PITTSBURGH – The Steelers are using rookie minicamp to take an extended look at sixth-round pick Jordan Zumwalt at outside linebacker.
Zumwalt appeared ticketed for inside linebacker when the Steelers drafted him last week but his versatility could work out well for the UCLA product as well as his new team.
The Steelers are extremely thin at outside linebacker and being able to play the position as well as inside linebacker will only enhance Zumwalt’s chances of making the team.
“I will go wherever they want me to,” Zumwalt said Saturday after the Steelers' first practice of the day. “They told me to make sure I am paying attention to the inside stuff, too, because I am definitely going to be playing there. So I assume I’m going to be swinging all over the place.”
Not until the middle of June.
Zumwalt and Arizona cornerback Shaquille Richardson, a fifth-round pick, will miss the majority of organized team activity (OTAs) practices, coach Mike Tomlin said, because their respective schools are on quarters instead of semesters.
Neither is allowed to resume practicing with the Steelers until their school year is over.
“So I will be coming [back] with fresh legs,” Zumwalt said with a smile.
Also of note from the Steelers’ second day of rookie minicamp:
Wide receiver Martavis Bryant watched the morning practice as the Steelers held the fourth-round pick out of drills as a precaution. “He fell yesterday catching the ball on the sideline,” Tomlin said. “Maybe he’ll be back out this afternoon. We’ll see.”
The Steelers apparently weren’t trying to give defensive end Stephon Tuitt extra motivation when they issued him the No. 91. The number was previously worn by Aaron Smith, one of the top 3-4 defensive ends of his generation but Tomlin said, “it’s probably coincidental.”
The Steelers will hold their final practice of rookie minicamp Sunday morning. When asked what he is looking for from the 52 players who are taking part in minicamp, Tomlin said, “I think you gather information about people as much as you evaluate them. How they learn, how they learn in classroom settings, how they learn on the grass. Are they capable of learning from other’s mistakes? What do they do with the reps that they get? Really it’s just a blank slate from that standpoint.”