Pittsburgh Steelers second-year linebacker Jordan Zumwalt was never a lock to make the team’s final 53 man roster last season out of training camp, but once a groin injury took hold of him during the preseason, it was clear that he would likely spend his rookie season on either the injured reserve list, or the practice squad. It ended up being the former and now the UCLA product and former sixth-round selection is eager to make another run at the roster.
“Honestly, I’m just grateful to be able to play,” Zumwalt said last week, according to Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’m going to try to compete. I love the game of football. It’s the highest level of competition.”
While the Steelers didn’t draft another inside linebacker this year, Zumwalt still has several others ahead of him on the depth chart that will make his path to this year’s 53 man roster just as difficult as the one he faced last year. In fact, Zumwalt will likely have to beat out third-year linebacker Terence Garvin this year in training camp and that means he must have special teams coach Danny Smith banging the table for him. Zumwalt appears to be well aware of that.
“I’m just going to compete, do my best, learn from the best and try to get on special teams as much as possible,” said Zumwalt. “I’m going out and going as hard as I can.”
Should Zumwalt’s bid for a roster spot come up short this summer, there’s still a chance he lands on the team’s 10-man practice squad. During his college career he registered 239 total tackles, five sacks and two forced fumbles. He played just 25 snaps on defense with the Steelers last year during the preseason.