slated to become a restricted free agent, was originally drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the 137th overall. He was released by the Colts in 2017, and signed with the Cleveland Browns, playing in eight games in 2017. He signed with the Steelers as a free agent in 2018 and was inactive all season.
Last season a lot changed for him when he played in 14 games in 2019, starting one. He became a cult hero with the 'No. 72 has reported as an eligible receiver' announcement on a regular basis during the season.
"I think it's finally time for me to start calling myself a Yinzer. I really do," said Banner. "I think I am going to call myself a Yinzer. I think I was forcefully adopted. I think Pittsburgh said you are a Yinzer. I think that will be my next tattoo."
Okay, maybe he was kidding about that part, but what he isn't kidding about is wanting to take his game to the next level and becoming a starter.
"Zach Banner can start in the National Football League," said Banner, of what the 2019 season taught him. "My tape, if you put my tape on when I was at jumbo tight end, all you have to do is move me over one person. I have to be able to consistently do that more. That is the thing. That is my next step in my career. I want it to be this year. I really do."