With spring drills officially over, I think we all understand that we’re all in for a long haul, six weeks in total, between the end of minicamp and the start of training camp. You know the drill. There’s little new information coming out during this period, so it serves as the perfect time both to look back, and to look ahead.
We’re going to be focusing mostly on the latter as we prepare—ever so patiently, of course—for training camp. The Pittsburgh Steelers right now have a fairly young roster with inexperienced players that they are hoping to take on a bigger role. The problem is that in many cases, they are still waiting on those players to show them something, and that is the focus of that series—as well as the occasional veteran with lingering questions.
Show me something, Jordan Zumwalt.
When we’re talking about Jordan Zumwalt, we really are talking about a player who has yet to show just about anything, in spite of the fact that he is entering his third offseason with the team. A former sixth-round draft pick in 2014, he has spent his first two seasons on injured reserve, and thus has two years of accrued experience because of it, but he has never been on a 53-man roster.
The Steelers parted with two inside linebackers during this offseason, so if there were ever an opportunity for him to finally break through, one would think that this would be the year, yet he still has some pretty stiff competition including one player who finished last season on the 53, a free agent signing, and another draft pick.
Zumwalt has been sidelined quite a bit during his career with what now appears to be a chronic groin injury, from which he may still be recovering, as reporters have suggested that he looks to be ailing in his gait, and has spent a lot of the offseason on the sidelines rather than practicing.
Even up until earlier this offseason, the Jordan Zumwalt Fan Club has still been in full force, seemingly, but recently, it appears that his supporters have grown quiet, and that may be from the increasing sensation that he will never make the roster.
In two years, Zumwalt has been active for only four preseason games, playing a significant role in two of them, and he has compiled a combined 11 tackles in those two games, spread out over the past two years.
The 6’4”, 235-pounder will turn 25 this season as he looks to make a roster for the first time, but he will have to come into training camp as healthy as he can possibly be, gearing up over the course of the next month or so for what is likely a do or die scenario.
What Zumwalt needs to show is simply an ability to be available, to be healthy, because we haven’t really even seen him on the field enough to talk about what sort of skill set he has. While he may possibly have a bit of a nose for the ball, he has also seemingly struggled in coverage.