Ryan Shazier has a legit beef with the makers of Madden NFL 19.
Shazier, the Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl linebacker, issued the following message to the game’s Twitter handle on Thursday. Shazier is upset over his ranking in the NFL’s hit video game.
@EAMaddenNFL hey I know im not a 99 club yet madden. But I feel I deserve better than an 85. I see to many LBs that’s rated higher than me.
— Ryan Shazier (@RyanShazier) June 28, 2018
Shazier is certainly deserving of a higher ranking. Pittsburgh’s first round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Shazier earned a Pro Bowl selection in 2016 and was in the running to win the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year before sustaining his serious spine injury a dozen weeks into the 2017 season. Despite missing the final month of the regular season, Shazier was named to the AFC’s Pro Bowl team for the second consecutive year.
Antonio Brown, who earlier this week was tabbed as the league’s second best player in the NFL Network’s Top 100 list, received a 99 rating in Madden NFL ’19. Brown joined Tom Brady, Aaron Donald, Von Miller, Aaron Rodgers, Luke Kuechly, and Rob Gronkowski as the only other players to receive a 99 rating in this year’s game.
Earlier this month, Shazier delivered his first press conference since suffering his injury that require spine stabilization surgery. During the media session, Shazier said that his health is improving on a day-to-day basis. And while his goal of eventually continuing his pro football career remains in tact, Shazier also detailed his short term goal as he looks to make a full recovery.
“I just wanna be able to stay walking a little more by myself without using a cane,” said Shazier, a two time Pro Bowler who was in the running to win the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year before suffering his injury. “If that’s camp, I’m happy for it, if it’s regular season, I’ll be happy for it. I’m just taking it day by day.”
Shazier, who has received his entire 2018 salary, was asked what his role will be with the team for the upcoming season. Shazier worked with Pittsburgh’s scouting department leading up to the draft.
“Right now, I’m just taking it one day at a time,” Shazier said. “The coaching staff and Mr. Rooney are gonna let me know as the season comes along. I’m just taking it all in. Just to learn the ins and outs of the scouting department. It’s really cool to me…I’m just constantly trying to learn as much as I can. (But) I still wanna play football.”
Shazier, who has also looked over film of the 2017 season with Pittsburgh’s coaching staff, is confident that his teammates at the inside linebacker position are ready to step up in his absence in 2018. Shazier has also begun mentoring several of his teammates.
“I always tell them, ‘Hey, if you ever need anything from me, I’m one call away.’ You always make yourself and the team better by making yourself available,” Shazier said. “They’re doing a really good job. A lot of guys are still trying to catch up. With Tyler (Matakevich) and the older guys, I feel like they’re doing good.”
While he is still on the road to recovery, Shazier feels blessed for the progress he has already made, and the progress he feels he will make in the very near future. He is also appreciative of each and every NFL fan that has sent him their thoughts and prayers.
“When I took my first steps, my and my family were crying,” Shazier said. “Even now, when I look back at those tapes, I cry, but it’s tears of joy. It really makes me appreciate every moment, every single step that I take.”