After a pair of trades forced Ryan Switzer to move from Dallas to Oakland to Pittsburgh in a four-month span last offseason, he nearly quit football.
“It was more than I didn’t think I belonged anymore,” Switzer told The Athletic. “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 said the repeated moves made him feel like he was letting his wife down.
“I felt really bad,” Switzer said. “I told her that this isn’t worth me feeling like this anymore.”
Then, he talked to Mike Tomlin, and everything changed.
Tomlin, with the opener three days away, told Switzer, “Make sure you get your s–t together, because you are going to be in there a lot,” the receiver recalled to The Athletic.
“Now, I am thinking that I am just going to come in here and catch some punts and kicks and be kind of an afterthought,” Switzer said. “It was like, ‘Wow!’ (Tomlin) 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. For him to do that, I felt really good.”
Switzer went on to catch 36 balls for 253 yards, and at age 24, looks like a part of the Steelers’ long-term future. If he is, it’ll be Tomlin to thank.