Kovacevic: Why our city will fall for Ryan Shazier

LATROBE, Pa. — “I wasn’t surprised at all,” Ryan Shazier insisted to reporters Monday when asked about the almost barbaric punishment being doled out in the Steelers’ annual backs-on-backers drill. “We’re a hard-nosed team. We’re in Pittsburgh, Ohio.”

He caught himself immediately and laughed a bit.

“Pittsburgh, P-A. I’m sorry about that. Went to Ohio State. We’re from Pittsburgh, P-A. We play dirty.”

Caught himself again.

“Not dirty, but hard-nosed.”

Nah, that last one was fine, actually. And the other one wasn’t all bad, either. The way Shazier competed Monday — in backs-and-backers and all that followed on the first day in full pads — I’m guessing no one would care which Pittsburgh he’s from, so long as it’s the only one in the world ending with an H.

I’ll say it yet again, Nation: You will love this kid.

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